I Do…? Coronavirus Says “I Don’t”

For the most part, little girls dream of their wedding day. This day is “supposed” to be one of the best days of their life—a day where they get to celebrate starting a new life together with their life partner. It’s a day to celebrate love with friends and family. But what happens when that big day just so happens to come around during the COVID-19 pandemic? Well, it says “I Don’t” when you should be saying your “I do’s”. 

For some people, it’s not a huge deal. They were going to have a courthouse wedding anyways, instead of a big to-do with a ceremony and a big reception. Except there’s a problem. The courthouses generally aren’t allowing wedding ceremonies to go forward as part of the scaling back we are seeing on a state-wide basis here in Illinois, so you should check with your specific county if they are allowing weddings at this time. If you obtained your marriage license in Illinois and it is set to expire during the state-wide scale-backs, contact the relevant County Clerk’s office to determine what will happen with that—will you be able to get a socially-distanced ceremony, or will you have to wait until after this blows over? Don’t assume because your marriage license is set to expire that they will accommodate you. 

For others, it’s a big deal. They have been planning, and preparing, and saving for their big day. Some couples have decided to “go with the flow” and get married at their courthouse (if that’s an option) or find other ways to move forward with their wedding on a much smaller scale—perhaps live streaming the intimate ceremony to loved ones, or simply sharing the pictures from the special day. Others have postponed their wedding until it is safe to do so, many opting for all the way into 2021. In either situation, couples are making sacrifices. Couples aren’t getting the day they imagined and worked hard for. 

Many couples are even losing out on deposits they have made with certain vendors or venues when having to re-schedule their big day. Some couples are having to pay an additional deposit in order to hold their rescheduled (or back-up date). You need to have a frank and candid conversation with your venue and vendors to determine financially what they are going to do. Whatever situation you may be in, read your contracts with your vendors and your venue. Look to see if there’s any flexibility with regard to deposits that you’ve put down. Is there a possibility you can get your deposit back if they are unable to work your wedding if you have to re-schedule or are you out of luck in that regard? Make sure you have educated yourself on what your contracts say so you are able to try to advocate for yourself where you can.

Along with reviewing your contracts with your vendors, make sure you are communicating with your vendors. Just like you, they’re going through a totally unprecedented situation. Most of them probably have not dealt with a situation where they are having to perform mass rescheduling of weeks of events due to the pandemic. If they work with other couples, they may also be able to give you some insight as to what they’re seeing from some of their other clients. Make sure you are communicating with each and every vendor on your list to ensure you are able to keep as many as possible for your new day, especially those vendors that are the “must-haves” for you and your special day.

Make sure you also make a game plan for letting your guests know. Do you send out a mass text? Do you call everyone? Mail out “re-save the dates?” Make a funny “re-save our date” announcement on Facebook, and personally reach out to everyone who got save the dates to make sure they know your big day is being rescheduled. Talk it over with your partner to make sure you have a game plan to let your guests know what’s going on—whether you do a small intimate ceremony live-streamed to your guests, or completely re-schedule. Some couples have decided to roll with the punches and have done a virtual ceremony and have postponed the reception.

If you have not yet found yourself in this situation, but you have a summer (or even fall) 2020 wedding, make sure you’re still keeping in contact with your venue and vendors. The above will apply to you if you need to also, unfortunately, reschedule your big day. 

If you’ve been in this situation—remember it’s okay to give yourself time to experience the roller coast of emotions you’re inevitably feeling. Your wedding day is a day you look forward to and work so hard to plan and having to up-end all of your plans and make new ones is sure to cause many emotions. No, it’s not “silly” to cry over your wedding day having to be postponed and it doesn’t make you a spoiled brat because there are bigger issues going on in the world. But make sure you also pick yourself up and take care of business to get everything taken care of for rescheduling your big day. 

Written by Kelli Lardi

Sterk Family Law Group is here to assist you

We are aware that everyone has been affected by the recent response to COVID-19 but we hope that you find some comfort in knowing that we are still operational and here to assist you.

Whether you are a current client or if you are looking for family law or estate planning assistance, our team is here for you and will continue to be available to address your concerns.

To the extent possible, we will offer remote consultations and provide services from a distance.

You may message us here, email our office at info@sterkfamilylaw.com, or call 815-600-8950 and one of our team members will be able to assist you.

This is a legal advertisement from Sterk Family Law Group. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.


This is a legal advertisement from Sterk Family Law Group. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.

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