Things aren’t exactly back to the norm right now, but you can still start planning your wedding the old fashioned way, with a few tweaks and covid-smart considerations along the way.
You’ll follow the traditional steps of first mapping out the basics — like your budget, guest list, location, and time of year — then move onto finding your venue and booking the most important suppliers for your 2021 wedding.
What’s different about planning a wedding during covid? “For starters, you’ll probably want to go into planning with a flexible attitude about your plans,” says wedding planner Lily Jenkins of Easy Weddings. Without knowing when the pandemic will be over, or when a vaccine will be widely rolled out across Australia, having a resilient plan is an excellent way to get started with your wedding plans in this particular moment.
“You’ll also want to get on top of planning soon because many couples who’d initially planned 2020 weddings had to move their dates to 2021,” says lead planner Darcy Burch of Easy Weddings. “And now that engagement season is here, there’s a whole new set of engaged couples also looking for similar dates that may be taken by last year’s couples.”
One of the most significant pain points for couples this year is staying on top of the latest Covid-safe wedding rules and changes. To help with this, Easy Weddings regularly updates a Covid Wedding Restrictions Tracker, taking each state’s unique rules and latest responses into account.
Once you’re up to date with your region’s rules, it’s time to jump into the top three steps to take you from engagement bliss to having your 2021 wedding plans started.
Step 1: Plan the basics — budget, guest list, location, season
Planning the basics of your wedding will always include the same factors. Your budget, guest list, location, and the time of year you’d like to have your wedding are the most important questions to answer first. Everything else flows smoothly from there.
To plan your wedding budget, our wedding planners recommend using a Budget Calculator and having the right budget conversations with your partner and families early in the process.
Once you have a clear idea of what you can spend, you and your partner can start working on a guest list for your wedding. During Covid, restrictions have been placed on guest numbers, as determined by state governments and the most recent numbers. Our wedding planners recommend keeping up with wedding guest list restrictions throughout the planning process and keeping in regular communication with your venue.
“For most couples who are planning a 2021 wedding, it’s all about picking the right date so that their closest friends and family can attend, whether from across the country or from other parts of the world,” says Darcy. “Some couples who have more overseas guests are planning their wedding dates for mid or late 2021, while 2022 venue bookings are also starting to ramp up.”
As for when you’ll tie the knot, it’s usually easiest to go into your wedding venue search with an idea of the time of year rather than a perfect date. This will allow you to have more flexibility with whatever venue you find you love. Many couples with 2021 wedding plans are considering non-Saturday weddings too, as the dates are more likely to be available with their favoured venue and with so many people working from home, it’s easier than ever for guests to attend a weekday wedding.
Step 2: Find your wedding venue
Once all the basics are covered, you’ll want to find an Australian wedding venue that’s flexible, includes indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, and follows the latest Covid-safety protocols. The quickest way to do this is to work with a Venue Finder who can give you a fast run-through of which venues in your area fit the brief (Easy Weddings doesn’t charge couples for this service).
“We usually encourage couples to see at least three venues in person,” says Venue Specialist Shea McInerney. “Most of them know exactly what they’re looking for in a venue by the second site inspection, so it gets a lot easier for our Venue Finders to pinpoint their dream venue from there.”
Step 3: Book the most important wedding suppliers
Once you book your venue, it’s time to get those essential wedding suppliers locked in, then you can take a break from the planning for a little while. Most couples book their photographer, celebrant, videographer, musician, and wedding planner early as soon as their date and venue are secured.
At Easy Weddings, we offer wedding packages that include all of these suppliers in one discounted package special that’s exclusive to our customers. One of the biggest reasons 2021 wedding couples love this service is that they have a free wedding planner who will help them reschedule if their wedding date has to change for any reason whatsoever, Covid included.
Lily says, “We work with suppliers that are always on top of the latest Covid rules and regulations so that our couples are comfortable working with them. We have an agreement with the suppliers that allows couples to reschedule their wedding as long as the suppliers are available for the new date. If they’re not available, we’ll help the couple find a similar supplier who doesn’t have the new date booked.”
Again, planning a wedding during Covid is all about having a resilient plan, and wedding packages present a way to have exactly that while still having a customised experience from start to finish.