Sue Cunnane, director of sales & events at ONE North Broad, answers some frequently asked questions about wedding planning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Have people become more creative with their wedding plans during quarantine?
Creativity always has been at the heart of every wedding, and this unusual quarantine time has definitely gotten new creative juices flowing in the minds of the ONE North Broad team, our couples and hospitality industry professionals. One super sweet creative idea during this time of physical distancing and smaller gatherings is to host an “elopement” ceremony on the original wedding date, followed by a big celebration at a later date.

Are people typically postponing their wedding for months or years? How do you know if you should postpone?
Couples are postponing anywhere from a few months to a year. Some of our couples have opted to move a few seasons away, like from spring to fall. Other couples have decided to move to “their same date” the following year. For example, a couple whose original date is the third Saturday in October may opt to move to that same Saturday next year.

For couples in the midst of wedding planning, are they getting married with a small family reception and then a larger reception later?
Yes, some couples have chosen to get married on their original wedding date either at home, or in another safe space like a park or other accessible place. Then, the idea is to have a “continuation” or second ceremony with their postponed reception. The excitement of another wedding ceremony, along with their celebratory reception still taking place later, helps a little bit with the tough choice of postponing. There is something fabulous to focus on and look forward to!

Are you seeing challenges to getting marriage licenses, invitations printed, problems getting dresses because shop is closed, etc.?
Marriage licenses can be obtained through websites, so couples are able to get a wedding license. The requirements vary depending on county, but there are options available for doing so. Invitations, dresses, formal wear really haven’t been negatively impacted, as per our colleagues in these industries. Dedicated industry pros have been offering really comprehensive options to couples to finalize these important details. Stationers are offering couples “Postpone the date” cards (a spin on save the dates). Dressmakers and formal wear designers and professionals have been offering “virtual’ fittings, where they guide individuals through taking measurements, and contactless pick-ups and drop-offs for fittings and alterations.

Are you seeing brides concerned with how they will get their hair and nails done if businesses stay closed?
It seems as though salons are on the same timeline to begin practicing again when events and venues can reopen. Hopefully, that should all align and be a non-issue. For couples that are doing their elopement style ceremonies now, they are making the best of it by honing their self-styling expertise.

How do you choose a wedding venue when you can’t see it in person? How do you tour and meet with staff during quarantine?
Many venues, ONE North Broad included, have produced virtual tours where they can “walk” a client through a venue via Zoom or by video. This is a great tool, not only now during quarantine, but also for couples that do not live locally, or to share with their families that live far away. Zoom and Skype are great tools for sharing and planning. It’s not the same as in-person tours, and we cannot wait to be in person again, but it really is a good option in times like these.

Ways to celebrate your original wedding date?
Order in, go to a favorite spot for a picnic or walk, toast to your future with a bottle of champagne, talk about the new wedding date and the exciting plans you have for it. It can be a tough date, but do everything you can to make it a happy day, part of the bigger journey. We at ONE North Broad are sending flowers and a note to all of our clients on their original wedding date to let them know we are thinking of them, and to hopefully bring a smile and a bit of cheer to them.

Tips for couples who are newly engaged?
Reach out to venues and vendors just as you would, pre-COVID-19. Gather info, ask how their weddings are being done now and how they will be done in the months and years to come. Knowing how your venue and vendors are handling things now, how they are taking care of their clients, and how proactive and creative they are speaks volumes and lets you know how well you will be taken care of.