Despite everything happening regarding the Coronavirus at this present time, love is not cancelled! People will continue to fall in love, get in engaged, plan weddings and get married. As this Virus changes rapidly every day, so does our information. We need to support and guide each other as best as we can and adhere to the updated guidelines. We will continue to update all our current and future brides to the best of our abilities to ensure your wedding day is still a massive success when the time arrives.
// WHAT THE GOVERNMENT IS SAYING RIGHT NOW //
Over the past couple weeks, information has changed quite quickly. From originally a maximum of 500 guests, to no more than 100 people in a room, we now know as of Sunday 22nd of March, that all venues and entertainment centers will be CLOSED!! As of 25th March 2020, Weddings can only continue with the married couple, celebrant and witnesses only.
At this point in time, no one is quite sure when venues and other entertainment services will resume back to normal but we should expect these closures to extend into late April and possibly May 2020.
There is a possibility that when services do open up again, a guest limit may be enforced. If there is a ban of gatherings up to a certain amount, it’s important to know what this number includes for couples getting married. It will include the following:
- Your wedding guests
- Yourself and your partner
- Your catering staffs
- Your celebrant
- Your photography and videography team
- The venue staff present at your wedding
- All your vendors who will be on site (including your planner, musicians/band members, stylist, florists, catering/food delivery services etc.)
// DESTINATION WEDDINGS //
For all you adventurers out there having a destination wedding, unfortunately a Grade 4 travel ban has been put into place as of March 18th. This means that all non-Australian citizens will NOT be able to travel into Australia. Smart Traveler, a government-based website has also advised all Australians to NOT travel overseas at this time. A Grade 4 travel ban is the highest enforced travel ban that could be implemented. As more countries close their borders and introduce more travel restrictions, overseas travelling is becoming more complex and difficult. This will not only affect you but will also affect your guests. If you do fly overseas it’s important that you are aware of the risks and complications that you may face in returning back into Australia as airlines are cancelling and limiting flights. Once returning, you will now be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This is to all travelers, including Australian citizens.
We would strongly advise to all brides who are getting married over the next 3 months to consider postponing your wedding until next year.
// WEDDING INSURANCE AND THE CORONAVIRUS //
If you’ve purchased wedding insurance prior to the COVID-19 outbreak then good on you!! You’re in a much better position than a lot of people. Event based insurance policies will cover cancellations or postponements if one of the two actions occur:
- The venue closes (temporarily or permanently)
- You or a close family member becomes extremely ill
(It’s quite a grey area as to whether or not Coronavirus or self-isolation is classified as an illness). It’s important that you contact your insurance provider to run through the fine print, keeping in mind that all policies are different and each supplier and vendor will most likely have a different contract in place. If you have purchased insurance for your wedding during the current Coronavirus Pandemic, there is a very slim chance you will eligible to receive a full refund. Depending on the Vendor, some bridal stores, venues and other bridal suppliers are giving couples the option to postpone their bookings.
// SHOULD YOU CANCEL YOUR WEDDING DUE TO CORONAVIRUS? //
To all brides getting married over the next 3-6 months, we understand it is a very difficult and uncertain time for you all. We would strongly advise everyone to POSTPONE and not cancel your wedding. It takes a lot of time and money planning a wedding and it’s important to have something to look forward too (especially in times like this). Whilst nobody knows when this will all calm down, we would recommend postponing your wedding date until sometime in 2021. There have been reports that the peak season for the Coronavirus to hit Australia will be in May and August 2020. Once these peaks have hit, we should expect at least 6-12 weeks for businesses and services to resume back to normal. Speak to your vendors and guests about potentially selecting a new date that will give you enough time for the virus to be controlled and maintained as well as enough time for you to plan the final touches. Almost all venues are being incredibly flexible during this time and are allowing couples to postpone and reschedule their weddings with no additional charges.
// WEDDING DRESSES AND THE CORONAVIRUS//
Wedding gowns are often ordered a year in advance and generally don’t arrive until a few weeks before the wedding day, in which you will receive your final alterations. Unfortunately, the majority of wedding gowns are produced in China. What does this mean?… Over the past couple weeks, China’s manufacturing has slowly resumed back to normal. This means that we can expect that most factories will resume production of gowns with slight delays due to their recent lockdown. The next concern would be ensuring that goods are being delivered through normal courier and freight services. At this point in time all trade and freight is resuming as per normal. However, given the recent crisis, particular goods are being prioritized over others. This means that there is a high chance that there will be delays with bridal deliveries. If you’re worried about possibly not receiving your dress in time for your wedding then you should contact your local bridal boutique to find out the current progress of your gown. In the meantime, you can follow the below steps to finding out more information to check on the time frame:
- Research where your wedding dress is manufactured. If you’ve purchased from an Australian Designer or Dressmaker, then there is a very low chance for delays to occur as in-house production is still allowed to resume throughout all states within Australia. If you have purchased a pre-made/off-the rack wedding dress, there is a chance it is coming from Asia which means you should expect slight delays with production and delivery.
- If your dress is being manufactured overseas then check online what the restrictions are like in that country. Are they working from home? Are there any import and export restrictions? Your designer and local bridal boutique should be able to answer these questions for you.
- If you purchased a custom-made gown, contact your local designer to find out where your fabrics are being manufactured. Are the fabric mills still operating? Have there been any lock downs or delays that could affect delivery time?
// WHAT SHOULD I TELL MY WEDDING GUESTS? //
Communication is very important in times like this. Keep your guests up-to-date and informed as best as you can. As information changes daily, we would recommend contacting guests to notify them about the new ban in place that will not permit any weddings to take place until further notice. If you have postponed your wedding date, or in the process of doing so, remember to confirm with vendors first as there will be a lot of other couples planning to do the same.
// SHOULD WE ELOPE BECAUSE OF CORONAVIRUS? //
Before planning an elopement, make sure you check with your current vendors (such as venues and catering services) to ensure you can receive some form of compensation before jumping straight to elopements. Some policies may allow vendors the right to NOT refund you anything which could leave you drastically out of pocket. In this case it would be wise to postpone until further notice. Elopements are still possible at this point, however due to recent restrictions you should not be roaming around in public with a small gathering of family and friends. We are all advised to stay at home and to avoid having any visitors over. If this will compromise the quality and enjoyment of your elopement, we would recommend postponing your wedding or elopement until further notice. There are currently fines in place that could cost you up to $20,000 if you are caught breaking the new restrictions. As these restrictions are constantly changing, we would recommend checking the Department of Health and Human Services website and News outlets, daily for updated advice and guidance.
The next coming months will be a very difficult time for everyone, but it’s important to remember that love and kindness can go a very long way. Adhere to the rules and postpone your wedding if possible. Everybody deserves to celebrate that special moment in their life and we can still do that if we all stay strong and do the right thing during this tough time. Speak to your suppliers and vendors as they will guide you with making the right decision for your wedding day. Whilst marriages may be on hold for now, there is no harm in jumping online and continuing your dream wedding research. Before you know it, that day will arrive and we hope it’s a magical one!
The d’Italia Team xx