Important steps and money-saving tips if you’ve had to postpone your wedding and wedding entertainment due to coronavirus
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought life, weddings and the wedding entertainment industry to a standstill. In this guide, we will explain what you can do if because of the coronavirus pandemic, you or your wedding band or wedding entertainment has had to postpone. We also show you how to potentially save some money or avoid extra costs during this financially tough time.
The long, long slog and uncertainty of coronavirus lockdown.
Back in March, we wrote a guide outlining the steps you can take during the pandemic if you’d had to cancel your wedding or your wedding entertainment cancelled on you. It’s here if you want to read it and covers a lot of important topics.
A huge response from all of you
We had a huge response from that guide, with many couples asking us further questions and clearly being very worried and unsure about what they should do about their upcoming weddings, wedding bands or entertainment. We felt we had to do something about that and the changing situation for all of us since March.
Up to date and relevant information for you
It’s been almost 3 long months since our last post on coronavirus and we’ve taken on board what couples have asked and told us to compile this new guide. Some couples are having a really difficult time simply trying to speak to their wedding entertainment providers or get some straight answers. For this and many other reasons, we decided to write another guide. The information we give is relevant for any wedding, party or function you were planning on having and is also relevant for any suppliers you had booked, not simply live wedding bands or entertainment. We hope you find it as useful as we wish it to be.
What’s changed since March?
Well, quite a lot as I’m sure you would agree. The government has continued lockdown longer than many people may have imagined they would and this has had a huge impact on the wedding industry and the country. We have suffered massively as a country and it’s going to be a long road back to normality in our everyday life, work-life and for all couples out there who are getting married this year and possibly even next year.
How is the wedding industry affected?
Wedding venues and the wedding industry as a whole will be one of the last industry’s to be reopened once lockdown ends and that is leaving couples wondering if their wedding can even take place during 2020. We’ve had couples contacting us distraught at having to postpone their wedding a second or even third time this year. It’s a highly disorientating and stressful time for you all and we are always here to help, 7 days a week 10 am to 10 pm obligation-free via, phone, text, live chat and email.
What we’ve decided to do
Aside from writing this new guide, we all had a long (zoom based) chat here at Seventh Second and came up with one unanimous big decision. We decided to lower our prices by 15% across all our live wedding bands indefinitely to help you if you are struggling to find an affordable wedding band or struggling to find a new band because your current band can’t accommodate your new wedding date. We hope this helps while we are all feeling the financial pressures during the coronavirus pandemic.
Freezing prices and no extra booking fees
We have also decided to freeze any scheduled price increases (these only reflect inflation) indefinitely and also guarantee there will be no extra fees added to any bookings due to COVID-19.
There will never be any rebooking fees either
So far, we have managed to rebook 85% of our 2020 wedding bookings for later in the year or 2021 onwards and unlike some wedding entertainment websites out there, never considered charging extra for this service as it didn’t seem fair. No one asked for this pandemic after all! Again, we hope this helps and reassures you during the pandemic.
The 5 steps you can take if you or your wedding band needs to postpone due to the coronavirus
Let me now show you the steps, in the order that you should consider taking them if you or your live band have to postpone due to COVID-19. These are based on the latest information from the government, our industry and most importantly, the real and legitimate concerns of couples due to get married.
Firstly, here are the steps in a simple list for you.
Step 1: Read your booking contract so you know where you stand legally
Step 2: Read any terms and conditions and understand your consumer rights
Step 3: Speak with your wedding band to reach a mutual understanding
Step 4: Sort a new wedding date with all your suppliers and wedding band if possible. Make sure your booking contract us updated
Step 5: Look for alternate wedding suppliers including a wedding band for possible new dates if step 4 does not go to plan and check your legal obligations and rights in this regard
Step 1: Your booking contract
I spoke about a similar step in our other guide on the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s just as important here. Ideally, before speaking to your live band about postponement, new wedding dates or any issues they flag up, always read the contract you have with them first. There may be clauses within your contract regarding force majeure events (which COVID-19 can sometimes be classed under) or even clauses on postponement and any extra fees or steps you or the wedding band should take. Get a good understanding of where you stand so any future conversations go smoothly.
Step 2: Terms and conditions and your rights as a consumer
We have spoken to many couples feeling desperate simply because their live band or their representatives have left them with many unanswered questions or simply stopped communicating with them altogether during these last few months. Often there has also been no mention of what happens to money already paid to them, if the couples can get a refund or if they still have to pay the full amount owed.
Poor and confusing booking contracts
Many times, these unfortunate couples have shown us booking contracts that are badly written, don’t support them or at best are simply loosely worded and legally flimsy. This is why after reading your booking contract, always check your wedding bands terms and conditions on their website. It could offer the extra clarification you need. You can always contact the helpful citizen’s advice and check the gov.uk website as they have some very useful information on consumer rights and contractual agreements.
Step 3: Speak to your wedding band
Ok, so now that you’ve got a good understanding of where you stand legally, it’s time to chat with your wedding band. Whether you have to postpone or they have said they have to, you are in a good position to now discuss this further.
Stress and uncertainty during COVID-19
The pandemic is an incredibly stressful and uncertain time for everyone, especially everyone looking to get married or working in the wedding or music industry so tempers and emotions can easily get the better of us. With all the contractual information understood, you can hopefully avoid anything silly being said by either party. Keep calm and cool, it will help you in the long run.
If your live wedding band postpones
This doesn’t seem to be too prevalent but if your wedding band does postpone, understanding your rights is very important. You may be owed money like the deposit you paid, or you may even have to pay the remaining balance. If you ever feel unsure, you can contact us, and we will try and help but don’t forget about the very helpful citizens advice and gov.uk websites. Most importantly, talk to each other to try and resolve the issues. If your wedding band cancels on you due to COVID-19, read our guide here.
Work together, understand each other and stay positive
The pandemic has ground our industry to a halt, so most wedding bands out there should be very willing to accommodate any new dates you have. It is also quite rare for wedding bands to postpone or cancel during this time, so this should reassure a little.
As mentioned, we have managed to rebook 85% of our couples bookings with their respective wedding bands so far and we hope this is the same industry-wide. Most weddings are being postponed until 2021 to play it safe and most bands, wedding suppliers and wedding venues are working hard for each other. It’s great to see as we all need to help each other during these tough times.
Step 4: Picking a new wedding date or venue
Most couples we speak to are having to postpone their weddings and as mentioned, they may have already postponed them once or twice! In fact, we would say that 90% of couples we speak to are having to postpone and rebook due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. It’s awful considering all of you had carefully planned and prepared your perfect wedding days however, step 4 is light at the end of the tunnel!
When do you rebook your wedding for?
Based on government advice, the steps they plan to take, our conversations with wedding venues, fellow musicians, wedding professionals and you, we don’t expect weddings to be back in any meaningful sense until September at the earliest but more realistically October or November. It’s why over 70% of couples are trying to rebook for the same date but a year down the line in 2021.
Weddings in 2021 and onwards are the safer bet
We are generally suggesting to couples that picking a new wedding date in 2021 is the safer option and offers the most advantages. We know it’s deeply upsetting having to postpone at all, let alone for a year but the advantages are:
- The pandemic should have cleared, and normal life should have essentially resumed
- Booking for 2021 gives you a better chance of keeping the same wedding venue, wedding suppliers and wedding entertainment booked in
- Booking this far in advance should guarantee more of your guests can make your special day
- Booking in 2021 gives you more time to plan, save money and get back to your normal life before the wedding day
- There’s a strong chance you can keep the same date but just a year on which a lot of couples are really happy about
- Giving yourself another year to plan will reduce a lot of stress
Don’t forget the booking contract!
Hopefully, you have a new wedding date sorted and if you do, don’t forget to ask your wedding entertainment to update the contract. Again, check all the details as for many wedding entertainment websites and live wedding bands, this whole experience is uncharted territory. Dot the T’s and cross the I’s…or is it the other way round?!
Step 5: If your wedding band can’t make your new date
We understand that trying to find a new date that all your guests, family, wedding venue and wedding suppliers are free for is a potentially tricky and stressful task, but we are finding as mentioned that most of our couples are managing it.
What to do
However, if your wedding band or entertainment can’t make your new date don’t panic. There’s plenty of fantastic wedding entertainment out there and if you’ve had to move your wedding date due to the coronavirus pandemic, cancelling your current wedding entertainment should hopefully fall under a force majeure event. This generally means you can cancel penalty-free, however, you may not be guaranteed to receive any deposits you’ve already paid back. Again, steps 1 and 2 will help with all this and who knows, you may find an even better, more suitable or affordable live band for your wedding!
I hope you’ve found this guide as useful as the previous COVID-19 guide and it helps you move forward positively during these distressing times. Always check your rights and if you have open and informed conversations with your wedding band or entertainment, we’re sure you will reach an amicable solution. Again, we can’t guarantee it’s the industry standard, but so far, we have managed to rebook 85% of our couples wedding bands for dates in late 2020 or 2021 and that’s very positive news! We’ve enjoyed celebrating this news with our couples anyway!
Always here to help
Because we are in the bands we promote, (you can see my band above) we’re always here to help and can offer genuine and expert advice obligation-free. We are open 7 days a week, 10 am to 10 pm so if you have any questions, comments or just need a fantastic wedding band for your future or postponed wedding, come and speak to us.
The awful coronavirus will pass, and weddings will be back which is a good thing because we love performing for you and want to get straight back to it! That’s why we’ll always put you and your guests above all else.
Here are some useful links from the government regarding coronavirus too.
Guidance for households with possible coronavirus
Coronavirus latest information and advice
Thanks and take care,
Jon and the Seventh Second family