If you’re like most engaged couples, wedding planning has been put on hold until life goes back to normal. And if you’re among the unlucky and had to postpone your wedding, I’m truly sorry. This is a very difficult time for everyone, and I wish I could say exactly what will happen at what time… but I can’t.
However, I CAN say with confidence that if you’re planning to have your wedding in 2021, NOW is the time to start planning and getting ahead…
See, thousands of couples in DFW who got engaged a while ago have already postponed their wedding to later in 2020 and into 2021. Add this to the thousands of recently-engaged couples planning for 2021, and we’re going to see a surge in demand for many of the same wedding dates in a very short time window.
See the graph below. (Also, don’t quote me on dates. This is for illustrative purposes only).
The blue line illustrates the availability of wedding vendors over time, while the red line illustrates the number of engaged couples planning for a 2021 wedding. When the economy reopens (yellow vertical line), couples will all start wedding planning at once.
Imagine this being similar to the surge in consumers rushing to grocery stores. Once COVID-19 hit, TP was suddenly the hottest commodity. And just like how everyone who poops needs to wipe, engaged couples are still going to get married.
Okay, maybe it’s slightly exaggerated. But unlike toilet paper, you can’t just manufacture more wedding vendors and create more wedding dates. No… the amount of wedding vendors and wedding dates are limited to a fixed number. Yet, the number of brides and grooms saying “I do” in 2021 will be going up significantly.
So what can you do to make sure your 2021 wedding date is immune?
If you’re thinking “Ok, Darien… Easier said than done!” then keep reading. Because I’m about to lay out a strategy for you to get ahead of the curve, even during this crazy time of lockdown.
1. Check that your favorite vendors still have your wedding date available!
95% of wedding vendors can only work one wedding per day. And depending on the type of business, we usually book anywhere from 6 to 18 months out! Also in the wedding industry, there are what are called “Premium Wedding Dates.” These are dates that get booked much more often (usually during prime seasons, depending on the climate of your part of the country). Many of my photographer and other wedding vendor friends are scared about too many “prime dates” getting booked too soon. So if you’ve been eyeing a specific venue, photographer, florist, etc… best to double check with them now!
2. Schedule virtual tours/consultations
Most of what can be shared in an in-person meeting can be communicated through a video call! And if you’re like me and absolutely hate Skype, Zoom is a great free video conferencing software that doesn’t require an account!
3. Ask about the retainer
Usually, you need to pay a retainer and sign a contract to secure a vendor for your specific wedding date. However, different vendors have different policies when it comes to the retainer. Some ask for a percentage-based retainer, like 50% of the wedding package. Others (like myself) have a flat-rate retainer, and the amount varies from vendor to vendor. But usually, a flat-rate retainer allows you to lock in your vendor at a cheaper rate than a percentage-based retainer, and allows you to select and pay for the specific packages later. This will be clutch in the case you need to go for a less-expensive package option, but don’t want to risk not having someone at your wedding!
4. Understand their postponement/cancellation policy.
Don’t wait until you need to (and hopefully you won’t have to!). But the last thing you need to happen is be out of $5,000 for a photographer and then need to pay for a new one! I’m going to reiterate the point that each vendor has different payment policies, and you need to figure out the one that’ll give you the most peace of mind. If they’re unavailable for your rescheduled date, do they offer refunds? Partial refunds? Will there be another person on their team handing the day in place of themselves? These are all questions you should be asking right now.
5. Ask how flexible they can be.
I’m not going to lie, I debated whether or not to include this point here in the blog (for selfish reasons). But, for the sake of giving couples the BEST action plan possible for THEM, I decided to mention it. Look, I’m going to be honest. Most small businesses are HURTING really bad right now. And some of us just need some retainers deposited in the next couple months to keep our lights on and keep the doors open. So if you really like them and want to work with them, and there’s a part in their policy that you’re uncomfortable with, ask how flexible they can be.
6. Don’t wait.
Yes, I feel the need to say this again. Believe it or not, a good chunk of 2020 is already over (gasp!). So get ahead of everyone else. Would you rather get started now and be able to rearrange later? Or have to postpone (possibly for a second time) because you waited too long?
Hopefully you found this blog to be helpful in your wedding planning journey! If you have more questions, or need any more information/resources, or maybe want to inquire with me about wedding photography, then feel free to fill out the contact form below and I will be in touch!
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