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WEDDINGS: A TIME OF UNCERTAINTY

1. Understanding COVID-19 and staying informed

It’s all over the news, inundating our televisions and social media devices. For those of you who are planning weddings, it can be a very large burden knowing the uncertainty of the future and how it will all pan out. Staying positive and staying organized is key.

COVID-19, spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose becoming airborne when an infected person sneezes or coughs. It’s important to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcoholic based hand-sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable, and avoid touching your face. The virus has an incubation period of 1 to 14 days so anyone who suspects they might be sick, should stay home and practice self-isolation.

Knowing all of this, if you have a summer wedding, it might be in your best interest to postpone your event. As of March 20, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is recommending postponing events of 50 or more at least for the next 8 weeks, which would bring us to the end of May. This timeframe can be extended at any time based on further recommendations from the CDC.

2. Maintain clear and constant communication with your guests

It’s a good idea to keep yourself organized during the entirety of your wedding planning. Here are a couple of ways you can keep your guests updated on the status of your event:

· Ensure you have your guests contact info: Keep an updated spreadsheet of your guests addresses. You may need to send updated cards with new dates and times. 

· Create a dedicated social media account or group chat: By creating a private group on Facebook or having a private Instagram account, you can keep your guests updated on any changes. If your wedding is outside the U.S., a popular messaging app is WhatsApp. It can come in handy for international weddings if your guests do not have access to their cell phone plans. 

· Send a postponement card: If you already sent out your wedding invitations, there is no need to re-do them. You can simply send out a postponement card that would have the updated day and time of your wedding. 

3. Assess your situation

Many couples are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to their wedding during this global pandemic. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

· Event date: If your wedding is in early summer, you should more than likely consider postponing or having a small ceremony with only your closest family. Postponing to a later date might seem like a hassle, but keep in mind that most vendors are being very lenient with their cancellation policies. Many venues are letting their couples change the date without any penalty. The same applies to other vendors like caterers, photographers, planners, etc. We are in a global crisis and the majority of people understand how severe this situation has become. Call your vendors and they will most likely find a way to accommodate you. 

· Location & activity: Per the CDC, if you are living in a high risk area for COVID-19 then you should completely cancel any gatherings of 10 people or more. If there is a minimal to moderate level of community transmission then mass gatherings of 250 or more should be canceled. Ultimately the decision to have your wedding should be thoughtfully considered knowing the safety guidelines that have been established for this pandemic.

· Your guests: The safety and health of your guests is key. Elderly family members or those who are immunocompromised are at a higher risk from suffering complications if they contract COVID-19. You can keep everyone updated on the status of your event by posting on a wedding website, social media site or sending a mailed card. 

4. What to Know if You're Planning a Wedding During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Experts in the wedding industry are not recommending you change plans if your wedding is taking place after the recommended eight-week ban. If your wedding is in June or after, consider not postponing. With that being said, there are still a couple of things you should be keeping in mind in case plans change. 

· Wedding dress: 80% of Western wedding dresses are produced in China and most orders are backlogged due to the coronavirus. Deliveries of wedding dresses are seeing delays but the bridal industry remains hopeful. The dresses might arrive late, meaning there will be less time for alterations but keep an open line of communication with your wedding dress supplier. They might be able to put a rush on alterations and have it finished in time for your wedding.

· Catering: If you are continuing with your wedding plans, you may want to discuss safety concerns with your caterer. You may want to see what other options you have besides serving the food buffet style. Ask your caterer about alternatives. This also applies to your cake, as you may not want to have it on display for a long time before serving.

· Entertainment: While hiring a DJ/band and dancing is traditional at weddings, this may not be the safest form of entertainment for your guests during a pandemic. You may want to consider other forms of entertainment or reduce the opportunities people have to engage closely with each other by limiting the music to play mainly in the background or for the only dancing to be the Father-Daughter, Bride-Groom, etc… If you have already hired an entertainment service talk to them to see how they can accommodate your change of plans.

· What to do on your wedding day to help protect your guests: Provide your guests with alcohol based hand-sanitizer and remind them to cough into their elbows and to frequently wash their hands.

 

5. How to politely communicate to your guests of any changes

Here are a couple of templates that you can use:

· If you are postponing -  “In light of the current outbreak, we have decided for the safety of our guests, to postpone our wedding until (month). We will keep our guests updated on our wedding website (name of website). Thank you for your patience in this difficult and uncertain time. We cannot wait to celebrate with you!”

· If you are canceling – “We have made the difficult decision to cancel our wedding due to the current global pandemic. Our priority is the safety of our guests and we do not wish to put you in harm’s way. We hope you understand and please stay safe!”

· If you are moving forward as planned – “After thoughtful consideration, we have been advised that a (month) wedding should be safe. Please RSVP as you normally would. If you are booking accommodations or traveling by air, we recommend checking the cancelation policy first. We will keep our guests updated on our wedding website (name of website). If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us - our contact information is below. Thank you for your patience and we hope to see you soon!”

· If you are not very sure – “To our family and friends, we are thoughtfully evaluating whether we should move forward with our wedding. We will keep you updated of any changes via (wedding website, social media site or other form of communication). Thank you for your patience while we navigate through this!”

6. What is Tulle & Chantilly doing to help?

We want all of our customers to know that Tulle & Chantilly is closely monitoring news reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about the COVID-19 virus and we are taking precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of our customers and employees. Our team is hustling hard—remotely—to ensure that it’s business as usual, and that COVID-19 will not affect our ability to serve you day in and day out. We are here for you.

All new and current orders will be processed normally. Usually it takes 4-5 weeks for processing and 3-5 days for shipping. The delivery time of rush order is around 20 days.

Our Customer Care team is available to help via email at [email protected] or livechat. We are available Monday - Friday, from 8:30AM to 5:30PM EST.

Please take care and be safe. We wish you all the best!