Quarantined? 5 Wedding Planning Tasks to Do from Home

The spread of COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of everyday life – including special celebrations like weddings. Couples with spring and early summer weddings have had to postpone their big days, venues everywhere have shuttered their doors for tours, and vendors have cancelled all in-person meetings.

Planning a wedding can be hectic even under the best circumstances; a global health pandemic adds even more stress and uncertainty. You may be wondering if it’s worth it or even possible to continue your wedding planning tasks at this time. But whether you're moving your big day or planning a 2021 celebration, there are plenty of ways to make progress on your wedding plans while you're at home.

[Read our message to couples who have postponed their 2020 wedding due to COVID-19]

1. Schedule 1:1 consultations by phone or video call with your vendors.

Many vendors, including Hurricane Productions, have switched to virtual consultations for couples planning an upcoming wedding. Prepare your questions and ideas, including any relevant visuals if you’re using video, then give them a call – you may be surprised at how many wedding planning tasks you can check off remotely.

If you're considering us for your big day, our general manager Chelsea is available to chat with you and answer any questions you may have. You can book directly on her calendar here.

2. Curate your wedding Pinterest boards.

Creating a wedding Pinterest board is a great way to digitally curate your wedding day inspiration. Not only does this help keep you and your fiancé on track, but it also gives your photographer and other vendors a visual representation of your dream wedding.

Consider adding pictures of poses you’d like to recreate, event photos from your venue, or anything else that highlights your wedding aesthetic and overall style.

wedding pinterest board

3. Choose your ceremony and reception music.

Whether you’re hiring live musicians or a DJ, your wedding soundtrack can create some memorable moments and enhance the overall ambiance of your event. You’ll need music for your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception – including specific songs for any special ceremony or reception events, like your first dance.

If Hurricane Productions is providing entertainment and/or ceremony sound for your big day, you can easily select and share your music via your online planning portal.

4. Write your vows.

If you're writing your own vows, now is a great time to do it. You have a lot of downtime to reflect on your relationship (especially if you and your fiancé are quarantined together!), which may help you get inspired to draft your "I do's." Be sure to discuss the format and tone with your partner.

5. Start shopping online for wedding party gifts, decor, favors and more.

While brick and mortar stores have shut down, you can shop online to get a head start on wedding purchases. Even if you don't hit the "buy" button right now, you can start gathering some of your favorite links for inspiration and purchase closer to your big day.

We highly recommend checking out Etsy shops and local boutique websites to help support small businesses during this time. If you’re feeling crafty, order your supplies online and get to creating!

While the effects of social distancing and quarantining have changed the course of event planning, there are still plenty of wedding planning tasks you can do from the comfort of your own home. And when your big day finally arrives, you and your new spouse will have an amazing day, surrounded by the ones you love the most. 

wedding rings new jersey wedding photography

Hurricane Productions offers a full suite of all-inclusive wedding services to help you celebrate your big day. Visit our pricing page for package details, or request a quote to confirm our availability for your date.

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How Much Do New Jersey Weddings Really Cost?

Depending on who you ask, the exact number for the average NJ wedding cost can vary greatly. But make no mistake: New Jersey weddings are among the most expensive in the nation.

According to The Knot, the average United States wedding cost nearly $34,000 in 2018. New Jersey averages are considerably higher, ranging from a conservative $38,049 (USA Today) to a whopping $62,074 or more in Northern and Central New Jersey (The Knot).

So, is it possible to get married in New Jersey for less than the cost of a luxury vehicle or a home down payment? It depends on what you and your fiance envision for your wedding day.

What does the average NJ wedding cost, really?

To get a better sense of what New Jersey couples are paying for their wedding in 2020, we independently surveyed* more than 800 brides on Facebook. The vast majority said their total wedding bill was above and beyond the national average, with 77% spending more than $30,000 for their big day. Many poll respondents followed up to share their actual wedding total, which was on par with the ~$62,000 New Jersey average.

average nj wedding cost poll

Where is all that money going? The biggest line item for most couples is the venue, which typically encompasses food and beverage costs. The Knot's survey broke down the average cost for "high spenders" versus the national average and found that among those who spent above $60,000 on their wedding, the venue alone cost more than $42,000 (the national average was just $15,163).

Other major wedding expenses and their average cost, according to The Knot, include:

  • Flowers and decor ($2,379 national / $6,050 high spender)
  • Photographer ($2,630 / $5,130)
  • Ceremony site ($2,311 / $2,966)
  • Wedding planner ($1,988 / $3,775)
  • Videographer ($1,912 / $3,214)
  • Wedding dress ($1,509 / $3,158)
  • DJ ($1,231 / $2,300)

How to reduce your wedding cost

The average NJ wedding cost might make your head spin, but don't be intimidated: There are countless ways to throw an incredible wedding on a budget and save money on certain elements. Here are a few easy ways to trim down the cost of your wedding.

1. Think beyond the Saturday evening wedding.

Weddings are traditionally held on Saturday evenings -- and venues price accordingly. Most banquet halls and restaurants charge less to host an event on a Friday or Sunday evening or weekend afternoons, either by reducing the cost per head or lowering the minimum guest count. Daytime receptions are becoming more popular as we head into 2020 wedding season, so going this route means you'll be on-trend and saving money for your big day.

2. Plan an off-season wedding.

Venue prices also tend to vary depending on the time of year you book. Peak wedding season is historically late spring through early fall (April through September), which means you'll pay top dollar for those dates. If you're flexible on your wedding date and don't mind the cold, you might be able to slash the price of your New Jersey wedding by getting married in the late fall, winter, or early spring. Other wedding vendors may also offer discounts during these "slower" times of the year.

3. Pare down your guest list.

Since your venue is generally the largest portion of your wedding budget, cutting down your guest list can help you save a considerable amount of money. This can be a difficult process, especially if your parents are helping you finance your wedding and want to invite their friends to celebrate your big day. If you're having trouble, Brides.com recommends eliminating friends and relatives you haven't spoken to in years, coworkers, plus-ones you've never met, and other "fringe" people who aren't prominent in your life.

4. Ask your married friends for vendor referrals.

Many wedding vendors (including us!) love to thank loyal clients by offering a referral incentive when they bring in new business. You can often receive a discount or price-match from a vendor, just by name-dropping your recently-married friend who used their services. For example, Hurricane offers referral clients a generous discount on their wedding day package, as well as a $25 gift card to the client who referred them.

Bundle services and save money with Hurricane Productions

When you book multiple services with Hurricane Productions, we are able to offer a bundled discount on our individual package prices. For a limited time, we're even offering an All-Inclusive Wedding Package, which includes four of our most popular services for just $4,995. You'll save over 10% and receive the following for your wedding day:

Our 2020 wedding dates are booking up fast, so request a quote to confirm our availability for your big day!

*Survey methodology: A Hurricane Productions representative created and posted a poll in a private Facebook group for engaged and recently married New Jersey brides. The poll was posted in November 2019 and received 826 responses total.


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