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How to Prepare Your Wedding Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

We are in a time of such uncertainty. Many couples are forced to postpone or cancel their weddings amid the coronavirus pandemic, and some couples decided to get married right away. What should you prepare for your upcoming wedding? And what will be effecting to your wedding after COVID-19.

Postpone or Cancel Your Wedding

Most of the weddings are forced to postpone after August or later. First, contact your wedding vendors including venue, wedding planner, photographer, make-up artist, or florist in regards to the policy of rescheduling your service date, and make sure all vendors are available on your alternative wedding date. Wedding vendors are pretty understanding and they are providing flexibility to reschedule. The decision to cancel your wedding can be difficult. Most vendors aren't providing refunds on cancellation, but you might be able to get credit on a future service.

Marriage License

If you are planning to get a marriage license at a City Hall, check whether the clerk offices are open, and avoid the peak time between 12pm-3pm. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, SF City Hall is not taking reservations for events and wedding at the moment.

Information about the marriage license and civil ceremony

Have a Civil Ceremony Now and a Traditional Wedding Later

A civil ceremony is a nonreligious, legal marriage ceremony presided over by a government official. This ceremony will likely be smaller in size. You can invite your most immediate family attending (limit 6 guests including witnesses, photographer, and couples in each public ceremony).

Read more information about the instructions of Civil Ceremony at SF City Hall.

Photographer: Jeremy Chan, Bridal Artisan

You will want the moments documented so hire a photographer if even for a short period of time, get your hair and makeup done and consider having a bouquet. The total budget is much less than hosting a traditional wedding.

  • SF City Hall marriage license fee: $110

  • SF City Hall civil ceremony fee: $90

  • SF City Hall marriage certificate: $7

  • City Hall wedding photographer: $850 -1,200

  • Wedding gown rental: $280 - $780

  • Professional bridal make-up and hair: $400

  • Bridal bouquet: $150 - $200

Your cost for this memorable event could be less than $2,000 compare to a traditional wedding that you might be spending over $30,000.

Downsize Your Wedding: Choose an Officiant and Host a Ceremony at Home, a Private Place or Church

If you postponed your wedding celebration, you can consider tying the knot on your original wedding day. First you need to get a marriage license from a local clerk office, and find an officiant willing to host an at-home ceremony. You can also consider to host this ceremony at a private place or church with your immediate family. When you can finally gather with friends and family, throw a big wedding party again!

Renting a Wedding Gown instead of Purchasing

Purchasing a wedding gown could be a lot of hassle. Production time takes around 3-6 months. Gown alteration would take another 2-3 weeks. In average, wedding gown price ranges between $1,500-$2,500 in San Francisco Bay Area, so why not rent a fabulous wedding gown in a cost-effective and a convenient way. Most importantly you can lower your wedding budget. AT ROMANCE is one of the bridal shops in SF Bay Area to offer wedding gown rental services. The best part is that alteration and veil rentals are included in the package.

Making It Official at a Small Celebration

Choose an occasion that you feel special to you and your family. You can have a family dinner at home, or a late lunch after a midday ceremony.


During the coronavirus pandemic, you do not want to travel outside the country, or even a domestic trip at this time. You can consider to book a room at a nice hotel for the night or head out of town for the weekend for an early mini-moon. Half Moon Bay, Napa, or Sonoma are great options in the Bay Area.

Half Moon Bay, CA

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