Today the Corona virus was classified as a Pandemic by the World Health Organisation. When news of the Corona virus first broke I was watching, waiting and observing all the information that was being published by the press. I decided to just sit it out, the last thing I wanted to do was add fuel to what seemed to be a media frenzy.
However with this announcement today, by the World Health Organisation, I feel now it is the time to show up and give you my thoughts and advice.
This blog post has been written by me, without Prejudice, merely based on my observations relating, particularly, to the destination wedding industry. It is paramount now to make sure people are safe and have as much knowledge as possible moving forward.
Some of my clients are reaching out to me to ask my advice, so here it is, as the situation currently stands.
Firstly to check your country’s government advice about travelling and keep an eye on the developing information which is changing constantly each day. At the moment the world is trying to reduce the spread of the Corona virus by limiting travelling between countries and now locking down countries such as Italy.
The authorities are also explaining that people, who still choose to travel, can return to their countries but may expect to go into quarantine. Each country’s information is different, depending how badly they are currently affected, so do check what your local authorities and governments are advising.
How long this will continue no one has any idea. Some are predicting it will be over in a month due to flu viruses not being prevalent in a warmer climate, others are suggesting it may take longer to recover from this and for everything to get back to normal.
The current situation here, in Spain, is clients whose weddings are in April are postponing to a new date either later in the year or next year. This is mainly due to the travel restrictions and fear now of travelling, not just from the couples, but also of their guests.
Most deposits paid to suppliers are being carried over to a new date. Contracts from wedding suppliers should include this in their cancellation and change of circumstances, so check the contracts you have with your suppliers. If you have hired a wedding planner they will be able to do this for you and negotiate the new dates, deposits being taken over, etc.
If your wedding is later, i,e, May and June, my advice is to check your wedding insurance and ask your wedding planner to see what options are available to you if you need to cancel or move your wedding date. Often deposits are non refundable in the event of a cancellation but can be moved to another later date within a year of your original wedding date if the suppliers are available.
If your wedding is later this year then chances are it will be fine as many of the larger companies are predicting life will be back to normal, certainly by the middle of the summer.
At the moment, due to the pandemic, many wedding insurance companies, such as John Lewis, have cancelled taking on any new policies. Many of the wedding insurance companies have stated they will start to offer them again late summer but this is not confirmed yet until they see a stabilisation.
Due to this unique situation, if you are sitting on the fence and thinking about planning a destination wedding then I would recommend you start sooner than later. This does sound like weird advice given the current state of everything but with all the weddings currently being postponed and moving to new dates later this year, or to 2021, it is increasing the demand on venues and suppliers for the following few years.
This means all the venues and suppliers are now being inundated with even more bookings next year, than previously known, as current weddings are moving dates as well as the usual bookings.
My personal thoughts are I hope this pandemic dies down soon and we can all enjoy a fabulous 2020 and a new decade, after what has been a pretty rough start. I wish everyone to stay safe, be sensible and listen to what is being advised to you and if anyone has any questions, even if they are not one of my clients, you can always pop me over an email.