Updated: Mar 17
Given the current situation of the world, our country, and our state, it is now a fact that if your wedding takes place over the next two months then you need to postpone it. At this time, it’s likely that you will need to postpone your wedding without yet knowing the date to which you will reschedule it. That is because we really don’t know how long the COVID-19 infection will take to die out. As of now, scientists and epidemiologists are estimating between 8 weeks and 4 months. That puts us well into the summer and the peak of the wedding season. That is a lot of weddings.
In just the city of Snohomish there are approximately 24 wedding venues who host an average of 2 events per weekend. With a 16 week summer season that would total 768 weddings. This estimate doesn’t include venues with indoor only options who can function year round. Remember, this was just one CITY in the Puget Sound / Pacific Northwest wedding industry. There are thousands of couples whose weddings are now up in the air on when, or if, they are going to happen.
While we are in this time of uncertainty, it is vital that we as wedding professionals and business owners are quick to provide our couples with information. We need to look at this situation honestly and realize that we are going to have to work with our customers to postpone and reschedule their events. And while, contractually, most of us are not obligated to reschedule for our clients, ethically it is absolutely the right thing to do. In addition, we need to work together as vendors and a community to pause our lives, in a very disruptive way, during this major crisis. When it is over, we must do our best to make as many postponed weddings happen as possible.
Couples, you should take the time to read your vendor and rental contracts. In most event contracts there is a paragraph that sates the vendor is not liable for natural disasters, acts of god, nature, or person that cause your wedding to not take place. This is the exact situation that paragraph is for. For our safety as a community at large, events over 50 people must be cancelled or rescheduled if it is to take place in the next 8 weeks, or longer if deemed necessary. You are probably not going to get a refund if your event is cancelled with your venue or vendors. They may offer to reschedule your event, but if they already have an event the day you reschedule to, they don’t owe you a refund if the contract you signed states that. I understand that this will be a frustrating process, but please remember that your wedding professionals are human beings doing their best in a time of crisis. The industry and individual businesses have no control over the government ordered closings.
Vendors, now is the time to be proactive and look at this situation for what it is. Make your action plan now for how you are going to handle cancellations, postponements, and rescheduling. Send out an email and a phone call to your couples - before they call you panicked. Couples, now is the time to grieve for what is happening away from your phone and computer. Then, remember that the small businesses you are working with have no control over what’s happening before you reach out to contact your vendors and see what their action plan is.
This is going to be an incredibly stressful time for the event industry, for a multitude of reasons. It’s a probability that many small businesses will not be able to reopen after this. It’s probable that many couples won’t have a good experience rescheduling their wedding at the end of the bans on gatherings. If we do our best to work together as a community, we can ease the stress that the Coronavirus is putting on our lives.
Before we get to the plan, I want to remind you what your wedding is all about - the relationship you and your partner have built up to this point, and the life you plan to live together after your marriage. Keep this context close during this time of stress and crisis. Even if your wedding doesn't happen when you expected it, the relationship that the wedding is all about is still present. You'll get through this.
For Paeonia Pines Couples
If you are booked with me and need to postpone or cancel your wedding due to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, here's the plan:
Postponing Your Wedding: We will sign a contract amendment that states you are rescheduling your wedding and continuing the contract until that date. We will note that a date will be selected as soon as the government has lifted the gathering ban and events can take place again. Whatever your date is, I'm going to make it work. This will extend your adjustment period so that you can make changes on quantities until 4 weeks before your new date.
Cancelling Your Wedding: We will sign a contract amendment that states you are canceling your wedding and your floral services order. As I described in the article above, I cannot provide you a refund if you cancel your wedding. For my business, when I receive a booking payment it goes towards the preseason purchases of supplies for floral design and growing your flowers. What I will do is provide you credit of the value of your deposit towards flowers, bouquets and arrangements in the summer. You'll still receive flowers that you've already paid for.
As of right now, I am still providing delivery flower services in Marysville, Everett, and Lake Stevens. The best way to order is on the Shop Flowers page.