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Allison Davis is the founder of Davis Row, a boutique wedding planning company (fun fact: it's named after her supportive family!). With a background in music, she pivoted to wedding planning about five years ago (as she pointed out to us, a wedding and a live concert have a similar ephemeral thrill). She is absolutely rad and focused on making the wedding industry a more inclusive, modern place - she’s been profiled by the New York Times and Brides Magazine! Today, she gives advice on how to adjust your wedding plans if COVID-19 has impacted your upcoming wedding. She also tells us a bit about Davis Row and her favorite thing about being a wedding planner.
What is your advice for a couple that has a wedding planned, but it looks unlikely to occur due to COVID-19?
First, take a minute to feel your feelings. Yes, it's a heavy and serious situation that we're all in, but it's ok to be sad about your wedding, despite how unimportant it may seem in the grand scheme of things. There's no shame in that.
Read over any contracts you've signed and think about when you'd want your new date to be. Call your insurance provider to see what they might be able to cover (if you don't have insurance, that's ok - but get a policy for your new date!). Talk to a few people in your lives (don't poll more than a handful) and find out what makes sense, whether it's later in the year or sometime in 2021. Reach out to the vendors you've booked and talk to them. Chances are they've had many conversations with their clients already and will be able to help you quickly. We're all navigating this together, and we really feel for you! We want to do what we can to make this as seamless as possible.
How many weeks before the wedding should a couple make the final call and let their guests/vendors know that they are rescheduling?
As soon as you're able. The earlier you make the decision, the easier you'll find it is to reschedule. Ideally, you'll be able to keep all of the vendors you hired if you decide before they're all booked up. Your guests will appreciate early warnings, too. If your wedding is in the next couple of months, it's a good idea to update your website with your current plans and a promise to keep everyone informed. Once you have a new date, you can reach out to everyone in whatever way works best and follow up with a digital invite (if your original invitations have already been mailed). Again, because we're all in this together, you'll most likely be met with lots of support from your community!
Any advice on how to think about budget in light of rescheduling/postponing?
One of the tough parts about postponement is the impact it could potentially have on your budget. When you're looking at your contracts, there may be specifics about change fees. Make note of those (and be aware that not everyone is able to waive them). Think about what may happen if you need to replace a vendor who isn't available for your new date. You may have to edit your design - especially flowers - to suit a different season or another venue. And don't hesitate to ask your vendor team for advice if you're struggling with your budget. We can help you control costs when you feel like they're starting to get uncomfortable.
Tell us a bit about Davis Row - what’s important to you as a company?
Davis Row is a boutique-style company. We pour a ton of time and care into very few events each year, which allows us to build relationships with our couples and really work together in partnership. It’s important not only for us to be welcoming and affirming for members of marginalized communities, but also for us to help our clients build vendor teams that hold the same values.
What’s your favorite thing about being a wedding planner?
On the wedding day, after guiding my couples through one of the most complex undertakings they’ll ever deal with together, I love to watch them enjoy everything with their family and friends. Weddings are beyond special - it’s maybe the only time in your life that everyone in your community gathers to celebrate you. When couples invite me in to support them, it’s such an honor. I love it.