Updated: Jul 4, 2020
You can't visit boutiques to try on dresses, go to bridal shows, take tours of venues, or schedule a tasting with your caterer...
How do you make the most of all this extra time, without going anywhere?
COVID-19 has flipped everything inside out...it seems only the penguins get to be out and about. Social distancing is our new norm for a while, so how do you plan your wedding from your couch? Here are some of my best resources and tips!
The Phoenix and Funky's are both fantastic wedding catering classics in Cincinnati. A great tip for you during COVID-19 is to reach out to your favorite local restaurant. Even if they don't normally offer catering, they need business right now. It might be worth reaching out and letting them know they are your favorite, and asking if they would be open to catering your wedding. It may be a great way to have your favorite food at your wedding and be a part of keeping business afloat.
Picking a Venue
Decide what you want. All inclusive venue who plans and executes everything? Outdoor? Indoor? Both? What vibe are you wanting? Do you want a venue who will allow an outside caterer or who provides the catering?
Research. Ask friends, ask FaceBook Groups, and research hashtags (for example: #cincinatiweddingvenues). If you already follow some local photographers on Instagram, check out the places where they have shot, many of their photos will be tagged with venues. Once you have found your favorite venues, check out The Knot for reviews.
Narrow your list of possible venues down to your absolute favorites, and reach out to those ones via email.
If there are virtual tours on their website, you will have already seen those. But you will probably want to schedule a visit. If there is no safe way to take a private tour, then you can request the venue coordinator to give you a live video tour via video call and answer all of your questions.
Signing a contract and paying your retainer for your date with any of your vendors is usually done online these days. If your's doesn't, request it. I don't doubt they will switch over now.
Finding Your Photographer
The best place to start is by asking your friends. Then Instagram hashtags, The Knot, and Google. Make sure you read a lot of reviews, and even reach out to past clients on Instagram if you can to ask about their experience (the couple will often be tagged in photos if they are on Instagram)
Reach out about your date. If the photographer you want is available, they will probably set up a phone call with you. Their goal is going to be to get to know you, what is important to you, and your desires for your wedding photos. They will also go over what the process of booking, planning, and delivery of the photos looks like.
Wedding Dress Shopping
Luxe Redux is a local shop in Reading that has an option for trying on dresses at home!
Between wedding planning + the craziness we're all facing right now, being a #futuremrs is stressful! But we're here for you + we're here to help. We've reduced the price of our Luxe in a Box service to just $49!
With our simple process, you can shop for your perfect dress at home, with no obligation to buy! We're taking everything you know + love about our boutique experience and wrapping it up in a pretty package curated for you! + the best part? Our $49 shipping fee can be used towards your dress purchase of $800 or more! -Luxe Redux
My biggest piece of advice:
Once you have your venue and photographer, ask them about the vendors they work with and trust.
If you choose your other vendors based on your venue and photographer's favorites, then you know that your whole team will be trustworthy people who work well together as a team. This will also reduce the amount of in-person meetings you need to have in order to veto possible vendors.
Here is my full list of Couples Resources, including all the best vendors!
Stay safe. Stay healthy.