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Take KARE of Your Money: Planning a wedding during the pandemic

Some couples have already had to postpone their special day three times this year. It's causing a backlog of weddings in 2021 and 2022.

MINNEAPOLIS — A lot of industries have been hit hard during the pandemic.

The wedding industry in particular has had a tough time dealing with capacity limits and other restrictions.

“It has been a whirlwind since March honestly,” wedding planner Sarah Trotter says.

Trotter owns and operates Lasting Impressions.

She has 14 years of wedding planning experience and has worked on hundreds of weddings of all shapes and sizes.

She thought she had seen it all, but then COVID-19 hit and everything changed.

“I do about 50 weddings a year and we had postponed 39 this year,” Trotter says. “Normally I would have maybe one or two in a normal year.”

And many of her couples have had to postpone their special day not just once, but as many as three times.

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She says it’s always a hassle to postpone a wedding, but it’s the way to go if you want to save your deposit.

“I have not found a lot of people that are going to refund deposits. It’s more or less everyone has been very flexible to postpone and to continue to move the deposits to other dates,” Trotter explains.

She says three months is sort of the cutoff point for cancelling or postponing a wedding.

Any less than that and you might run into problems with your vendors.

 “Three months is kind of your drop-dead time. You really don’t want to have to send invitations then resend another batch of invitations if the date has changed. It also gives family and friends time to cancel flights or rebook hotel rooms,” Trotter says.

Looking ahead, she says 2021 will be very busy, in fact many of her clients are already looking at 2022.

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For newly engaged couples that are just starting out, Trotter recommends booking a venue and photographer now.

She says booking early won’t just save you a spot, but it might also save you money, because many vendors will likely have to raise their rates.

“In general, I think a lot of these vendors will have to go up just because they are going to have to make up for some of those losses that did occur with basically a whole year of no weddings,” Trotter says.

“Plus, there is going to be a lot of demand for their services and prices go up with increased demand.”

Before you sign anything, Trotter says you should read every contract to see how vendors will handle postponements and cancellations.

And she says you shouldn’t be afraid to ask them a few questions.

It’s your money, your wedding, and you deserve have it the way you want it.

“And at the end of the day, we all know weddings will continue to happen. It’s just how will they continue to happen and when will they continue to happen.”