When Flattening the Curve has nothing to do with your waistline.

by | Apr 2, 2020

 

FLATTENING THE CURVE

Unless you have been living in no man’s land with absolutely no media contact, you will know by now that there is a big white elephant in the room. And no matter how we try to ignore this, it’s not going anywhere. We are talking self-isolation and quarantine – clearly two terms that are not at all conducive to weddings, or any other party for that matter.

Life has a strange way of throwing curveballs at us when we least expect it. Having a Coronavirus strike the world, around the time of your much-anticipated wedding, is one of them. We know that you have been planning this forever. More or less since you were three years old and put the net curtain on your head and tottered down the passage in mom’s high heels. All of the time you have just been waiting for Mr. or Ms. Right to come along. Then he/she does. And COVID-19 kind of arrives at the same time. Bummer.

 

SO WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?

(subject to the country not being in lockdown, which unfortunately also, now, seemed to have made your wedding dreams feel like it is doomed)

 

  • Your wedding can go ahead, with just the nearest family – less than ten people. This would have to be under the strictest of precautions and safety practices. Anyone who had to fly to the wedding or is traveling from abroad, will not be allowed at the wedding, as they are high-risk guests.

 

  • Arrange to have a cosy little ceremony, just the two of you. Include flowers, music, some canapes and bubbly, and live-stream or record the ceremony for your family and friends.

 

  • Don’t cancel – postpone. You really don’t want a nasty virus to be the main attraction at your wedding, and the talking point of the day. Your wedding day should be all about you – about love and joy. Not about feeling embarrassed because you don’t want to kiss and hug anyone. And equally important – you don’t want to lose any deposits you have paid to date.

 

 

IF YOU NEED TO POSTPONE – NEXT STEPS

A bit of level-headed crises management is called for, and depending on your number of guests, this un-enviable task can be distributed amongst yourself, the groom and perhaps a willing bridesmaid.

  • Telephone calls to postpone your wedding are always best, especially for the elderly family members. Peers may be alright with an official email or even a group Whatsapp – you will know your guest list and what would work best.
  • Contact overseas guests first. Perhaps they are already in lockdown. Hopefully, they haven’t booked their flights yet. Crossing fingers they can get a refund or ticket postponement. Many of our own airlines have a policy in place where you can cancel your current booking and retain a voucher for later use, for the same amount.

 

 

  • Next on the list are those who would have had to travel far.
  • If you have a wedding website or Facebook page, remember to update the info.
  • Speak to your venue to find an alternative date. There will be a mad rush for dates 6 months from now, so get in as quickly as possible.
  • Be flexible about a new date. There are only so many Saturdays left in 2020.
  • Contact your suppliers – DJ, décor, flowers and request a postponement.
  • Breathe – nothing is as important as your own health and the well-being of your guests. You don’t want to be that bride – the one who had one infected guest and 100 guests ended up in the hospital!

 

MADE IN CHINA

You would be surprised how our lives have been infiltrated by items made in China. That cute “Made in PRC” is just another way of saying “Made in the People’s Republic of China.” Unless you are a DIY queen, there is a very real chance that your wedding décor, small wedding gifts, shoes, and dress had its origin in China. You would be surprised at how many well-known SA labels source material and products in China.

Interestingly, around 80% of wedding dresses are made in China. This, according to the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association. So if you don’t already have a wedding gown hanging in the spare bedroom or are supporting a local designer, chances are that there will be a massive delay in the manufacturing and shipping of your gown – CNN reports that many factories in China will remain close for the next few months to attempt and curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

 

INTERNATIONAL TRENDS

America has been in the grips of COVID-19 a touch longer than us in South Africa, and it’s interesting to refer to their emerging trends:

Harpers Bazaar Magazine spoke to 15 luxury wedding Vendors: BAZAAR Bride’s top event designer David Beahm is quoted saying:  “… I believe that the end of this year is going to be extremely busy.” This certainly rings true for South Africa as well.

With only a handful of Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in December, brides should be prepared to look at mid-week dates where available.

In many cases, venues also offer a reduced venue hire rate for midweek weddings. Being a little bit flexible could certainly work to your advantage. We maintain that guests who want to be at your wedding will make a plan even if that means putting in a day’s leave.

REBOOKING YOUR WEDDING

Rather safe than sorry, many brides may choose to still stick to Coronavirus precautions, even if they book their wedding for much later in the year or even into 2021:

Outdoor weddings with tons of fresh air will be popular – sunlight and ventilation are both known to decrease viral transmission. Even when we are out of the woods, you may still want to consider spacing seats slightly further apart than usual.

Plated meals reduce the risk for the simple reason that only one person handles the plate. If serving a buffet-style meal, it’s worth asking guests to dish up with their own cutlery from the table. This prevents one utensil from being handled by many people.

The Coronavirus will still linger even when the worst is over in the form of a diminished cold or flue, so a little hand sanitizer gift would be a nice touch. Or have a sanitizer per table in a pretty personalised spritz bottle.

It goes without saying that bathrooms should have liquid soap and sanitizer available. Paper towels are the wiser option, as we all know that hand towels can be breeding grounds for germs. Washing your hands for 20 seconds, preferably in hot water is still the best way to clean up your act.

 

YOUR HONEYMOON

If you feel you have brain-fry like many of us do, traveling abroad is not something you want to even think about right now. As we speak, loved ones are stuck overseas and can’t return home due to lockdowns all over the world. Will we be free to travel in 6-months time? We don’t know.

For now, you can dream. Do your research, create lovely Pinterest boards of places you would love to visit and when things are back to normal you will know exactly where you want to book your honeymoon. Chances are that many destinations will be recovering from zero occupancies and offer good deals. Support local – this eliminates the risk of falling ill – and SA’s tourism industry will love you for it.

 

 

At the time of writing this article, the country has just been placed in lockdown.  Drastic times require drastic measures. But repeat this to yourself”: This too will pass. This too will pass.

Hopefully six months from now we will be out and about without any restrictions, wearing wedding frocks without masks ruining our looks.  We trust that our president’s actions will “Flatten the Curve”. And most importantly, there will be hugs and kisses on your wedding day

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

CHRISTA BADENHORST

She knows her Merlot from her Mojito, her hotel from her motel. From craft food to caviar, her innate curiosity about life and wanderlust provide inspiration for her blogs, articles and press releases about the travel, wedding and Spa industry. Over twenty years in the hotel marketing & PR arena with impressive hotel groups, from Dubai to Durbanville, has evolved into the pure enjoyment of freelance projects under the banner of About Branding.

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