by: Lauren

“It’s a question that just about everyone is wondering- what will post-Coronavirus weddings be like?


Just as with everything surrounding COVID-19, there are way more unanswered questions than absolute knowns. But, as areas start to open up a bit more, you may want to know what your possibilities are for having a post-Coronavirus wedding.

This is definitely something that I myself am wondering too, not just because it’s my industry involved, but because my sister is set to have her wedding in November of this year. Now, sticking to the guidelines of many wedding professionals, she has been moving forward with her wedding plans- in fact, she just booked her wedding DJ last week!

But, it would irresponsible of us if we DIDN’T start to think about ways that her wedding- and others- might have to change from what was previously expected. So I turned to ELD’s network of wedding experts to get their insight and find out what they are thinking… here are the elements that may need to change for post-Coronavirus weddings:

What Will Post Coronavirus Weddings Be Like? via

Guest count

This is of course the big, obvious change that will likely need to happen. I would expect that as areas start to open up more, there will be limits on how many people can gather in one location together. Not to mention that your guests might not be very comfortable being with 100 people who they don’t know. A lot of these guidelines are going to be contingent on your venue, as Adair of Dairing Events mentions, “because some have a higher or lower capacity, some are restaurants that have liquor license, some are shells that you bring in all your vendors.”

In a nutshell, what I’m seeing thus far is if the venue has a “restaurant”, they can stick to the guidelines that are in place for those establishments. But if it just an empty space where you have to bring in the food, then you are going to be bound to the “group gathering” guidelines.

As Mandi of Beauty Brigade shared, “we’ll be seeing a lot more intimate, elopement style weddings with only close family present.” So, if a smaller guest count means your close family and friends who are already seeing each other, then so be it! Andreia of Events by The Flower Studio says, “Weddings will be more intimate, more like a family reunion/celebration,” and we love that thought! 

prepare now for an altered guest list”


Valerie Gernhauser of Sapphire Events shared some insight into what she is doing for her couples: “I’m advising my fall 2020 clients to prepare now for an altered guest list, should they decide to keep their original date and not postpone. I’ve been talking with each of them about weighing the options, which include a guest count of around 50 guests or fewer, in a mini wedding or micro wedding format, and also a guest list that contemplates 25% of the fire marshall capacity at their venue.”

Now, it’s a whole other thing to talk about whether or not you actually WANT a smaller guest count for your wedding. I can tell you this- I had 200 people at my own wedding, and I absolutely wish I had less than that. But I want to reassure you that you can still have an amazing wedding if you keep it small. In fact, it can be even more amazing, because you can spend more of your budget on decor and details! ;)

And we love the sentiment that Sarah of Kindred Wed Events, who specializes in intimate weddings, shared: “As guest count decreases, the time spent with each guest increases so the intimacy of a small wedding grows.”



It’s no secret that weddings usually do revolve around food and beverage (as does so much of the cost of weddings). In a post-Coronavirus wedding, some of the typical food and drink aspects of a wedding will need to be altered. For example, a bar area will likely not be permitted, as it is potential place for gathering, so drinks would need to be provided by servers (either passed or by order). But, this would be a great opportunity for having a signature drink!

“It is also very likely that buffet and action station food service will not be a good idea until a vaccine is in place, so seated dinners for all (even in the South where they aren’t always the norm!) will be expected as we do phase into celebrations,” Valerie of Sapphire Events mentioned.



We now have the “6 feet apart” rule engrained into our minds, and with post-Coronavirus weddings, this is going to be a big factor. So, luckily, spreading tables out will be a little easier for now, since your guest count is likely reduced. This is where having a wedding planner is going to be, yet again, such a great benefit, because she or he can handle figuring all of this out for you!

Valerie of Sapphire Events shares that “Where a venue might have been considered too large for a small guest count wedding, we now need all the extra square footage to allow for people to move throughout a space with proper distancing. New floor plans that group households together at a table and have more service area margin around the tables bringing a six-door distance to seated tables.”

I could also see smaller tables being a good idea to help with the need for layout changes. Oh, and for your ceremony- this could be a great excuse to do something instead of chairs all in a row! Sofas that are setup in groupings, where family units can sit together, or maybe even on the ground on blankets or rugs. Don’t be afraid to do what isn’t the “norm”- get creative!

What Will Post Coronavirus Weddings Be Like? via

Michelle Garibay Events, Leaf Photography



With restrictions on how many people can gather in a location, this could be a little difficult for the typical reception activities, like cocktail hour and dancing, to occur. Sarah of Kindred Wed Events says, “I see weddings becoming smaller and shorter! We might also see more ceremony only weddings, where couples will be postponing the reception-type elements for a later date when guests can gather in larger groups and closer together!” We’re loving the idea of doing a dinner-party style wedding reception, and then throwing a party later on! They can be two totally different events- how fun would that be?! 

“Postpone the reception-type elements for a later date when guests can gather in larger groups and closer together.”


What Will Post Coronavirus Weddings Be Like? via

KMC Weddings & Events, photo by Kaleigh Turner Photography


And actually, I want to brainstorm that concept of a dinner-party style reception some more! This would mean that you would have “servers” (where they would also be taking your drink orders, as mentioned in the food and beverage section above) coming to tables, just like at a restaurant. You could have some softer, more instrumental music during dinner, still have your first dance and parent dances, and then have dessert. I’m sure there could even be a few other activities that you could do… like what about having a portrait station? Your photographer could take an elegant, posed photo with you and each of your guests, maintaining social distance when needed.

What else do you think could be incorporated for a more low-key reception for post-Coronavirus weddings?



There will likely be a few “extras” with post-Coronavirus weddings too. As Valerie of Sapphire Events mentions, “optional masks for guests but masks and gloves for all service providers, and possible temperature checks upon entry at venues,” may be a few of those extras. Things like sanitizing stations throughout your reception area will be needed as well. But you really could work with your professionals to make all of these extras a part of your wedding. Custom masks, sanitizing areas that are at high tops with matching linens and flowers, and even custom labels to match your wedding.

Christine of Quartz Photo Booth in Houston mentions that “there will be more technology involved, especially to allow elderly relatives to attend virtually.” I could definitely see multiple things like “streaming stations” happening, so people who can’t attend your wedding in person can still be there to see and hear what’s happening. This would be something that you would want to ask your videographer about, or even someone who has a photo booth. Technology is pretty great nowadays- use it to your advantage! 

And also, don’t be afraid to ask your vendors if you have an idea for something or if they have any suggestions for what you can do to make your guests and the people working at your wedding feel more comfortable.

I know this is such a hard time, and figuring out what to do (or not do)for post-Coronavirus weddings is definitely stressful. I still absolutely stand by my recommendation to hire a wedding planner, because again- it’s times like these that are the REASON why you hire a planner! You can find our vetted and verified planners here, or you can always reach out to me to ask for a direct recommendation too. 


See more of our Coronavirus Wedding Resources here.

by: ELD Team

We’re going back in time to the hip 70’s with this ultra chic retro wedding inspiration captured by one of our favorites, Kristen Weaver Photography. Haus 820 was the perfect backdrop for these groovy vibes, with it’s clean industrial feel. With eclectic prints and whimsical florals, this inspiration is perfect for the hippie at heart! We love the warmth that the wooden chargers from Treasury Rentals added to the tablescape. And the lacy off the shoulder gown is the perfect blend of romantic and boho! Your pin it button will definitely get a work out with all this stunning inspo you need to save!

Chic 70s Retro Wedding Ideas via

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Vendors who made it all happen…

Photography: Kristen Weaver Photography // Venue: Haus 820 // Tableware: Treasury Rentals // Event Planning: Blush by Brandee Gaar

Floral: Ever After Vintage Weddings // Stationery: Erica Group // Videography: Gabrielle Brookes // Wedding Cake: Shannons Sweets and Treats // Rentals: A Chair Affair // Event Design: Kellen McElhatten // Hair and Makeup: Dorka Jones // Wedding Dress: Berta // Bridal Salon: The Bridal Finery // Model: Modern Muse Models // Submitted via: Matchology

Exclusive ELD Vendors

Like the post above? Here are the Every Last Detail vendors that participated making this post beautiful! Featured vendors are hand picked and approved by Lauren. Get more information by clicking on them below:

by: Dana Cubbage

This article, Why Your Wedding Vendors Are Keeping Non-Refundable Retainers During Coronavirus COVID-19 appeared first on Dana Cubbage Weddings. Dana is a vetted and verified Charleston wedding photographer, and she is here with us today to share her expert insight.

Expert Insight: Why Wedding Vendors Are Keeping Non Refundable Retainers During Coronavirus COVID 19 via

I have seen a lot of social media posts written by 2020 couples who are really upset and confused about why their wedding vendors won’t fully refund their non-refundable retainer right now, as we all navigate through the coronavirus crisis.

While I completely understand the frustration on the clients’ end, as a small business owner myself, I also understand why wedding vendors are keeping the non-refundable retainers.  So I wanted to write a blog post to help everyone understand the logic behind this business practice.

It’s important to note that COVID-19 is not forcing anyone to cancel their wedding.  It is forcing couples to postpone their wedding.  If someone decides to cancel their wedding all together because of this pandemic, that is a CHOICE that they are making.

Every single wedding vendor is stuck in a really hard spot right now because we are trying to balance two different mindsets.  As wedding planner Jove Meyer put it in a recent article for the NY Times, “being a human with a heart and compassion but also a business that has to stay afloat.”  I think it’s so important to remember that everyone is being impacted by this pandemic and we are all doing the best that we can.  We are all human.  This crisis is no one’s fault.

First of all, it’s important to know that there is no “right” or “wrong” in this situation.  This is something no one was prepared for and every wedding vendor is trying to do what is best for their clients and their business.  We all have different policies and procedures within our businesses, so every wedding vendor may have a different way of handling things during this unprecedented time.  No one is “right” and no one is “wrong”.  The most important thing to remember is that treating others with kindness and grace during a difficult time is really important.  At the end of the day, we are all just human and trying to figure things out day by day.

Expert Insight: Why Wedding Vendors Are Keeping Non Refundable Retainers During Coronavirus COVID 19 via

Wedding vendors have contracts and non-refundable retainers in place for a reason.  For those of us who can only work one wedding per day, the non-refundable retainer is paid in exchange for us saving that date for our client.  We turn away all other business because the date is reserved for you and you alone!

When we sign a contract with our clients, we are entering into a good-faith agreement that both parties will fulfill their end of the deal.  We both make promises to each other – we are promising to work your wedding and turn away all other business for that date and you are promising to allow us to do work your wedding and earn the balance of the contract.

Weddings, by nature, are able to be rescheduled.  Yes, the coronavirus pandemic has caused a disruption to the wedding industry – but it’s not a permanent disruption.  You can still get married and celebrate with your family + friends once everything calms down.

If you choose to cancel completely, instead of postpone, you should expect to lose your non-refundable retainer. 

Why?  Because when you signed that contract and promised to allow us to work your wedding, we reserved that date for you and we turned away other couples – couples who may not have ultimately cancelled on us.  Cancelling is a choice you are making despite the fact that you have the opportunity to postpone and reschedule to a later date.  Non-refundable retainers are there for precisely this situation.  If clients could cancel and get all of their money back from their wedding vendors, why would we even bother with a contract?

Expert Insight: Why Wedding Vendors Are Keeping Non Refundable Retainers During Coronavirus COVID 19 via

I know this coronavirus pandemic is beyond your control and you probably feel frustrated, anxious, angry, helpless… but try to remember, it is also beyond the wedding vendors’ control as well.  This is no one’s fault.  At the end of the day, we are all losing out.

When you start looking at postponement/reschedule dates, it is important to work with your wedding vendors to try and find a solution that works for all of you – because your wedding vendors want to work and fulfill their end of the contract!  The unfortunate thing for wedding vendors is that we have absolutely no control over what our clients decide to do.  We can give you our availability, and hope that you will choose a date that we are available, but ultimately you have the power to choose the new date.  We are completely at the mercy of your date change decision.

If a client reschedules without consulting their original wedding vendors and/or chooses to reschedule for a date that their wedding vendors are unavailable, most vendors will have to fall back onto their contract verbiage and keep the non-refundable retainer.  The non-refundable retainer serves as compensation for holding that original date for you and as reparation for the choices you make when it comes to rescheduling.

Trust me, your wedding vendors want to work – but their availability is truly limited and we are at your mercy to reschedule for a date that we can be there.  Working together to find a mutually agreeable reschedule date is the ideal situation, but in cases where the clients don’t consult their wedding vendors before rescheduling or willingly choose to reschedule on a date when the vendor isn’t available, keeping the non-refundable retainer is absolutely fair and definitely a standard practice during the coronavirus crisis.

Look at it this way.  You are splitting the loss with your wedding vendors with the non-refundable retainer.  Yes, you are losing your non-refundable retainer which can be anywhere from 20-50% of the total contract.  But your vendors are losing out on the balance of the contract, which can be anywhere from 50-80% of the total contract.  Your vendors are splitting that loss with you and, more often than not, taking an even bigger financial hit depending on the amount of their retainer fee.

Expert Insight: Why Wedding Vendors Are Keeping Non Refundable Retainers During Coronavirus COVID 19 via

Wedding vendors are not keeping the non-refundable retainers because they want to be an a**hole.  They are standing by their contracts because the future of their business literally depends on it.

Would I prefer to be in the financial position to gift my clients’ non-refundable retainers back to them?  Of course!  I am sure that my friends + colleagues in the wedding industry would agree as well.  But most small business owners are just not in the financial position to do so, especially those of us who do this full-time with no other income to fall back on.

Our busiest and most profitable season of the year has been wiped out by this pandemic and there is simply no income coming in for vendors in the wedding industry for the foreseeable future.  We may be rescheduling an entire year’s worth of weddings and, with all of those rescheduled weddings, we won’t have the availability to book any new clients in 2021.  We are absolutely feeling the financial pinch, both this year and probably most of next year too.  Wedding vendors are having to make business decisions that will keep us afloat and allow us to continue to serve our clients once this crisis is over.  We are definitely in survival mode.

If you are lucky enough to have a wedding vendor who is in a position to offer you some relief during this unprecedented time, that’s amazing!  But remember that every wedding vendor is in a different position and we are all making decisions in order to survive.  Please don’t blast someone on social media or get nasty if your vendor falls back on their contract.  It’s not personal, I promise.

Like I said before, there is no “right” or “wrong” in this situation and most vendors are working so hard to be flexible and understanding with their clients’ needs.  Remember that your wedding vendors are human and they are doing the best that they can.  It’s important to do your best to meet them half way and be flexible as well.  There are 365 days in a year, so it is definitely possible to find a reschedule date that works for both of you – as long as you both remain flexible.

Expert Insight: Why Wedding Vendors Are Keeping Non Refundable Retainers During Coronavirus COVID 19 via

And if you find yourself in the position where you have to lose one (or more) of your wedding vendors due to reschedule date availability issues, just know that you are not alone.  Everyone is dealing with the same challenges of rescheduling.  Luckily, Charleston has some of the absolute best wedding vendors in the industry – so just get back into wedding planning mode and find yourself a new vendor to fill their empty spot!  If you need recommendations, ask your vendors.  Or consider a non-Saturday reschedule date because that is going to be the norm for a little while – and it’s your best chance for keeping your original wedding vendor team intact.

Even though this is an extremely frustrating time, please know that you are making a huge difference in the lives of your wedding vendors by supporting this industry and rescheduling your wedding instead of cancelling during such a crazy time.  We are so thankful for our patient and kind clients – this situation is stressful, but having amazing clients makes it easier to navigate.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for bearing with us as we navigate this and just know that we will get through this together.  At the end of the day, you WILL get married and it WILL be amazing!!


This article originally appeared on Dana Cubbage Weddings here.

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by: Lauren

Friends. Hire a wedding planner. Just do it.


The past few weeks have been a rollercoaster- no, downhill battle- of emotions. All of the experiences I’ve been hearing from couples and wedding professionals has been a bit… rough. But, we’ve talked about that stuff– today, I want to talk about one of the big heroes throughout all of this…

The wedding planner.


The wedding planner, whose job is sometimes quite literally to put out fires (dresses and napkins love to catch fire y’all). Wedding planners are the ones who deal with everything and solve problems that oftentimes you didn’t even know existed. They are like tour guides and therapists and teachers and artists and architects and… the list could go on forever.

Over the last few weeks, wedding planners have stepped up to the plate, dealing with something that is entirely unprecedented. Something that no one actually knows how to handle. And they figured. It. Out. Because that’s what a wedding planner does. A wedding planner is a problem solver, constantly looking for solutions and options for YOU, the couple getting married.

I feel awful for couples who are navigating COVID-19 and their weddings alone, without the expertise and wisdom of a wedding planner.

And while we have plenty of articles around here telling you what a wedding planner does, I wanted to give you a BIG HUGE reminder right now.

If there was ever a time to hire a wedding planner, its now. via






Friends, THIS, what so many couples are experiencing right now, is why you hire a wedding planner. <<< Imagine that I’m yelling that from a rooftop.

Situations that you have no control over, navigating uncharted territory, and adding a whole lot stress to your life… this is why you hire a wedding planner.

Heck, even if you’ve had to reschedule your wedding already, or if you’re concerned you might have to- HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER NOW!

Inside info for you: A lot of wedding planners are offering special programs, new services, and different kinds of payment plans right now. Because wedding planners exist to HELP YOU- and that’s exactly what they want to do. So whether you’re dealing with a postponed wedding or just planning a wedding (hopefully) normally, you’re kind of lucking out right now! ;) 


Someone to handle being in contact with all of your vendors?



Someone to help guide you in making decisions about something you have no clue about (weddings)?



Someone to help you navigate planning your wedding through a global pandemic?

Unfortunately, CHECK.


Someone to do ALL.THE.THINGS. for you on the wedding day so you and your family can be present and not running around like chickens with your heads cut off?



Those are of course just a few things that will happen when you hire a wedding planner- I could on and on for a while (and I have). I’ve likely already published everything that I would say right now SO, in case you need any other knowledge surrounding what wedding planners do, here are a few posts:










And here are a few more things I want you to know…

*Wedding planners are NOT just for couples having luxury weddings.

*Having a wedding planner does not take the experience of planning of your wedding away from you.

*Oftentimes, when you hire a wedding planner, he or she will SAVE you money because their knowledge can prevent you from spending on unnecessary things.

*A wedding planner is an investment for your wedding (and your sanity).

You deserve to have an awesome wedding planning experience regardless of what is happening, and a wedding planner can do that for you.

Search our Vetted + Verified

Wedding Planners in The V List 

And if you’d rather have a direct recommendation of a wedding planner in your area, or if you’re curious about who is offering those special programs and payment plan methods I mentioned above, I can help! DM me on Instagram and I can connect you with someone! :) 



A note for wedding pros: Wedding pros being a part of our vendor marketing service, The V List, is what enables us to continue to educate couples through content like this about the importance of hiring YOU, professionals.  If you are a wedding planner (or any type of wedding pro) and you would like to be a Vetted + Verified vendor, you can go HERE for more information and to submit an application.