Is the coronavirus the new wedding crasher?


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UPDATED: 2020-03-25T14:33:31.459Z
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A happy bride and groom walking down the aisle at the end of their wedding as guests throw confetti.

Not only has the coronavirus canceled vacations and school, but it’s also canceling many weddings during prime wedding season. Brides and grooms across the United States and the world have been wondering if their wedding insurance will cover the cancellation or postponement of their wedding due to the coronavirus.

If you purchased wedding insurance, your policy may be able to help you if you need to postpone or cancel your wedding. Let’s dig in.

The coronavirus and event cancellation

As of March 16, 2020, the CDC and the White House began a 15 Days to Slow the Spread initiative. During this time, events of 10 people or more should be canceled or postponed to help prevent the spreading of the virus. With that being said, wedding insurance can be a major help in this situation.

Weddings and other events and gatherings are being canceled and postponed across the world due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some events other than weddings that may be affected include sweet 16 parties, bar mitzvahs, company events and outings, graduations, ceremonies, family reunions and parties, funerals, and more.

Coronavirus wedding cancellation tweet

Source: Erin Sorensen on Twitter

Some people are deciding to postpone their wedding or event to a later date, while others are finding creative ways to celebrate their day without having to push it back.

Many brides and grooms are turning to their wedding insurance policy for support with canceling or postponing their wedding.

What does wedding insurance cover?

There are two types of coverages available with wedding insurance: liability and cancellation coverage. You can purchase either one of them separately or get the bundle package, which is typically the most common.

There are a multitude of reasons why a bride and groom, or whomever is paying for the wedding, may decide to purchase wedding insurance, also called special event insurance. During the COVID-19 outbreak, it would be smart to use your wedding insurance if you have already purchased it and your company covers coronavirus related cancellations.

If you have wedding insurance, it’s likely that the following are covered for your big day:

Liability coverage can protect you under the following:

  • Medical costs due to injury of you or a guest
  • Damage to the venue

Cancelation coverage can protect you under the following:

  • Extreme weather conditions
  • Injury or illness of someone in the wedding party
  • Extenuating circumstances that out of your control

If you do cancel your wedding, the insurance can help cover the costs of a new venue or ceremony. However, the crisis of a pandemic may not be listed under the wedding insurance company’s policies, so make sure to check in the fine print to see if it is.

Your agent will also be able to clarify if a pandemic, which includes COVID-19, would be covered if you decided to cancel or postpone the wedding to ensure the safety of you and your guests. This could vary by insurance company and policy.

Is my wedding insured if it gets canceled due to the coronavirus?

This has been the lingering question for many brides and grooms. Unfortunately, there are no clear cut answers to this. However, if you did purchase wedding insurance, it’s important to know that every wedding insurance company has their own set of rules and guidelines regarding what it will and won’t cover.

If you are unsure if your wedding insurance will cover your wedding cancellation due to the coronavirus outbreak, make sure to reach out to your agent for specific details.

Is it too late to purchase wedding insurance?

It is worth shopping around as every wedding insurer has different policies. However, it is important to keep in mind that if you are looking to get wedding insurance now as a result of the coronavirus, it may be too late as some companies no longer provide wedding insurance during the coronavirus outbreak.

Wedding insurance companies have been incredibly overwhelmed with the volume of phone calls and emails regarding insurance coverage and some may have even stopped selling new policies. If you are unable to purchase wedding insurance, make sure to contact your venue to see if they are able to give some type of reimbursement if you have to cancel or postpone your wedding.

Wedding dress delivery: Will I get my dress?

As the majority of wedding dresses are imported from China, many brides have been worried that their wedding dresses will not come in time for their wedding. Considering that 80 percent of wedding dresses for brides in the United States come from China, the production has been slowed down by the coronavirus pandemic.

Given that spring and summertime weddings may be postponed, it is possible that your dress will arrive by the time you say “I do.” Although production has slowed down, the factories are starting up again as the number of new cases in China have decreased dramatically over the past few weeks.

What if my dress is from Italy or another country?

If your dress is from elsewhere in the world, it’s possible that your dress delivery will still be affected given the broad scope of the coronavirus. Even if the country where your dress is made has not been majorly impacted by the virus, it’s likely that the country will be taking extra precaution and practicing social distancing during this outbreak. This may result in the factory workers limiting their hours or the factory closing for a period of time.

If you do have questions regarding the delivery of your wedding gown, reach out to the company or bridal shop that you purchased your dress from. They should have the answers to help you resolve your questions.

Should I shorten my guest list?

Even if you decide to shorten your guest list and keep the original wedding date, it still would be putting yourself and your guests at risk. Even still, in some areas, you may not be allowed to hold events at all.

As discussed above, the CDC and the White House encourage any events of 10 people or more to be canceled or avoided for 15 days starting on March 16th. However, larger gatherings could be canceled past that timeframe. It is not certain how long these recommendations and restrictions will be in place.

If you are still unsure whether or not you should still get married on the original date, reach out to family members to see if they would be comfortable attending your wedding. Specifically, you will want to ensure that any elderly or immunocompromised family members would feel safe attending your wedding as they are the ones who are likely the most at risk.

Additionally, keep yourself updated with WHO and the CDC as they are releasing new information on a daily basis regarding the coronavirus. It’s possible that you could be forced to cancel your wedding if restrictions are increased by the time of your wedding.

Wedding cancellation or postponement: Tips for brides and grooms

Many brides and grooms have been worried about tying the knot in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. There are fears regarding whether or not they will get their money back or will be able to postpone their wedding at the same venue. Although there aren’t any clear cut answers regarding what will happen if you cancel or postpone your wedding, there is still advice to follow to help settle any panic or worry during this time.

Will the venue allow me to rebook for later this summer or for the following year?

The rules for rebooking with or without a fee depends on the company managing your venue. You should make sure to reach out to your venue to see your options for rebooking your wedding for a later date.

Regarding any refund for your wedding, if you do decide to cancel or postpone your wedding, this is also a question that your venue will be able to answer. Every company has their own set of guidelines, rules, and policies.

Is the waitlist for wedding venues affected by the coronavirus?

This is also unknown as the wedding industry has been heavily impacted by the coronavirus. This will vary from company to company, so make sure to contact the venue with any questions regarding your big day.

You could also prepare yourself and begin looking at other venues in case you are unable to rebook your wedding this year or even the following year at your original venue. Every industry has been affected by this pandemic, including the wedding industry. It would be safe to have a few backup options for venues in case rebooking at your original venue is not an option.

Look on the bright side!

The cancellation or postponement of your wedding due to COVID-19 is out of your control. You’re not alone, as weddings and events all across the world are affected by the pandemic. Always look on the bright side of your situation.

You could choose to still get married but hold a ceremony at a later date or you could find creative ways to celebrate your marriage like many couples are doing. Be sure to cherish the moments. After all, it will make a good story to tell.

COVID-19 has affected everyone’s lives as it has forced the cancellation of many events and weddings as the nation and beyond are practicing social distancing. For some, this has meant surviving without a paycheck. However, in light of this situation, we truly are in this together. By being socially responsible by staying home, accepting what we cannot control, and protecting the most vulnerable, we should aim to remain calm and positive during this unexpected time, as much as possible.

For the most trusted and up-to-date information about the coronavirus pandemic, check the CDC coronavirus website.

Is your wedding or other event affected by COVID-19? Were you able to use your wedding insurance policy? We want to hear your stories! Let us know about your experience in the comments section below.


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