UPDATED: July 22, 2020 14:00 EST.
Well, this was an unexpected turn of events, wasn’t it? Who would have thought we’d be agonising over what to do when a global pandemic affects your wedding?
We understand what a disappointing time this is right now and our hearts are breaking for you knowing all the planning, love and care you’ve put into your special day.
But remember, YOUR LOVE FOR EACH OTHER IS NOT CANCELLED!
All your guests will have a reason to celebrate once we’re on the other side of this pandemic and your wedding will be the welcome celebration everyone is looking forward to!
Right now, though, it’s important to think practically and be sure everyone is following the health guidelines and gathering restrictions set by our government. With this in mind, we’ve put together some helpful information and resources for you to assist you in what to do next.
PLEASE NOTE: As everything is changing daily, we will endeavour to update the information as it evolves. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, you should visit the Australian Government website website. Details are correct as at Tuesday, March 24th EST. 22:15.
For details on the hilariously wonderful photo shoot geniuses behind these images that depict how we’re all feeling right now, scroll to the end of this post.
Find Support + Stay Connected
Please know you’re not in this alone! We have a fabulous community of brides planning their Sunshine Coast weddings in our free Facebook Group. 900+ brides are in the group sharing their stories, supporting one another and coming together in this tricky time.
The Bride’s Tree founders, Sal (me!) and Jen, are in there every day offering assistance and advice. We’re holding Zoom Meetings to have a chat, commiserate, offer answers, and to introduce you to vendors. So come and join in – we’ll get through this together!
Most of all, remember… Your love for each other hasn’t been cancelled and don’t forget how wonderful the celebration will be when we get on the other side of this pandemic!
Information for 2020 Weddings
The following information pertains to weddings and gatherings currently planned for Queensland. These are some considerations if your wedding is planned to go ahead in the next few months.
- Be sure to check the Queensland border restrictions if you or your guests are travelling from interstate. Currently people travelling from Covid-19 hotspots are not allowed entry into Queensland. Hot spots regularly updated here
- Interstate guests will need to apply for a Queensland border pass here
- From July 1st, a maximum of 100 guests can attend your wedding, social distancing of 1.5m still applies. More information here
- You and your venue will need to record contact information of all of those in attendance and keep for 56 days
- Anybody – guests or staff – who are not feeling well should not attend. It’s important you communicate this wish to your guests
- The couple getting married and their parents are allowed to dance, otherwise dancing is not permitted
- Buffet-style catering is not permitted. Sit-down meals are strongly encouraged
- More information on Queensland weddings can be found here
Tips to Navigate a Socially Distanced Wedding
- Encourage all your guests to download the COVID Safe App and communicate any and all social distancing expectations outlined by your venue.
- Try to seat your guests with people from their own household where possible. Check with your venue how many people can be seated at each table.
- Consider planning some activities to share in where you can remain socially distanced. Outdoor lawn games are a lot of fun for those utilising outdoor space. Ask your stylist if they have any for hire.
- Be sure to discuss the current restrictions with your venue.
If you Have to… Postpone, Don’t Cancel
The only thing more sad than losing your wedding date to this stinkin’ virus would be to give up on your wedding altogether. Your love still deserves a crazy beautiful celebration!
The wedding industry here on the Sunshine Coast is ready and willing to make your special day as magical as you always dreamed. Our team is in daily contact with local vendors, who are heartbroken for you – and concerned for their businesses. Small businesses and sole traders make up a large portion of Sunshine Coast wedding vendors, and many of them are the main income earners for their families.Those who work in this industry are mostly all small business owners with children. They are hurting throughout this, just like you and all of us. They are facing losing much, if not all of their income for the next six months. Larger businesses in the industry face trying to keep their staff paid and their doors open. This too is heartbreaking.
Now is the time to help support this incredible industry by changing your dates, not your plan to get married. Some ways you can be supportive include:
- If you are considering an elopement now, be sure to be following all safety and hygiene advice from the Department of Health
- When rescheduling, consider being flexible in choosing both the time of year and the day of the week. Have you heard Thursdays are the new Saturdays?
- As soon as you make the call to postpone, contact your venue first and then all your vendors to secure a date
- If you are in a position to, pay your deposits or some of your balance to help vendors with their cash flow and ultimately keep them in business. Consider regular payments leading up to your wedding – ask your vendors if this would help them
- Recommend your vendors to friends who might be planning their weddings in the future
- Be patient for responses – your vendors are dealing with a lot of emails, phone calls, and making lots of hard decisions right now
- Appreciate you may need to be okay with some changes to your day. For example, if you’re changing seasons, your flowers may no longer be in season, or the Covid-19 crisis may prevent them being able to be imported
- Know where you stand – review this information from the Office of Fair Trading and this information pertaining to business responses to Covid
“In ten years’ time you won’t remember the day of the week you were married, just that it was the wedding of your dreams… so don’t be shy of a weekday, the photos will be just as fabulous, your ceremony, party, flowers, gown, guests will all be the same as you’d dreamed.” – Suzanne Riley, Celebrant
Everyone will need a celebration after this pandemic is over – your wedding is going to be one of those weddings that everyone will be talking about for generations to come… For all the right reasons!
Hold Onto Your Excitement
No doubt this whole thing has put a dampener on your wedding planning, but right now what’s happening with needing to postpone for many of you is out of your hands. BUT – you can still keep planning every detail of your wedding. You can have so much more time to fine tune. Check out our blog, our free online magazine, and our Best Wedding Venues Guide for inspiration and practical wedding planning information and advice.
Where to Find the Best Information
The best thing you can do is arm yourself with information from the right resources. There’s so much misinformation out there, especially being shared around social media, so if you want the real information, keep up-to-date on all developments released by Prime Minister of Australia, Australian Government and reputable non-biased media like ABC News.
If you’ve been planning your Sunshine Coast wedding, you’ll know how amazingly dedicated, hard-working and accommodating our local vendors are. They are so ready and willing to help you with rescheduling your wedding, all in accordance with the new requirements put in place by our government to help flatten the curve.
For those who have booked their wedding in the next six months, it’s recommended to familiarise yourself with the Department of Health’s Advice for Organising Public Gatherings. This document has great advice on how to evaluate and minimise the risks involved in holding an event amidst the Covid-19 crisis.
The government has advised the bans on all non-essential public gatherings, which restrict you to 5 guests for indoor events with 4sqm in space for every one person (including vendors), is in place for six months. Therefore at present, those who have booked weddings from October 2020 onwards do not need to make changes to their wedding plans at this stage.
If your wedding is between now and October, consult your venue as soon as possible to discuss your options moving forward.
“Once you have postponed, get onto all of your suppliers with a new date, and be prepared to be flexible on the date, and the day of the week.” – Suzanne Riley, Celebrant