The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown lives across the world into disarray, especially for couples who’d planned on getting married this summer. Even if your state is relaxing restrictions, you might be wondering about rescheduling your wedding in Hawaii or picking a date if you’ve just gotten engaged. While nothing is certain in these challenging times, the frequently asked questions below can help you decide on a path forward.
4 FAQs Brides Planning to Marry in Hawaii Have During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Should I postpone my wedding?
Whether you should postpone depends on several factors, including the size of your party. While Hawaii is gradually relaxing restrictions, large gatherings are still prohibited, and anyone coming from out of state is currently subject to a strict 14-day quarantine through at least July 31, 2020. Although it was just announced that, starting August 1, 2020, this quarantine could be avoided with a negative test for Covid-19 just prior to travel, this is subject to change as the situation dictates, and official procedures are just being put into place.
(UPDATE: As of July 13, 2020, the governor announced postponement of the above plan, and extended the mandatory quarantine until at least August 31, 2020, until a better plan can be put into place. )
Thus, if your ceremony is planned through August or even in early September, postponing may be the safest choice if you don’t want to take any risks or go through the quarantine. Be sure to ask your wedding planner about their postponement and reschedule options to see what’s best for you if that’s what you decide to do.
Another option is to move ahead with your wedding date and take the event online. Simple Kona Beach Weddings, for example, offers virtual weddings which allow you and your wedding guests to be a part of your big day from the comfort and safety of home, while still bringing Hawaii to you. Be aware, however, that virtual weddings are not considered legally official in the State of Hawaii, so if you are not here in person yourselves, you’d still need to do the paperwork in your home state. Ask your wedding planner about their virtual options, and how they can bring a little piece of Hawaii to your nuptials.
If I choose to postpone, how long should I wait?
As of June 19th, Hawaii has reported the fewest COVID-19 cases per capita in the country. Unfortunately, no one knows how the COVID-19 situation will develop, so it’s impossible to set a definite date. Although a plan might be in place by September, rebooking for mid-fall or even next year may minimize the risk of needing to postpone again, especially if circumstances change.
What should we do after deciding to postpone?
Once you’ve decided to put off the wedding, tell any guests about the change of plans right away. Your friends and family members can then change travel arrangements or request refunds if necessary.
Should I plan a smaller event?
Even though many couples coming to Hawaii to get married tend to have a limited number of guests already, it’s a good idea to take a good look at who still plans on coming, whether you are hoping to keep your original date or are planning on rescheduling.
As of this posting, weddings on the beach in Hawaii are still limited to 10 people – that includes your officiant, photographer, and any other people helping at your event, as well as yourselves and any guests. However, if you had planned for a larger group, then know that not everyone may be able to attend. Even if you choose to wait until this restriction is lifted, some of your guests may not feel comfortable traveling until the virus is under control.
If you continue with the ceremony as planned, don’t expect everyone you invited to show up due to restrictions and health concerns. Be prepared to minimize the guest list to ensure the safety of yourselves and your guests.
Many couples are even choosing to eliminate their guests altogether to avoid the complications of testing and travel for others, and either have them attend virtually, or have a gathering at home to celebrate when the timing is right.
No matter what, with these uncertain times, the most important thing is to do your best to be flexible, and remember that although your wedding planner is not an all-seeing oracle, they are a wonderful resource to give you the latest conditions in Hawaii (Simple Kona Beach Weddings has a page with the latest Covid-19 Hawaii Travel-Related Updates), and to assist you with your options should you need to postpone and reschedule, and to help you make your day special no matter the circumstances!
You and your future spouse will ultimately decide what is best for you and how you would like to proceed with your big day, but if you’re planning your wedding for late summer, the fall or sometime in the future, or are interested in a virtual summer wedding, Becky Ringler of Simple Kona Beach Weddings in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii will be there to offer you guidance and peace of mind while helping you plan your intimate beach wedding ceremony. Visit their website to learn more about in person and virtual wedding services, follow their Facebook or Instagram for frequent updates, or call (888) 582-5775 to discuss your plans today.
All photos taken during or after a Simple Kona Beach Weddings event.
Heading photo courtesy of Hannah C’s Photography. Photo in the body of the post by Simple Kona Beach Weddings.