The ultimate bridal checklist: How to plan your wedding virtually during the pandemic
2020 will go down in the pages of history as the year of many firsts — this was probably the first summer that your Instagram feed wasn’t taken siege by endless visuals of destination weddings in idyllic locales. The global lockdown brought social gatherings to a complete halt, but if you managed to resist the urge to have a quickie wedding over Zoom, now is the time to bring the wedding of your dreams to life. As the world finds ways to adjust to the new normal, you can use this time to get some essential wedding planning tasks done. Here’s a complete step-by-step guide for planning your dream wedding without ever getting off the couch:
Step #1: Check in with your vendors
If you’ve followed our previous guide on how to postpone your wedding, you’ll have a revised date to look forward to by now. Once you’ve locked in the date, it is time to touch base with your vendors and update your contracts with them. From florists to photographers, dates are going fast for 2021, and you’ll want to go the extra mile by dropping them a message with your revised vision for the big day to ensure that everyone’s on the same page.
Step #2: Create a revised wedding budget
The aftermath of the pandemic has left a flurry of big changes in its wake. Destination weddings have been moved to venues closer home, and social distancing is now being factored into weddings taking place in the immediate future. In keeping with your revised plan for the wedding, it is essential to create a framework for the budget. Whether you like to map out all expenses on a spreadsheet or you’re more of a pen-and-paper kind of person, allot accurate amounts for all variables involved.
Step #3: Go local wherever possible
From wedding invite designers based abroad to international couturiers, the unprecedented disruption in international travel can put your plans on indefinite hold. The unpredictable delays in swatching and sample pieces can kick off a domino effect that can potentially disrupt your wedding timeline. Wherever possible, try looking for local alternatives whom you can count on to begin work right away.
Step #4: Find your dream outfit virtually
Thanks to the many wonders of technology, you can plan your bridal ensemble right from the comfort of your couch. As the world goes back to normal after an extended lockdown, the manhunt for the outfit of your dreams can carry on uninterrupted over video calls. Most bridal couturiers are offering virtual consultations and fitting sessions as well. Don’t be afraid to get into specifics — how does a particular fabric move? Can fabric swatches be sent to you by courier? — and remember to have your mother or a trusted bridesmaid along on the video call, if you’d like a second opinion.
Step #5: Pay attention to the details
It is an undeniable fact that the pandemic has triggered a sense of nostalgia, as the world found a way to stay more connected than during a nationwide lockdown. And for the biggest day of your life, you can look to sentimental finishing touches for your dream ensemble. Perhaps it’s a refashioned heirloom that your grandmother wore to her nuptials or a contemporary way to drape the dupatta from your mother’s bridal lehenga — use this time to work those details to meticulous perfection.
Step #6: Plan your revised wedding aesthetic
With a revised date in hand, the wedding moodboard will require certain updates as well. If your winter wedding has been rescheduled for early spring, have a word with your florist about the fresh seasonal options available. Photography booths, wedding favours and decor can all be reworked to reflect the change in seasons. It pays to work out a detailed plan right away so that your vendors have adequate time to adapt to the changes.
Step #7: Get to know your wedding photographer
Your wedding photographer is responsible for documenting the most important day of your life for posterity, and it is essential that everyone is on the same page creatively. Use this time to understand your photographer’s working style, discuss the revised aesthetic for the wedding and to convey what’s important to you. This will ensure that you’re relaxed in front of the camera on the big day to capture the memory of a lifetime.
Step #8: Create an online registry
With travel plans thrown into disarray and an uncertain future, your wedding guests likely have plenty to plan already. Simplify the gifting process by creating an online registry for shortlisting things you like — whether it’s houseware for your marital home, honeymoon funds or newlywed mementoes. Remember to involve your partner to ensure that your new home is filled with pieces you both like. It also helps to plan a format for the thank you note in advance, so that it’s ready to be sent after the gifts are delivered.
Step #9: Create a wedding website
The future looks uncertain, and there could likely be a couple more changes to be factored into your wedding plans before the big day arrives. A wedding website is a great way to help guests get to know each other and streamline the flow of information. You can also choose to set up an alerts system for any changes in the wedding plans, so your guests can prepare accordingly.
Step #10: Throw a virtual party
Whether you’ve just said yes and are looking to celebrate your engagement or the wedding date is nearing and a girls’ night is in order, a virtual party can be every bit as fun as a physical one. Before all the wedding preparation chaos takes over, treat yourself to a night of unwinding with your girls by opting for coordinated outfits and sipping on the same cocktail. It also pays to plan a few icebreakers to help your friends from around the globe get to know each other better before the big day.