UPDATE: Article has been updated as of 4/13/20
First of all, if you had planned for a Lake Tahoe destination wedding this Spring or early Summer and have had to postpone, we really, really feel for you. For many couples, your wedding day will be one of, if not the, best days of your life. The shock, disappointment, and sadness of having to postpone... it's all very real and overwhelming. As a planning resource and close-knit community of vendors for Lake Tahoe weddings, we here at Tahoe Unveiled are feeling it too. Feel it, take time to grieve it. We're doing the same right along with you.
As of today (see published date above), our guidance for summer weddings is to wait and see. Though April and now May are looking to be a tough couple of months for our country as a whole, the sincere hope is that social distancing and shelter in place mandates will flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus. A lot can, and will, change before now and July. Forty-five days out is a good rule of thumb for evaluating whether to postpone your wedding. As 45 days puts us at the end of May and we do not have a clear indication of when it will be safe to hold events, we are recommending all May and June events are postponed to later in the summer, fall, or event the winter of 2020.
Each wedding is different - the venue, size, departure points of guests, and many other factors all make each celebration unique and will also need to be assessed along with the date of your wedding. In general, if you do choose to postpone, we advise sticking with a 2020 date. The Fall season in Lake Tahoe is pretty epic and we love a good Winter wedding!
So, where do you start? We've tapped our colleague Vanessa, a veteran Lake Tahoe wedding planner with One Fine Day Events, for five tips when considering postponing your wedding.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH
And another. Feel all the feelings, but center yourself before taking any action. It's best to not react out of fear or uncertainty and wait to make any big decisions until you're in the calmest and most rational headspace possible.
CALL YOUR PLANNER
Wedding planners thrive under pressure, as do most wedding professionals. If you don't have a planner, call the vendor that you've worked with the most. This might be your photographer, venue, or even your DJ. Ask for their expert opinion and take their advice seriously. You don't have a planner for the easy, fun, or simple tasks. You have a planner to help you when the s**t hits the fan. THIS is why you hired a professional in the first place! Along those lines...
TRUST YOUR PROFESSIONALS
If your wedding needs to be postponed, trust your planner to go to work for you to make it happen. Be communicative and try to be patient. If it takes a few hours, or even a few days to hear back, don't panic - he or she is working tirelessly to connect with everyone involved in your wedding and will update you ASAP. If your wedding is in July 2020 or later, again, please sit tight. Your vendors are working overtime to help spring couples reschedule their events. Response times might be longer than normal, but they will get back to you. We promise.
When your planner does present you with your best options, be decisive. Take a day to contact your VIPs (parents, immediate family, wedding party) to choose a new date, but then move fast. This isn't the time to wait for your entire guest list to weigh in. Keep in mind that you are one of several (maybe dozens!) of couples trying to re-book and there are only so many dates to go around at your venue. Your best chance at keeping your vendor team and design plan intact is being able to make swift decisions.
BE FLEXIBLE AND KIND
Again, please try to remember there is a human on the other end of that phone call or email message and, just like you, they are also being affected in numerous ways by this virus. Our Lake Tahoe community is heavily dependent on the tourism economy and has been deeply affected by COVID-19. The wedding vendors here genuinely love what we do and are truly doing our best for all of our clients, while working from home, home-schooling our kids, caring for our families, and trying to stay healthy - just like you are.
This crisis is demanding kindness and flexibility from humans around the world. If keeping your venue means having your wedding on a Wednesday, embrace the Wednesday wedding. (Aren't we all losing track of what day it is right now anyway?!) If keeping your vendor team means revising a payment schedule (or paying early) to make sure they stay in business to serve you on your new date, please make every effort to pay them. And if it takes a little longer to hear back from your vendors, venue, or planner, please be patient.
Most importantly, remember that we will all get through this, with a lot of deep breaths and taking one day at a time. We can't wait to celebrate with you very soon and share all the beautiful Lake Tahoe weddings that will pull us all through this year... together.