Your wedding and coronavirus (COVID-19)

Mar 23, 2020

By now we’ve all been affected, in some way or another, by this entire coronavirus thing:  not only is it throwing around our social and economic comforts, but it’s also jarring the event industry, including professionals, event guests, and of course event clients such as brides, grooms, and their families.

We know emotions are high, and it’s not fun to feel on edge about an event that is so important to you.  I can’t help but think how appropriate Elsah’s debut of “Into The Unknown” is now an empathetic pat on the back for us **adults** more than for the children it was created and performed for.  Thanks, Elsah and Anna, your words of wisdom are sinking in deeply.

This is a time of massive adjustment, and the team at This Is Feeling wants to share what we’re doing to reassure and work with our clients through this together.

Perspective is important!  Remember that couples who had set wedding plans for 2020 were immediately impacted by tons of unknowns.  If you are planning wedding right now, be sure to be practical:  your wedding might require a lot of flexibility, adjustment, and ingenuity – but at the end of the day, a wedding is about getting married, not about putting on a massive show of events for other people.  Large weddings with tons of guests might not be a “thing” for a few years until the world heals from all of this Corona crap.

(don’t want to read the mumbo-jumbo of our thoughts, and you want to know what This Is Feeling is doing in the face to COVID-19? Jump to the last 3 paragraphs)

If you do not know, Ben, the owner of This Is Feeling, has a background in analytical research, so he kinda instantly geeked out on Friday, March 13th, and dove right in to figure out exactly how to handle ALL-OF-THE-THINGS when it came to a pandemic like this.  He reached out to old-photography-farts who mucked through the 2000 and 2008 economic dips, jumped onto live broadcast Q+A’s with other event professionals, and spoke with wedding planners who are currently working with couples in need.

And he discovered the most amazing thing:  people were actively working together to do everything they could for one another to keep afloat.

First:  if you are not actively working with a tried-and-true professional wedding planner (not one of those weekend warriors), you might feel a bit of uncertainty, because most of this is going to involve contract-reviewing, strategizing with other event professionals, and dealing with thoughts and feelings:  this is basically the life of a wedding planner summed up (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH AN VENUE COORDINATOR!!!)

Your other resource:  the internet.  And, just no, don’t believe most or any of it because it’s so very impersonal.

Right now could be a really great time to reach out and find a wedding planner who is willing to work with you through this mess.  We’ve found that the smoothest transitions and adjustments have involved working directly with couples who have hired a professional planner (high-fives!)

Do you need some recommendations for planners that we work with and love?  Please reach out to us and we’ll get you connected!

This isn’t to say that you can’t do it on your own – you do not need a wedding planner in order to face the unknown and adjust your wedding plans, you simply have to take it day by day, and be practical about the steps you are making.

Step 1:  Review your venue and vendor contracts.  We all signed them for a reason – they keep a sense of integrity between everyone involved with your wedding.

Step 2: Consider your options.  If your event is effected by a government mandate, you essentially have a just a few options moving forward:

  1. Just go with it and GET MARRIED: Even if you have to downsize to 20, 30, 50 guests, your wedding will still be amazing.  You’ll feel all the feels.  The IMPORTANT people will be there (or they won’t – but they will still be important people to you, and the REALLY important people will understand and support you.)  We’ve been photographing smaller weddings throughout all of 2020, and the love, spirit, and energy remains on these smaller wedding days.  And what a relief to actually get married and get on with life!
  2. Reschedule your wedding date – move it all over to a date that won’t give you anxiety; however, be sure to review all of your vendor contracts to be sure this is an option you have.  This will require work, and it might come at a financial cost.
  3. Keep your current wedding date for your ceremony, significantly lower the guest list, and do something like a living room or back-yard ceremony.  Then reschedule the reception for a later date.  You can always have a party in the future!
  4. Cancel your events completely – with most contracts, clients and event professionals both have the choice to change plans, but this would involve breaching the agreement to work with one another, and there would most likely be some form of financial loss.  Most contracts do have clear cancellation terms and consequence (for both parties involved).


Step 3: Strategize.  Get back to the spreadsheets and the wedding binder/bible.  This is going to be work for everyone involved, but nothing in life comes easy!  This is both an emotional and financial investment.  We highly recommend choosing 3-6 NEW wedding dates based on your venue’s availability – send these dates to all of your vendors, and then see which one is a good fit.

We KNOW it’s hard, but have you ever heard a wedding story that didn’t come with some kind of nutty challenge?

So you’re working with This Is Feeling or ZippyBooth.  Awesome.  We got ya.  Now is our time to reassure you and let you know what we are doing to make this work for you.  Our contract together is a mutual agreement that protects both of us from all sorts of interesting situations, circumstances, and choices.  In an unpredictable situation that we are facing with the coronavirus pandemic, everyone is taking some kind of loss, so we’d like to minimize that loss as much as possible with you.

We are flexible about making changes to your wedding package after you book with us – if you need to downsize and you need less hours on your wedding date, we can play around with your investment with us and adjust to a smaller package.

If your wedding date is within 60 days and is affected by a mandate, we can waive our postponement fee if we find an agreeable and available postponement date within one year of your contracted date. This process requires a bit of work since it involves other vendors, but it might be the best option for you.  We do require that you offer at least 3 available date options, with at least one of those being a Friday or a Sunday.  The name of the game here is communication and planning – just be in touch with us and we’ll do our best to work something out for your wedding plans.

If your wedding date is more than 60 days out and you’d like to make a change because of COVID, we can waive our postponement fee for postponement dates we have available, but those dates would most likely need to be a non-peak date.  That is your non-fee option.  You do have a choice of other peak-dates that would be subject to a postponement fee, so you are not completely without choices here.  We just have to be realistic with allowing for massive calendar changes and continuing to keep our business running through this.

Right now the entire team has decided to work remotely.  We are not holding meetings at the studio.  We are self-quarantining and practicing social-distancing for the safety of the public, doing our part to help the world get through this as quickly as possible.  We get it – these times are uncertain and challenging – but if we’ve learned anything from the past ups & downs of our economy – it is that people will continue to get married, the celebrations will go on, and things will get back to normal eventually.  We all just have some epic stories to tell in a few years.  All of our love to you.  Call or email – we are here to help.


    • Ben Chernivsky

      Thanks for reading it Richard, and I hope it was helpful to you. All of our love from Chicago to San Jose! – Ben


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Lisa + Steve’s COVID Wedding at Las Palmas Chicago

Lisa + Steve’s COVID Wedding at Las Palmas Chicago

COVID came and drove the world crazy! We all can agree on the point that it has had an effect on every person in some way or the other. For many couples, it messed up their wedding plans. Chicago was hit with some of the most strict mandates across America, but...

Kate + Kevin’s Dog Lovers’ Chicago Engagement

Kate + Kevin’s Dog Lovers’ Chicago Engagement

Back in November, we got the chance to capture Kate and Kevin’s dog lovers’ Chicago engagement session with their pup Rufus around the Bridgeport neighborhood, with an end cap at Marz Brewing. We had so much fun with these three and couldn’t have asked for a better...