FAQ's What happens if restrictions continue in 2021?
We will contact you 3 months before your wedding date to discuss all your options with you. If things are looking uncertain for your date we will discuss plan B date options and get this on hold for you. You will be offered to postpone free of charge to any dates within 12 months, 2 months before your wedding date. If you would prefer to hold on at that time we will need to know 4 weeks before if you plan is to go ahead or postpone so we can begin final planning stages. Postponements to dates that are more than 12 months away will be charged the elevated price for the package (our packages go up every year inline with our costs), but we will not charge any transfer/postponement fees. We are currently reviewing this and will update you within the next 4 weeks our position on this. If you would like to go ahead with restrictions we will reduce and refund the difference in your package to whatever the restrictions are 8 weeks before your date.
If my wedding cannot go ahead with more than 30, 40 ,50 etc, what happens for my wedding of 60-100?
No standardised answer for this one I'm afraid. It needs to be a conversation around do you want to go ahead, how feasible is it, etc but also based on fact and not speculation. Whilst we won't charge you for guests you do not have, there is a limit to how much we can reduce a package and still have a viable event. We understand you would not wish to pay for a package of double the amount of guests, however our packages are based on the average bar spend taking into consideration for that amount of guests, so the breakdown is often a complicated matter which we would need to work through with you individually.
Can you quote me for XYZ numbers now, for my wedding post April 2021, just so I know what options are if numbers are restricted?
To quote bespoke for infinite possibilities, would not be viable for us at this time as it would take weeks to do for everyone. If at any time we get a clear indication you are going to be restricted in any way we will immediately give you some price indications & would already be talking options with you. One thing we can confirm, is that for example if you had a package for 60, and the numbers were restricted to 30 and you decided you wanted to go ahead, the cost of the wedding would not be 'halved' - all packages include venue hire for example which is no less for different sized weddings, planning costs, accommodation, etc etc. So that is something we can confirm would be the case for all packages of any size or price.
My friends venue has confirmed they can go ahead in X months for definite with 100 people, so I presume we can too?
We adhere to government guidance only.
Can guests who are shielding still come?
If someone has been told the shield and not go out then they should not really be at a wedding no. If they are tech savvy you could perhaps arrange to live stream to them.
postponing & cancelling For weddings confirmed affected in some way we have already been in touch to discuss your options.
If your wedding is looking like it will be affected we will be in touch as soon as we have that information confirmed from Government. At this time, we are not able to offer a free of charge postponement as we do not have any conclusive information at this time that your wedding will be severely affected. Whilst we fully understand this is a difficult and stressful time, in order to safeguard the future of our business we must mitigate our losses as much as possible yet we have maintained an incredibly fair system of choosing you a "plan B" date 3 months before, and at the very latest, offering the chance to move to that date - free of charge - at 8 weeks before.
Please understand that these postponements are not "free" for us. We now loose another date we need to sell [to help recoup our losses elsewhere], and we are incurring much higher costs in admin. Wedding packages that were priced with enough admin to plan a wedding once, are now incurring sometimes 4 times as much as many of our couples have moved multiple times. Our supplier costs also rise year on year, and therefore our prices do to reflect. By holding current prices for dates some 2,3 or 4 years from original booking date, we are incurring massive losses and appreciate our couples understanding of this. We are not able to discount a move date in any way.
If your wedding is post June 21, and you wish to postpone it to 2022 or beyond - your options at this time are: 1. Wait until 3 months before for a 'free of charge' postponement IF your wedding is at that stage believed to be dramatically affected by Covid restrictions 2. Transfer now but not for free. We appreciate to some this may feel unfair, but, this situation is incredibly difficult for us all, and whilst we try to uphold 5* care of you as our clients, we do also need to ensure that our business survives an incredibly challenging time. Our policies are not only fair, but also ensure financial viability for our business and therefore jobs for our team, even if this lasts beyond 2021.
Cancellation options. These are conversations we never wish to have, and are always under such sad circumstances. If you need to cancel your day, for whatever reason, generally speaking; - If you are cancelling in a confirmed affected period, then you will be entitled to a full refund of your wedding package, less costs incurred. The costs incurred for planning your date will be in dependant on when you have cancelled, with how much notice, and how much work has been done. On average, for weddings cancelling more than a month in advance, the costs are around 30%, that has had planning admin, meetings, taster meal, booking in processes etc. This is only a guide and if placed in that position a full breakdown would be given. We can confirm this is fully inline with the CMA guidance that a couple should only loose unrecoverable costs and have the rest refunded. As always we are fully transparent with our communications and our costs, and only look to cover those costs. We do offer free of charge postponements to help mitigate couples losses as much as we can. - If you are cancelling not in a confirmed affected period, e.g. September 2021, then please refer to your signed terms and conditions for your cancellation clause which will stand.
Suppliers Where do I stand with suppliers?
Depending on your contracts with the suppliers, as this is classed as a "voluntary" cancellation or postponement, you should expect to bear some cost in either with-held deposit or an uplift in price for the new booking. I appreciate this may feel 'unfair' but please do consider that the supplier is not obliged to break their terms for dates that are not in a lockdown period and will no doubt be experiencing incredible financial strain having lost almost a years income. We will hold a plan B date for you while you talk to your suppliers to ensure that they can all make your new date. If they are unable to we are happy to discuss other options with you.
On the day If the restrictions don't lift say for 2021, what does a COVID secure wedding really look like?
Your ceremony seating will need to have a fixed seating plan, grouped by bubbles, we will then spread the bubbles out to allow for social distancing to be adhered to. Following your ceremony, you will be able to have your photos - following SD'ing as much as possible. We would suggest your drinks reception time is shortened to allow just for the photos, as mingling is prohibited outside of 'bubbles' so could be a little limiting. We will serve drinks from the drinks cart, guests will need to distance from other bubbles when 'queuing' & then be seated (no standing drinking allowed currently). We will not be able to serve canapes in the traditional manner - instead these would be served to the table as an appetiser* (*If included in your package) Your sit down meal - the table plan should be grouped by bubbles. The sit down meal itself will all be served as normal for a fully plated meal. If you have opted for a hog roast, or buffet, this would need to be changed, or we would need to serve it to each guest fully plated - there would not be an open buffet station. Speeches are permitted. The microphone would need sanitising before 'passing on' - and the speaker should remain at least 2m back from guests. No evening reception is currently permitted in the sense of dancing or evening guests - therefore we'd suggest you move the day back later if appropriate. After the meal guests can stay, and drink etc, but do need to remain mostly seated and in their bubbles as much as possible. *It is very important we stress this is "as of today" - this guidance is highly likely to be different with very little notice at some point in the future.
Social distancing - still a thing for my wedding? What if my guests don't comply? Will there be ugly plastic signs reminding people to distance?
Well yes unfortunately, all the time SD is part of life, your wedding day is no different. Therefore, bubbles should avoid mixing and maintain 1m+ distance outside, or 2m inside. They'll be no ugly signs - we are all grown ups right? We may have some 'educational' but tasteful blackboards reminding guests of the 'rules' for the event if we deem it necessary. Any guests not complying with distancing guidelines will be gently reminded by the venue. We will only 'escalate' an issue to you if the guests remain uncompliant, and therefore your event is put at risk. We endanger our license, huge fines, insurance issues if we are negligent in any way. We really hope our role as 'the fun police' will not have to be put to the test, we've had NO instances that we've had to ask a guest to step back etc, however of course the level of intoxication may change the likelihood of this happening.
Can my guests order drinks at the bar?
For the moment - no. They will be able to order and pay on our online app, and drinks will be delivered to them. I suspect, when bar standing is allowed again, it will be in a distanced queue format - from a practicality point of view this could cause problems, so I foresee online ordering as the way forward - allowing guests to remain with their friends relaxing, not stood solo in a queue.
I want to do a tab for my guests, so how do they order as I don't want them to pay on the app?
We will agree the tab rules with you as standard, and then we will take table orders and deliver the drinks.
Can I still have a cake?
Your cake being 'out' on display - we believe - would be subject to it being behind a perspex screen which we have. You can have individual cupcakes boxed in cardboard boxes - the Abbey Cake shop are providing these as I'm sure are many others. These could double up as your favours and we would place them on the tables with tea/coffee at the end of the meal.
Can I 'live stream' the day to guests who cannot come?
Of course you can, we have free Wifi throughout.
We are currently struggling with wanting to uphold our 5* customer care and personal experience with the volume of queries and weddings we are currently postponing. We really appreciate your patience in us getting back to you. We will respond as soon as we can but please only chase us or call us if we have not responded within 14 days so we can continue to work as fast as we can. We will be working through in date order. We understand how stressful this for you both and we are doing our very best to get to you as soon as possible.
The Ferry House Inn. Harty Ferry Road, Harty, Kent, ME12 4BQ. Tel: 01795 510 214