Wedding ceremony under the gazebo at Rough & Ready Vineyards. Photo by Jana Johnston PhotographyIn one day, it seems the whole world has changed due to the Coronavirus. All of the plans we’d been working on and events we’d scheduled suddenly stopped. The world came to a halt as we were all told to stay home and stay healthy. It’s an absolutely unprecedented challenge that we have all been called upon to rise up and meet head-on. But, as we continue to shelter in place, it can feel like everything is on hold, and there’s nothing that can be done about it.
 
It’s true that there’s nothing we can do about our current situation aside from following the guidelines of our nation’s health officials, but we can take steps toward your future and future events. With our practical tips for planning your event in the midst of COVID-19, you can start working towards your successful event today!
 
Keep in mind that there are two main pieces for planning any event or wedding:
1. Renting a venue
2. Everything else
 

Renting a Venue

 
Booking your venue: If you’ve already booked a spot for your wedding or event, now’s the time to get very familiar with their refund and rescheduling policies. Some venues will charge you to change your date. Others understand the financial loss this would be for you. Because the circumstances are out of your control, your venue should be able to reschedule you with no additional fee.
 
If you have not had a chance to reschedule with your current vendor, now’s the time! People are starting to see beyond the end of social distancing, and plan for the future by beginning to book up again. If you can’t find the date you wanted at the vendor of your choice, again, now’s the time to look at alternatives and get something on the calendar.
 
If you were about to book your venue but decided to hold off, it’s time to look again! Wedding planners and event producers alike tend to plan six months to a year ahead. As we enter our sixth (or so) week of isolation, those planners and producers have had a lot of time to plot and plan! Dates at your venues will be going fast from here on out so if you have a specific date in mind for your wedding or event, call your venue today!
 
As the Coronavirus spreads and the doors to venues and service providers closed all over town, many people that were on our calendar at The Foothills Event Center chose to reschedule their events for later in the year instead of canceling them outright. That means that when we are given the “all clear” to gather again, there will be a surge of people looking to book dates. After a few months of social distancing, people are going to be ready to come out and play!
 
If you are getting married this year or planning an event, give us a call at (530) 271-1000. We’ll see if we have a date available for you at the end of this year, or we are taking bookings now for 2021 as well.
 
Plan for the slow-adopters: The COVID-19 pandemic is a very serious situation, and when the time comes that we can gather again, some people may still be apprehensive about being in groups right away. When you are looking at your venue rental, make sure that they offer live streaming so that those that want to participate in your wedding or event can still be a part of the festivities without feeling like they have to compromise their health.
 
The beautiful grounds of Rough & Ready Vineyards

Everything Else

Rental items: As you may or may not know, once you have your venue booked, then the rest of your wedding or event will fall into place. The venue determines what else you’ll need to rent like tables, chairs, linens, table settings, and glassware (to name a few!), and it will also determine the feel and theme of your wedding. Some venues lend themselves to one theme or another.
 
If you’re planning a specific theme like Country Chic, weddings are straightforward to do at an outdoor venue like a vineyard. Black-tie events may be better at an indoor venue. It’s all up to what you want for your event or wedding!
 
Check to see whether the venue you chose has those items to rent. If so, then you’re probably set. If you need to find another vendor to rent those items from, now’s a good time to hunker down and do some homework. Take a look online and see what your options are. Then, make some phone calls to see if folks are also working from home and can answer questions for you or even make a booking.
 
Catering: Many caterers have been keeping themselves busy by offering domestic catering and they are doing well. If you have a caterer in mind, it doesn’t hurt to call and start the conversation.
 
Take the time to research various caterers in your area and see who is still in business and who is willing to talk with you about your options. Maybe take the extra time you have now to really flesh out a menu and/or theme.
Have some fun with it and see if they can provide you with what you envision.
 
The Cake: Bakeries and baking professionals have also been hit hard by the pandemic, and some will go out of business. If you started conversations with a baker or baking professional before the pandemic broke out, check in with them and see what their plans are and if they will still be able to provide you with the cake you desire. If not, now’s a good time to look around at who is still in business and what services you can book now.
 
DJs and Live Music: As you may have seen on Facebook, there are musicians and DJ’s across the globe that are offering free concerts online, playing and recording songs in isolation and doing what they can with their craft to stay busy. Though they have not been able to play in public for months, they will be more than happy to get back in the swing of playing live again, so now’s the time to find the DJ or live band for your event or wedding.
 
The Foothills Event Center Staff: The Foothills Event Center staff are at home working remotely, and we are here to take your call and answer your questions during regular business hours at (530) 271-1000.
 
Our expert staff is here for you, through thick and thin, and we wish you good health and look forward to seeing you all again in the very near future!