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Should I Cancel My Wedding Due to Coronavirus?

As if wedding planning isn’t stressful enough, let’s add a contagious possibly deadly virus to the equation. So, if you’re anything like me, you’re trying to be optimistic but cautious. Let’s be real; coronavirus has most likely already caused emotional and financial struggles to you as a couple and to your family and friends. 

I know photographers who have had to cancel on their couples, and I know couples who had to cancel on their photographers. The effects of the coronavirus have made this a hard time for everyone, so I hope that we can work together to make things less stressful. I don’t have any answers, but I hope this article helps you have some clarity and insight from a wedding photographer’s point of view. 

couples cancel wedding due to coronavirus

How can I be prepared when planning my 2020 Wedding?

Since we are still in the early stages, there are two things you can do immediately:

  1. Request on your wedding website that if anyone is sick to please not come to your wedding.
  2. Start planning for the possibility that you may have to postpone your wedding.
  3. Continually check the CDC website for updates on what you should be doing.
  4. to the NYTimes Coronavirus live update alerts. These updates help me stay active and up to date with what’s happening in the world. 

What if my area is affected? Should I cancel my wedding due to coronavirus? 

This question is tricky because this isn’t just a personal choice; it’s also up to your venue and your city. Everyone in the world right now is having to make hard decisions. The only advice I have is to have gratitude for the things and people in your life. We’re all in this together. 

coronavirus affects wedding planning

If we have to cancel our wedding due to coronavirus, what are our options with Bethany Michaela Photography?

If the situation worsens, my team and I will cover two options: 

Plan A: Postpone your wedding date and use your deposit towards another wedding date

Plan B: Plan a smaller wedding/elopement for your current wedding date and then a large reception later this year

coronavirus affects wedding attendance

What if we booked another wedding photographer, what should we do? 

Every contract and wedding photographer is different. However, all the wedding photographers I know, are resilient and kind. I believe that if you reach out to your wedding photographer and ask them to have an open dialogue and work with you and your situation, they will do everything in their power to come to the best solution for you.  

My wedding dress vendor has delayed shipping. What do I do? 

When it comes to wedding dresses, easily 80 percent of the world’s supply comes out of China. I recommend going to a second-hand shop, renting, or go and check out BHLDN’s last-minute dress section. For those who need tuxes, I recommend going to JCrew or other big brand stores or rummaging your closet or the closet of a friend who is your size. The suite may not be as luxe as you were hoping, but it will do in a pinch. 

coronavirus affects wedding dress orders

How can we protect our wedding guests from getting the coronavirus? 

If you choose to have your wedding you can have hand sanitizer and phone cleaning stations. You can avoid things like communion and buffets. The most important thing is to talk with each vendor and have a plan on how you can keep your wedding safe for you and your guests. 

If people don’t want to come, what should we do? 

I would give them the option of letting them see your wedding virtually. You can have an in-person guest do a FB live of your ceremony, or have them call to do a group video chat with all the guests who couldn’t be there in person.

Can we buy wedding insurance? 

Yes, but no. Wedding insurance doesn’t cover global pandemics

Can we go on a honeymoon?

Here’s a list from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control of countries with travel restrictions. 

coronavirus affects wedding travel

What about refunds and travel insurance?

Whatever your situation, you should read any contracts you’ve signed. Some airlines are already offering full refunds (especially those with layovers in China or direct flights to China). Others are allowing flight changes to a later date without added fees. The official COVID-19 alert went into effect in late January, meaning there’s a possibility that you can explore refund rights. Airlines like Delta are allowing guests to change their flights without an added fee if booked between March 1 to March 31. Talk to your credit card companies too.

Experts recommend couples explore the “Cancel for Any Reason” option with most insurance plans. Traditional travel insurance costs about 10 percent of the total trip value, whereas the CFAR plan can cost upwards of 50 percent of the entire trip cost.

Have any other questions about wedding planning?

Visit our frequently asked questions page to get some quick answers!

This article was written on March 14, 2020. Any information that has changed will be updated as frequently as possible. 

What People Are Saying


Tracy Tran

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Bethany was laser-focused on telling our story through our photographs and worked with our budget. She captured candids perfectly so we could enjoy the moments we missed during our busy day. Her work is natural & organic.

Johnna Yates

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Bethany is a joy to work with. She was always looking out for ways to capture the range of relationships and emotions throughout the day.

Camille Feliz

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Bethany is highly skilled at following her intuition on when to engage with guests, and when to step back and allow everything to just be, she demonstrated this balance all weekend beautifully.

John Williams

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She's professional, communicative, open, warm, and she made us feel so comfortable

Faiz Osman

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Something to consider for couples with different skin tones, she knows how to make you both look great! It's not about an "arty" shot; it's about the reason you're gathered together.

Emily Reid

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Bethany inconspicuously captured the happiest and most spontaneous moments during the evening. She's wonderful - professional, personable & kind.

Lauren Sperber

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Organized and dedicated, Bethany made sure we got everything we wanted.

Emily Okey

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She made us feel natural in front of the camera and captured moments we had missed. We will cherish these photographs forever.

Ashley Heyburn

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One of the best decisions we made for our wedding was having Bethany photograph it. She listened to our vision, of capturing the feeling of the day, and nailed the execution.

Lisa Boral

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Bethany is kind and calming, smoothly handling every moment, even calming the stressful ones.

Clara Cotton

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She was there with me, advocating for me, and helping me feel calm! The photos that resulted are beyond beautiful. I will treasure them forever!