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Destination wedding, not giving up hope!

Avid travelers, Stacey and her hubby to be have their heart set on a Bali Wedding. Having locked in their dream location pre COVID and paying their deposit, there was no way of knowing that just a few short months later, the world would shut down due to the pandemic. But they’re not ready to call of the destination wedding just yet! We asked Stacey to share more about the journey so far.

When did you first get engaged? We got engaged in December 2019 while travelling through India.  

What was your original wedding date? 10th April 2021 

What were the first things you organised for your wedding? We really didn’t expect to find a location so quick! We always knew we wanted to get married overseas both being big travellers and so had started looking at a number of overseas locations that we both really liked. When we found our dream location in Bali, we locked it in and it came as a package with everything we loved and a number of great suppliers. Covid was just becoming talked about and we really did not know much about it nor that it was about to shut the world down only a few months later.

How many people did you plan on having, what was important to you about your day? We had planned on roughly 80 people joining us. There was a number of important things to us.  Being able to enjoy the location, relaxing, the food and enjoy being away with all our closest loved ones to not only celebrate the day but also be able to enjoy the getaway.  

Somewhere along the way, Covid obviously arose, if your date was arranged pre covid were you worried that it might be impacted, or did it still seem far away at that point? We booked just before covid really started to be spoken about on just how large it was becoming in China. We didn’t expect things to escalate as much as they did and once, we started hearing more and more post booking we definitely started to become more worried. Once the world fully shut down was, we’re reality really set in, and we started to think a wedding overseas in a years’ time may be really something that wouldn’t happen. 

When did you decide to call off the overseas Wedding? We still haven’t called of the wedding. Our passion is travelling and one day we really hope to be able to travel again. We are currently in a situation where we need to start making decisions on how long we push the day out for and are both really struggling to make the call. At this stage we have postponed until Sept 2022 but there is flexibility to push out more. In saying that with everything happening we really don’t see the world starting to open up again anytime soon. 

How far into planning your Wedding did you have to cancel? Did you loose any deposits? We continued to plan to keep positive about everything (everything was included in the package, so it was all about making decisions as payment had already been made) we continued to try keep a positive mind. If we do cancel, we will lose 50% of the total cost and when you take into account the cost of a wedding that is a substantial amount of money to lose and have nothing from. 

Had you sent out save the date or Wedding invitations? We had sent out save the dates to give everyone as much notice as possible being overseas. 

How did you feel knowing that you weren’t able to have an overseas and/or destination Wedding? We were devastated to not be able to move forward and as hopeful as we are that it will happen one day it is really tough to actually make the decision on whether to continue waiting or to cancel. 

Did you immediately look for alternative venues? Maybe a Wedding in NZ? or were plans ‘up in the air’ for a while? Our plans are very much up in the air still. We were always going to do the legal piece in New Zealand just the 2 of us and really make something special. Plans around whether we do that while we wait to be able to get to Bali eventually or whether we cut the losses and cancel to then just do something much smaller in New Zealand are very much running through our minds. 

What did you do/or plan to do on your original wedding date? We had a lovely weekend away just the 2 of us. It was so important to us to always try and stay positive as frustrating as everything was but to really make the day something we would still always remember. 

Did you change your mind about anything in the interim or change anything about your day, apart from Locations! Maybe size etc N/A at the moment but will need to downsize if we do cancel. 

Besides your postponement, has Covid affected anything else in your life? Covid definitely changed the way we were used to doing things as being very avid travellers not being able to do something we loved was hard! It made deciding when to start a family and plans all change. We really wanted to start a family and had hoped to once the wedding had happened along with just enjoy the final year of travelling as just the 2 of us. Obviously covid impacted that and we made the decision to start a family sooner. Ultimately it has been amazing, and we are now very lucky to be pregnant with our first little bubs. 

What advice would you give to anyone else who’s planning in a pandemic? Is there anything you’d do differently, or anything you’ve learned along the way that you’d share with others? I think the biggest thing is understanding the pandemic and how quickly it can change things while also trying to make alternative plans that could work as well. Make sure you read the fine print and know what you are getting into with each provider to ensure there is flexibility with dates when it comes to outbreaks. We have really stuck to what we want for our special day and are being patient and completely understand this won’t work for everyone but don’t let outside influences try to change what you want to do for your day. If it comes to the time that we need to make the call, we want it to be because we are ready to not because everyone has said so. It has really led us to think about how we can include family and friends that cannot make it due to travel restrictions. If you have really close friends and family stuck overseas really think about the ways you can include them from afar via online, maybe sending little favours for them to get to make them feel included. 

We hope Stacey gets her dream wedding soon, check out this beautiful Bali Destination Wedding for more inspiration (preview below)

If after reading this, you would like to share your own Wedding Planning experience during the COVID-19 Pandemic, send me an email at , I’d love to hear from you!

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