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WHEN COVID-19 CRASHES YOUR WEDDING 

By  Celeste Aguilar

When wedding planners, venues, and other essential suppliers start wondering about what to do with couples who are forced to postpone or cancel their wedding amid the coronavirus pandemic, the entire wedding industry is thrown into a state of uncertainty.

The virus may have caught everyone offguard and the global lockdown may have put the world at a standstill, but many couples still hang on with an unwavering faith, hoping to get married sooner or later.

So, in the middle of these turbulent times, we gather the personal views of some wedding suppliers and soon-to-wed couples about how they are coping and how they envision weddings and events would be like after COVID-19.

We hope you’ll be comforted by their messages of love and commitment, and be encouraged by their plans for future celebrations.

As most are doing, we are taking several steps to save our existing weddings and events by facilitating any needed postponements with venues (both for the ceremony and reception), checking the availability of suppliers about the change of dates, and revising contracts to reflect such changes. We are also more proactive in reassuring couples that we just need to bide our time and let this play out, and that we will continue to be there for them. Financially, it has negatively impacted the budget of most events, especially for weddings, since some venues are not refunding or allowing changes of event date. Post COVID-19 weddings will have more couples conscious of policies and rules regarding postponements and cancellations in the contracts of venues and suppliers. Event insurance should also be looked into, as well as other means affecting the wedding budget.—Rita Neri, events and wedding planner

The nice thing about weddings, as cheesy as it may sound, is that they are rooted in love. While the actual event may have been affected, the love is not.  Because of this, weddings don’t get cancelled. They simply get postponed to a better date. That, however, is the main challenge for couples: to find a new date where they can retain the services of all or most of their original suppliers.
Suppliers, on the other hand, are in no better state and are feeling the effects of this crisis, too. For a lot of us, no weddings means no income. Others are even obliged to return some payments. This is not a great time for the wedding industry, as it is for many other industries. But I’m not worried because if there are groups of people who would overcome this crisis, ours would surely be one of them. We are a strong, resilient, and creative bunch.—Atom Ungson, wedding host

 

I think weddings and events in general will be simpler and more practical, in a sense that clients will be more conscious about where their money will go. Weddings will also have a more heartfelt atmosphere, considering that everyone of us, wherever you may come from, have been affected by this crisis. We will see families getting together to hold a more meaningful celebration. We will see engaged couples, treating their wedding in a new light and with a renewed sense of purpose. —Christine Ong-Te, events and wedding coordinator

I’m being open and accepting to my clients. I support them on moving the wedding to a later date. I’m positive that the cure for the virus is coming really soon. When the lockdown started I never stopped accommodating clients. At this time of need, I also sold my bridal dressing robes online and gave 30 percent of the proceeds to our frontliners.—Happy Andrada, fashion designer

After this pandemic, in my point of view, things will slowly go back to normal. Perhaps, couples would opt to make their weddings simpler and more practical. Our economy will be affected by this crisis. As designers, just like any other wedding supplier, we have to patiently adjust and cope.  We are all in the middle of an uncertain situation, and I believe we should all aspire to program ourselves to have a positive mindset. —Jo Rubio, fashion designer

I believe that after the lockdown, events would be more meaningful. —Gideon Hermosa, event stylist

We have strongly insisted on moving all our 2020 events to the last quarter of the year until early 2021.

As their wedding planner, I take the role of a figure of authority to establish the social responsibility and moral obligation among my clients to put their lavish and extravagant plans in their proper place during this difficult time.

We have endured several crises in our lifetime and even those that came before us, which only means that weddings will continue to be beautiful despite the troubles of these past few months. Weddings may take a turn to simplicity or they may make a steady stride to over-the-top celebrations in time, but the constant drive for all this will always be love. And no matter what circumstance comes our way, love will and should be celebrated. —Treena Barretto, wedding and events specialist

We continuously welcome clients and inquiries. We keep ourselves relevant by being visible on social media. I recently uploaded tutorial videos on my YouTube channel (#teddymanuelexperience) for people to follow, to continuously inspire them.
For me, weddings and events are celebrations of life’s milestones and we’re hopeful that people will continue to do that once the pandemic is over. There might be some adjustments, and some couples would prefer to spend on essentials as their budget might be affected, but it will normalize with time. —Teddy Manuel, event stylist
Niceprint has joined some campaigns like #SaveEventsPh and participates in some fund raising projects that will benefit our frontliners and the employees of the wedding companies who need the most help. I also still conduct some online meetings with our couples and try to finish what we can at this time. Though everything looks so dark and hopeless now, I believe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. —Charisse Tinio, Niceprint Photography

When we first heard of the pandemic back in December, we honestly thought it would never reach the Philippines, since it was happening all the way in China. But when the virus began making its way to our country in January and February, I started to get really nervous. And when it began getting worse in March, we could barely concentrate on anything because we kept thinking about our event, everyone’s safety, and what we should do. Miguel and I were scheduled to get married on March 27, 2020. President Duterte announced a nationwide lockdown on March 13, just two more weeks ’til our big day.

Everything was prepared, our suppliers were ready, my family and friends from the US, Canada, Australia, Cebu, all their flights and hotels were booked. On March 14, Miguel and I made the difficult decision that it was best that we postpone our wedding until the virus has been resolved. It was a very emotional time because we were so looking forward to celebrating with all our family and friends. Also, Miguel and I have waited almost 11 years already. But the last thing we want is to put any of the people we love at risk. We made this decision with full confidence that the number one priority is health and safety. —Miguel Montelibano and Pamela Carunungan, soon-to-wed couple

Our wedding was supposed to be held in Italy on Oct. 3 2020.  At first, we were uncertain on how to proceed because we didn’t know exactly how COVID-19 was going to unfold. What we did was we spoke to our wedding planner and asked her for her suggestions, agreed on a timeline on when to make a final decision, and also asked our friends and family about what they thought about it. Luckily our family and friends loved us that even though some of them had bought their tickets already, they said that they would follow whatever decision we made about the possibility of changing the dates. When Italy did their lockdown, we decided to put off the wedding for a later date but agreed that we would hold our private ceremony under the Church as soon as we could.

We have spoken with our wedding planner and have relayed to the suppliers that we are pushing the wedding to next year or until further notice. We will wait for the next few months to make a final decision on the date and go from there.

The pandemic may have changed our plans on when to celebrate our wedding day but it definitely did not change the objective of why we are going to do it. As we have chosen to share this most important moment of our life with our dear friends and family, have chosen the suppliers who will handle the event for us and where it would be, we will still do it as planned but at a later, better date. —Rudy Bellota and Jessica Palmiano, soon-to-wed couple



Source: Manila Bulletin ( https://lifestyle.mb.com.ph/2020/04/14/when-covid-19-crashes-your-wedding/)

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