Wedding planning in a pandemic


It’s not news that wedding planning in a pandemic is tricky.  It feels like being in a weird virtual wedding waiting room, where people keep coming in, but no one ever leaves. Most couples have had to review their wedding plans in some way. If you’ve postponed your wedding already, you know all about the joys of rescheduling. If you’re newly engaged, you may find it difficult to know where to start.

What can I say to help, as we wait for normality to return, sitting socially distanced, on our sanitised chairs, with the fragrance of alcohol gel filling the air …

I’d like to offer you my home-grown planning tool, to help you prioritise your wedding and make some contingency plans.

Contingency plans for peace of mind

Whatever your situation, being crystal clear on your priorities will help you. The results will either confirm what you know, or give you some new insights. They will give you more peace of mind and a greater sense of control. I think we all need plenty of those right now!

What are your wedding Must-Haves?

When planning a ceremony, a speech, or any event in my life, I class everything as one of these:

  • Must Have (something I can’t/won’t budge on)
  • Nice to Have (I really love this)
  • Could Have, or Not (I could limit/ditch this)

For example, having your complete wedding guest list could be your must-have. You’d rather postpone the wedding than uninvite people. Alternatively, maybe the date is your must-have. You want to marry asap, or on a certain date, even if it means fewer guests. Maybe the venue is your must-have. It’s your dream venue, which works brilliantly for your guests too. Maybe you don’t know what your must-haves are yet. Now’s a good time to decide.

Make a list of the main elements of your wedding eg indoor/outdoor, type of ceremony and officiant/celebrant, the number of guests, what restrictions you will/won’t accept, venue, date, budget, entertainment, catering, clothing and so on. Next, rank each one as a Must-Have, Nice to Have, or Could Have.

There are so many tempting choices in the world of weddings. It seems like everything is a Must Have, but using this method, you’ll discover the difference. When you have zoned in on your Must Haves, they are everything you really, really want for your wedding day. This clears your mind wonderfully, and your Nice to Haves and Could Haves fall nicely into line.

Make Contingency Plans A, Plan B, and even Plan C

Your first choice and favourite wedding plan is your Plan A. It has all your Must Haves and a good selection of your Nice to Haves. The Could Haves will also be making an appearance.

Let’s hope you get your Plan A, but be ready with a killer Plan B – and possibly even a bonus Plan C. These will give you peace of mind, and options.

Please note: if this sounds difficult or worrying, remember that British people are naturally very good at this. We have an all-scenarios-covered checklist just to go to the beach. So, whether you’re British, or are marrying here, you’re covered. Don’t worry.

You can develop your Plans A, B, C as a written-out scenario. For example: Plan A is that we get married outdoors in the Mystic Hollow, in September with 100 guests. There will be no restrictions on numbers, catering and dancing. Plan B is we get married in Swish House, in December with 50 guests and a socially distanced dinner and no dancing. Plan C, we switch back to Mystic Hollow in September the following year, with our original plan for 100 guests. You could write each element of your wedding on a flashcard and lay them out in different combinations. Colour code your Must Haves – do whatever makes sense to you.

You may discover that no plan is absolutely perfect. Wedding planning in a pandemic is probably going to throw a couple of things off course. The main thing is your Must Haves. Do you still have them?

With a good slug of flexibility and good humour, you’ll get there. In the end, your biggest and best Must Have is your partner. You WILL get married, even if it’s not exactly following your Plan A. Keep looking for the unexpected silver linings that changes bring. I know how cheesy that sounds but it’s true.

On a practical note, if you’d like more information on celebrant weddings, and how they can complement your legal wedding, and what’s the difference, check out my Frequently Asked Questions

The latest info on legal weddings

If you’re looking for the latest info on legal weddings in Dorset, Devon and Somerset from the respective Registration Services, check out these links.




Keep talking to people, and reach out for support and advice. Just don’t get like this ….!

If you need any help or a friendly chat, I’ll be in my virtual wedding waiting room.

Contact me