What You Need To Know About Contracts and Insurance For a COVID-19 Wedding

We’re living in Coronavirus times, so any wedding being planned right now is a COVID-19 wedding.

It doesn’t matter if you’re getting married in 2020, 2021 or 2022. It doesn’t matter if you’re postponing your wedding or are just starting out.

If you’re planning a wedding right now you’re planning a COVID-19 wedding.

And that means you have to plan with COVID-19 in mind.

And outside of picking the right timeframe, thinking about location and guest count, and working with your vendors and making changes, there is also the legal side to think about too.

Intimate wedding ceremony moment at the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts by San Francisco destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events creator of Passport to Joy the online wedding planning course for couples
(Photo credit: Bowerbird Photography)

Now, I know the legal side of weddings (or anything for that matter) is not very fun.

But, the legal side of weddings, in this case, contracts and insurance are important.

It’s always been important. But, now with Coronavirus, it’s even more important.

So, here’s what you need to understand about contracts and insurance for your COVID-19 Wedding.

A quick note before we start diving into the information – Please know that I am not a lawyer or an insurance agent. So this is not legal advice and I cannot speak to your contracts or policies specifically.

This is wedding planning advice as it relates to contracts and insurance.

So let’s dive in…


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(Photo credit: Marina Miller)

Your wedding is made up of a team of wedding vendors. And each of your vendors will have a wedding contract.

It’s always important that you read your contracts, understand them and feel comfortable with them. And with COVID-19 wedding, there are some particular areas you’ll want to pay close attention to.

This is partially to help protect you, but also so you understand what can happen and what your vendor’s policies are around all the COVID-19 issues.

And these are things you should be looking at with both your existing contracts and new ones that you sign.

Postponement and Cancellation Policies

This is the most obvious, but you’ll want to pay close attention to the postponement and cancellation policies in your contracts.

Because if you have to postpone or cancel your wedding (which are definite possibilities in these times), you want to know what that means for you.

These policies will affect the financial side and your wedding budget.

There will likely be terms around your deposit, the remaining balance, and extra fees.

But, they may also have other terms around it that you’ll want to make sure you understand. Like what postponing to a different year will mean. Or the number of postponements allowed. Or the cancellation timeframes.

This is a very important part of your wedding contract that you need to make sure you understand.

Because with a COVID-19 wedding, you have no idea what will happen and both postponement and cancellation are very real situations you may be faced with (or are facing now).

Unable to Perform Policy

You picked your wedding vendors because they were the right fit for you. But, what happens if your vendor can’t be at your wedding as planned?

Something could happen that would prevent them from performing whether that’s a car accident, an injury or an illness.

This is typically a very rare occurrence. For example, in my 11+ years of experience, I have personally never missed a wedding.

But, with Coronavirus, that possibility is greater as this virus is affecting many across the world.

So, make sure you read their unable to perform policy and understand what happens if they were to fall ill. And make sure you’re comfortable with those terms.

Health and Safety Policy

Now your older existing contracts may not have a health and safety policy. As Coronavirus is a new thing for everyone, this policy is something you may start seeing in new wedding contracts.

This policy is about protecting both you, your guests and the wedding vendor.

And the terms will be around complying with health laws and rules and safe work conditions.

What you need to understand with this policy is what the vendor is comfortable or not comfortable with. And then you need to make sure you are on board with their policy.

Because no one wants to be in an unsafe environment (you included).


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(Photo credit: Bethany Carlson)

While wedding contracts are standard and common no matter what kind of wedding you’re having, wedding insurance is less common.

Because not all weddings require or need wedding insurance.

But, wedding insurance is a hot topic right now given Coronavirus.

Because the purpose of wedding insurance, like all insurance is to cover you in case something bad were to happen to your wedding or because of your wedding. 

And there is a lot of “bad” happening right now.

Types of Wedding Insurance

But, first, it’s important that you understand that there are two types of wedding insurance, liability and cancellation.

Liability insurance is mainly meant for the wedding venue and covers you if damage was done to the venue or someone gets hurt because of the wedding (e.g. scratches on walls, drunk guests, etc…). 

Cancellation insurance covers your investment if you had to postpone or cancel your wedding.  It also can help you if something is lost (like your dress) or a vendor goes out of business (and takes your money).  

While some venues will require you to get liability insurance to protect them, cancellation insurance is always optional.

And most couples don’t purchase cancellation insurance.

At least until now…

How Cancellation Insurance Works

With so many weddings getting postponed and cancelled due to Coronavirus, many couples are looking into cancellation insurance.

But, the problem is that, Coronavirus is already here. The pandemic is already known.

Wedding insurance (like all insurance) works best when you get it before you need it.

Think about car insurance. If you don’ have car insurance before you get in the accident, getting it after isn’t going to help with the current accident.

Or like with medical insurance. If you already have a medical condition and you try to get medical insurance, they likely are not going to cover that condition.

Wedding insurance is the same.

Which means that if you were to get a policy now, the insurance company is likely not going to cover any postponements or cancellations due to COVID-19.

You would have had to purchase the insurance before the pandemic hit in order to be covered.

Getting Cancellation Insurance Now

So, is it worth it to get insurance now? No, but with a little yes.

Your wedding won’t be covered for COVID-19 reasons unless you have a cancellation for any reason type of policy. But, these are rare and much more expensive.

So, most policies won’t cover COVID-19.

And on top of that, getting wedding insurance right now is difficult, if not impossible. Many insurance companies aren’t even offering cancellation policies anymore.

So, the answer is mainly no.

But, if you could, there is one thing the policy can possibly still help you with.

And that is covering you if a vendor were to go out of business.

Like many small businesses, the wedding industry and in turn, all your wedding vendors are suffering because of Coronavirus.

And I hate to say it, but unfortunately not all businesses are going to make it through this. 

It’s so very sad, but true.

Cancellation insurance can potentially help protect your investment if a vendor goes bankrupt.

But, it’s important you know that every policy is different and you’ll have to read the fine print to understand what would be covered (and what wouldn’t) given the current situation.

Make sure you understand what the details are before you purchase so that the insurance is actually helpful.

Excited wedding party celebrating at a Healdsburg country gardens wedding by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events creator of Passport to Joy online wedding planning course
(Photo credit: Laver Photo)

COVID-19 weddings are here for the foreseeable future and the legal side is an important part to understand.

Because you need to know what could happen, what you’re agreeing to and what the real deal is.

I know planning a wedding is hard, especially now. Become a Passport to Joy member today and let us help you through this.

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