Shelly Pate

How To Plan a Wedding in 2021

Planning a wedding during a global pandemic with unexpected restrictions, quarantines, and closures has been quite the challenge. It’s been necessary for wedding vendors and couples alike to think creatively in order to accommodate the ever-changing rules and limitations. Here is my best advice for planning a wedding especially in the unpredictable climate of 2021.

Do Something Small Now, Something Larger Later

Planning for a wedding is inherently challenging since it’s impossible to predict every possible hiccup that could happen. That’s why being flexible and open to pivoting your plans is so crucial! 

If the giant wedding of your dreams is not presently possible, but you don’t wish to postpone it entirely, you can celebrate with a small group of family and friends instead. Choose your nearest and dearest, planning for an intimate celebration closer to home. You can still make this petite wedding special and epic while setting aside a bigger event for a later time. Don’t believe me? Check out these beautiful intimate weddings!

Make Use Of What Is Available to You

Think about what you already have access to without any restrictions or dependency upon a certain kind of location. What does your backyard look like? Does your apartment building have an accessible rooftop? Do you have a friend who has an awesome modern or rustic space they could loan to you for a day? 

Think about it, if it is a space you already own or have access to, you can have free reign! You’ll have complete freedom with the decor without anyone telling you there is some part of your vision that you can’t do. You can make it really stylish and transform a basic space into something beautiful!

If you’re local, Washington, DC is one of only a limited number of locations (only nine states do this) where you can marry yourself. A self-uniting marriage is where the couple can get married without the presence of a third party officiant and only one of you needs to sign the marriage certificate. This means you can get married anywhere you like in Washington, DC!

Don’t Wait Too Long to Book Vendors

Due to all the 2020 wedding postponements, vendors are extra booked up for 2021. Don’t wait too long to reach out, especially to book vendors like your photographer who can only accommodate one wedding per day. Look for outdoor vendors that will allow for guests to spread and enable an even larger guest list. Venues like the National Arboretum in Washington, DC or Goodstone Inn in Middleburg, VA would both be perfect for an outdoor wedding! 

You can also consider indoor venues that are meant to hold intimate weddings such as the Maketto restaurant or Republic Restoratives. These wedding venues will feel intimate and cozy while giving you enough space to enjoy celebrating with a small group of guests.

Hire a Wedding Planner

I feel so strongly about this, no matter how large, small, simple, or extravagant your wedding day may be–you need a wedding planner! Don’t just take my word for it, check out my conversation with DC Metro area wedding planner Noelle Ahmad-Snedegar

Let me repeat, wedding planners are NOT just for large weddings. They can help with any size wedding even down to a two-person elopement. Now more than ever, with the unpredictability of wedding planning, these planners are needed to juggle all the details. A wedding planner can help with all things from venue options, vendors, to styling, and so much more

Sign up for Wedding Insurance

Acquiring wedding insurance is a lesser-known tip but has become necessary especially in the past year due to so many cancellations, reschedules, and changes. You’ll insure your car or your home but so many couples don’t think to insure a wedding even though it can be such a significant financial investment. 

If you are hosting your wedding at a venue, there is a possibility that they could be forced into new restrictions that might cause you to either postpone or change venues entirely. When you have to change your wedding date, you lose your non-refundable deposits. Certain kinds of wedding insurance cover this and can be very inexpensive, averaging $200-500.

Keep in mind that there are different forms of wedding coverage. If you are worried specifically about a cancellation or postponement, then make sure you have a cancellation insurance policy, which is different than general coverage. You are putting a lot of time, effort, and money into this wedding and all of that should be protected!

Be Proactive

Be transparent and up front with all of your vendors, including your photographer, whenever a change occurs. Reach out to your vendors the moment you are even considering changing any plans or the wedding date itself. Many vendors will coordinate for a backup option that will allow you to transfer everything over with ease. This is only made possible by keeping your vendors in the loop.

Here’s an Example

If you don’t believe me, check out these two: Gabriella & Nick couldn’t wait to get married so they reached out to a family friend and French Ambassador who hosted their petite wedding ceremony at his estate. The couple’s wedding party was there to celebrate in such classy attire! 

Gabriella & Nick had purchased their first home together so they held their reception under a tent in their own backyard! These two rented all the amazing furnishings from Something Vintage, including a full bar set up! They had an amazing catered dinner, signature cocktails, and a first dance under the stars! They said it was perfect in every way. It made it even better to have their day tied to their home, where their love is just going to continue to grow. 

Are you considering an intimate wedding or elopement? Check out these three questions you should ask before you start planning!

The Team

Florals | Wander + Whimsy
Rentals | Something Vintage

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