You spent weeks planning your dream elopement and had everything perfect, right down to the gorgeous New Orleans hotel and planned garden photoshoot.
Then out of the blue, Coronavirus comes around and seemingly upends the world overnight. While stocks plummet and everyone’s focus shifts to personal finances, job security, kids out of school and social distancing, couples all over the country have been left wondering, “what now?”
With the advent of Coronavirus, the entire wedding industry has been jostled. As if you would want dozens of your friends and family all gathered in one closed space for several hours during one of the largest viral outbreaks in modern history, you don’t even have a choice in the matter. With new social distancing and quarantine mandates, making plans for any kind of a wedding has been put on hold.
While traditional weddings may be out of the question, what about elopements? They are smaller, often take place outside and in warmer climates, and don’t necessarily rely on tight planning schedules to come to fruition.
Let’s take a look at the state of eloping during COVID-19 and how you and your significant other can weather the storm.
Is it Possible to Elope During Quarantine?
Needless to say, getting eloped right this moment may not be the best idea in the world. It’s not only a matter of safety, it’s a matter of logistics and personal finance.
First of all, traveling on airlines to get to your elopement destination poses its own set of risks. Many hotels are not even open at the moment due to local and state laws prohibiting non-essential businesses from operating. Even if they were, would you really want to stay in such a place, especially if many other people were there?
Then there is the planning aspect. Many florists, photographers, and other key professions that make elopements and weddings run properly are considered non-essential, meaning they are running with a skeleton crew, not running at all, or out of business entirely. Something like 10% of the entire workforce is out of a job right now, according to the latest statistics.
This means that even if you wanted to push for an elopement during this time, you may not be hiring the best services and may not have nearly as many options at your disposal in order to make your vision come to life, because so many places are simply not operating at this time. And again it’s worth mentioning, would you really want them to be anyway? Essential workers like grocers and doctors are putting their lives on the line every time they step out of their doors, all so we can continue to have these important services.
To add to this, there is essentially a countrywide social distancing mandate at the moment that strongly encourages everyone to stand at least 6 feet apart when in public. This makes any kind of festivities during an elopement hard, if not impossible. Are you supposed to stand 6 feet away from the officiant? Are you even allowed to greet your guests or receive their gifts without rubbing them down with Lysol?
It’s a giant mess, to say the least. Weddings and elopements are by definition highly social affairs that require multiple corners of society to come together in a cohesive system: cooks, hotel management, elopement planners, photographers, caterers, florists, delivery drivers, taxi drivers, flight attendants, musicians, decorators, DJs, church personnel, and the list goes on. When the majority of these professions aren’t even working at the moment, and the rest are pressed for time, working insane hours, or possibly at risk for contamination, the end result is not optimal if you are planning on holding a wedding or elopement.
So the short answer is, for now, eloping during quarantine is probably not the best move. While it is still an option to hire an officiant and get eloped without many guests and without traveling far or relying on many extraneous services, your ceremony is almost surely going to be lackluster and there will always be that feeling of a letdown.
What’s a Couple in Love to Do?
The best option any couple could take at the moment is to be patient and reschedule your elopement. Here at IBAY Photography, we can arrange your rescheduling for up to 24 months, just call and inquire with me. It’s understandable that you may be facing an extremely difficult time and don’t want to deal with trying to arrange your dream elopement in the middle of a pandemic.
There’s another aspect to this that’s important to consider: finances. With the instability of the markets and the general chaos that has resulted from the Coronavirus outbreak, as well as rampant job loss, protecting your finances is of paramount importance.
One of the best ways you can invest in each other as a couple is to spend your money wisely and plan accordingly. Make arrangements to hold your elopement in a few months once the quarantine is lifted and life begins returning to normal. You’ll be able to better gauge the state of the economy and you will have all the right options available to you to plan the best elopement possible.
Right now, it’s more important to look after your health and the health and security of your loved ones. In the meantime, you can look at our plethora of New Orleans elopement inspiration here and plan your dream elopement with us for later this year or next year. Love is patient above all else, so don’t feel pressured to get eloped now. Reschedule and wait for normalcy to return.
Stay safe everyone, and if you have any questions about our elopement services at this time, please feel free to contact me.