COVID-19 Diaries: Things you can still plan from your couch


DULUTH WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER, SAINT PAUL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

It's completely normal to feel like you don't want to do anything right now - there's so much still in the air about bans and stay-at-home orders and nobody really knows what the next few months are going to look like. There have been days that I've fallen trap to not wanting to do anything but lay on the floor in misery, but maintaining a busy mind will help keep your focus on the future and not the less-than-stellar present. Here's a list of some things to occupy your mind, while stick checking off your planning list.

Choose a date(s)

If you're early to the wedding planning process, choosing a date is definitely a task you can do from home. Start by choosing a relative season and pick three potential dates - you'll be able to see which your hopeful venue/vendors are available for, and you'll be able to make decisions based on that.

If your original date might be postponed but you're not sure yet, start talking about alternative dates and reach out to your vendors ahead of time to see which they'd be available for. Hopefully you won't have to make that call, but being ahead of the curve could be a huge benefit in the long run.

Colors/Theme

If you're following a certain line of colors or a theme, these are decisions you can make at home. Create a "mood board" of sorts and print it out and put it on the wall near where you do most of your planning. Having this visual key nearby will help ensure every decision you make regarding your event aligns with your goals and values.

Do some reading + researching

There are a ton of blogs and articles about weddings (like this one!) and you might not necessarily have had time in the past to just do some reading. Get lost in blogs and articles about weddings, different vendor types, best practices, etc. You might learn quite a few things you never knew, and it might even encourage you to make/change/alter decisions about your event.

Tip: rather than reading big industry blogs like The Knot or WeddingWire, try sticking to local blogs or the blogs of vendors you love - big industry blogs often push a "more, more, more" mindset, where your local blogs and vendor blogs will speak from experience and practicality.

Hiring Vendors

Most vendors will let you hire them without an in-person meeting, and a lot are making exceptions with video calls right now. Some vendors you can book online include planners, florists, photographers, stationary, officiants, DJs/bands, etc. While it may be tough to book a venue online, many are starting to offer 360 degree online tours of the spaces, so even that's possible.

Tip: ask your vendors if they're offering any promotions or specials right now. For example, to accommodate financial struggle right now I lowered my booking retainer to make it easier to get your event on the calendar and handle the money later.

Stationary/printed materials

If you still have to do save-the-dates or you're close enough to be doing invitations, now is a great time to design and print those. Some websites like Minted make it easy to plug a photograph and your details into already made templates - so you just have to choose one that fits your event. Additionally, if you've already had an engagement session done, you can reach out to your photographer to order a guest book of the images they took. One more thing checked off the list!

Make a guest list

Now is an extremely unique time to be making a guest list - who are you missing the most right now? Not being able to see your favorite people will help manage who you absolutely need to be present at your event, and who you're comfortable leaving off the list.

Order Gifts

If you're planning to shower your family and bridal party in gifts, let the games begin! Some incredible online gifting companies are still able to be shipping right now, so if you haven't assembled your bridal team, now is a great opportunity to start asking those folks. You can even have a celebratory Zoom call once they open the package.

Tip: Shop locally as much as possible right now. If you're planning to send gifts, an incredible local resource is White Spruce Market - Bailey's collections are incredibly hand-crafted in a way to make any bridesmaid say "YES!".

Choose songs/music

Your taste in music probably won't change a ton between now and your event, so now is a great time to start planning out your processional/recessional/first dance music. Throw on a playlist of a few contenders and dance it out with your spouse in the kitchen or living room, and see what feels good! Then you can start a short list of possible songs, and maybe by the end of quarantine you'll have a winner.

Tip: are you a former emo kid, or looking for a song that's out of the ordinary? Check out this list of 10 offbeat first dance songs!

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A wedding and portrait photographer based in Duluth + Minneapolis MN, traveling outward.

A believer in the honest and a photographer of the true moments that surround your life.

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