What to do if coronavirus derails your wedding plans

The Coronavirus has disrupted just about everything in our daily lives, including major milestones like weddings, bar mitzvah’s and more.

FOX 11 Anchor Rita Garcia knows this first-hand. She and her fiancé, Sergio, planned a destination wedding for March of this year. But like thousands of other couples, they had to postpone the big event.

Wedding planner Erin Grace has scheduled, booked, and coordinated many weddings, but she never imagined a pandemic would derail her business like this.

"I have a couple of brides that think they’re still getting married in May," says Grace. "I don’t know what we are going to be doing in six months, and as optimistic as I want to be, I would just rather not want to see people hurt or lose money."

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The entire industry is on pause unless couples opt for a virtual or socially distant ceremony. Here in Los Angeles currently, City Hall is not even handing out marriage licenses.

Melody Chung and her fiancé George are one of the couples who had to face this tough decision. After nine years of dating and a "Harry Potter"-inspired proposal in London, Melody had planned to walk down the aisle on April 16th. But in the weeks leading up to the big day, they finally surrendered to the inevitable. 

"It was definitely a lot to process at first, like both of our families because we have a lot of family out of town," Chung says.  "Our honeymoon was booked. We were supposed to go on a week-long cruise in Europe."

Obviously, this was a huge disappointment for Melody and George and the thousands of other couples caught in the middle of it all.

We checked out the popular wedding planning website The Knot and found these tips:

  • Let your vendors know as soon as possible so you can coordinate future dates.
  • Create a plan to communicate with your guests.
  • Consider how you can help your guests when it comes to hotel deposits and travel refunds.
  • Let yourself grieve. It's ok to be disappointed.
  • Celebrate your day anyway, even if it's small. The date will always hold significance.

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Melody has a new date set for her wedding which will be in August, although no one knows what the state of our society will be by then.

FOX 11's Rita Garcia mentioned that she had a mentor helping with the planning, since she was working with others in different countries.

Rita also suggested for those doing destination weddings to look in your contract for a Force Majeure clause. It's a standard contract clause found in wedding venues and many vendor contracts. It exempts both parties from being required to carry out the contract because of circumstances that could not be anticipated or are beyond their control.

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