We did it! 2020 is over and now we can forget about everything and plan weddings any which way we want! ::insert sarcasm here:: New Year. Same pandemic. Unfortunately, when it comes to your beautiful NJ wedding, we still need to plan around this pandemic. Before you book, a few questions to ask for COVID-19 weddings in New Jersey.
Last spring, many New Jersey wedding planners were between a rock and a hard place. How does one give advice to clients on something that never existed before? You gather the information at hand, you gather past experiences and guide your clients. With the ever-changing guidelines for indoor and outdoor weddings and gatherings in New Jersey, each individual client had their own obstacles. This is how we were able to help clients and guide them on their individual journeys and find what was right for them as a couple.
Now, there is positivity on the horizon. Even with more experience navigating through New Jersey Covid restrictions and precautions for Jersey Shore weddings, it is still best to be prepared before you book your venue. The question “what is your back-up weather plan” is now a slew of topics related to safety, sanitation, and social distancing requirements.
If you are newly engaged and looking to book your NJ wedding in 2021, here a few questions to ask before booking your venue.
COVID-19 Weddings in New Jersey: Questions to Ask Before Booking Your Wedding Venue.
Back-Up Weather Plan
If you are planning an indoor reception, be sure to ask the following questions. These are typical back-up weather plan questions, but they also serve to ease your mind if indoor dining is completely cancelled. At least you can rest assured you can move your wedding outside instead of cancelling or postponing your date.
- Do you have outdoor seating? What is the capacity?
- Does your outdoor space include tent, umbrella, heaters, etc. rental costs?
Sanitation & Event Planning Questions
Venues vary as much each couple getting married. Be sure to ask specific questions about sanitation requirements. One venue may do more than another, but all venues must comply with NJ guidelines.
- Is hand sanitizing stations included in the price or do we have to bring our own for the event?
- Is there a mask and/or glove requirement for staff?
- How many guests are permitted to sit at each table?
- What is your Covid cleaning plan?
- Do you have proper ventilation? Are there any air purifiers?
Postponements, Cancellations and Deposits
Most venues already have a cancellation or postponement clause in their contracts. It is always good to discuss this face-to-face to receive clarity.
- What are the details for postponement? How many times can we postpone?
- Are deposits refundable?
- Are there any additional associated fees for postponements due to the pandemic?
Expectations, Openness & Transparency
Sometimes emotion overpowers our ability to be able to see clearly. The emotion behind cancelling your wedding is devastating. A once in a lifetime event that you have planned forever is now gone. We understand the level of emotion here.
Our best advice is to plan your wedding with expectations. We are Jersey Shore wedding planners. Our duty to our clients is to educate on all things wedding so you make a better-informed decision.
Learn about wedding costs. Learn about typical vendor contracts. Go into planning knowing that there is a risk for booking and making agreements with businesses.
Be open with your venue (and your vendors). Let them know exactly what you are looking for as your ideal wedding, but also tell them that you understand the restrictions. Be open that some businesses may not return your deposit. That is a risk for both client and venue. But, if you come into the planning process with valuable knowledge (knowing the circumstances and not blindly signing a contract), the conversation between all will be much less emotional and more based on logic.
Remember, everyone is in this together. Businesses are struggling while couple’s dreams are being shattered. No one wins when we are defensive and argue.
Most importantly, have the expectation that, no matter what, if at the end of the day you are married to the one you love, no matter if it’s a big over-the-top luxury event or a specially curated elopement for two, being together is all that matters.