In the wake of the COVID-19 virus, these are unprecedented times we are living in with the government issuing strict advice regarding social distancing and the avoidance of large gatherings and now gatherings of more than 2 people (as of 23.3.20). People over the age of 70 or with underlying health conditions have also been advised to self isolate and the majority of us are in quarantine.
With COVID-19 dominating the news and the goalposts constantly moving with regard to recommended measures to be taken, 2020 brides and grooms will be worrying about how this will affect their special day so I have tried to anticipate your queries and answer some questions...
What should you do if your wedding falls in the months of April, May or June?
It is my understanding that this quarantine is to last for the minimum duration of 12 weeks so weddings that are due to take place in the aforementioned months will almost certainly be affected . At 8.30 pm tonight (23/3/2020) The Prime minister, Boris Johnson announced that all weddings are to be stopped for at least 3 weeks and at the end of this time this will be reviewed. Even if this is relaxed at the end of the 3 week period, large gatherings will still not be permitted as per social distancing, churches will not allow weddings of more than 5 people (including the priest) and any family member or friend over the age of 70 will not be able to attend as they will be self-isolating.
All of my April and most of my May couples have been in contact with me about moving their weddings and I have been able to accommodate them (at no additional charge).
I would really like to still photograph the weddings of all the lovely couples whom I expected to photograph this year so if your wedding falls in May or June please get in contact with me about what can be done and to find out my availability in the likely event that you need to postpone. The recent announcement made by Boris Johnson states that weddings that were due to take place in the next 3 weeks will no longer be allowed to take place and these restrictions may be lifted at the end of this period. However, I do believe that it is likely that government will extend these restrictions for the duration of the quarantine period so my advice would be to postpone at least until the end of the summer or the autumn.
I still have a few days left in the late summer and lots of availability for week days in 2020 and the most availability for the autumn/winter 2020. Other photographers will also be trying to accommodate their current clients so If I am unavailable for your chosen day later on in the year it is likely that other photographers will be too or they will be holding dates for current customers as I will be. All this uncertainty may mean that you would prefer to postpone your wedding to 2021 where there will be more summer options available to you. I am happy to transfer deposits across to this year and you will not have to pay the increased 2021 package prices.
What should you do if your wedding is due to take place after June
From what I have been reading the current restrictions (social distancing and self isolation) imposed prior to the lock-down may be extended beyond the 12 weeks as has been seen in other countries. I would recommend preparing yourself for a possible postponement and open up discussions with your venue and other suppliers about possible alternative dates. Keep an eye on the news and ensure you are aware of any changes or updates to our current situation. Please contact me as soon as you are aware of any changes to your wedding.
If you need to postpone what should you do?
If you need to postpone your wedding. It is worth first talking to your insurer to see whether you will receive a payout for any deposits paid that you may lose. Rest assured that your photography deposit is transferable to a new date at no extra cost. Talk to your venue about possible alternative dates to move your wedding to. If your venue is unable to host your wedding as a result of government mandate then it is my understanding that their insurers should be able to cover them for loss of income which would allow them to return your money, however, venues will be keen to retain your business and accommodate you with an alternative date.
What happens if I (the photographer) fall ill?
As with all illnesses I will turn to my community of photographers. My chosen photographer will shoot the wedding in my stead and provide me with the raw files which I will edit in my signature style once I am recovered.
What am I doing as your wedding photographer?
I will not be taking any new wedding photography bookings for 2020 anymore as any availability I have this year will be reserved for current clients looking to rearrange their date.
All deposits paid will be transferable to your new date at no extra cost
If I am unable to photograph your wedding on your new chosen date I will refund your money paid in full.
I will do everything in my power to ensure you get your perfect wedding pictures. If you dreamed of a spring/summer wedding and will now be getting married in the autumn/winter, I can still create stunning pictures in the autumn leaves or winter rain.
Please note that as I am rearranging weddings for periods when I am already very busy and for periods for which I wasn't planning on taking on additional weddings, delivery times of the final product may take longer than promised as my volume of editing work will be exponentially increased. I would be grateful for your patience and understanding and I will aim to complete edits as close to the deadlines as possible.
Sources and Useful articles