Do You Need to Cancel Your Destination Wedding Because of the Coronavirus?

If you’ve been reading the news, Coronavirus or COVID-19 is EVERYWHERE. And I don’t just mean in the media, although there’s definitely a lot of that.

The virus itself has also spread to multiple countries, including the US.

And it’s inciting a lot of fear.

That fear is affecting the stock market.

It’s resulting in panic Costco buying. Disinfectant wipes and masks are selling out like mad.

Schools and historic sites and museums are closing. They are cancelling festivals and celebrations. Professional soccer games are talking about not allowing spectators.

And with fear comes discrimination. People are avoiding Chinese restaurants and Chinatowns. And also Chinese people (or anyone of Asian descent for that matter).

People are even not drinking Corona beer.

It’s a total mess.

There are all kinds of rumors which just adds to the fear.

And if you’re planning a destination wedding you’re probably wondering, how does the Coronavirus affect you? Is this something to worry about? And do you need to adjust or cancel your destination wedding because of Coronavirus?

It’s a valid question.

With everything going on and the daily information pouring in, it’s hard to know how concerned you should be, if at all.

And that’s the question – how concerned should you really be?

People are scared to travel right now. And the result is a lot of cancelled trips.

And I understand. If you were planning a trip to China, I could see you wanting to cancel that trip.

So if you were planning a wedding in China, it would be smart to reconsider. Because your guests would likely not want to travel there.

But what about other Asian countries? What about Italy? Europe? Mexico? Hawaii? Or even within the continental US?

Now, I totally understand the fear people have. And when it comes to weddings, that heightened emotional state can put the fear over the top.

But, it’s so very important to put the situation into perspective.

Take a deep breath and start by looking at the facts.

And that means staying away from the hyped up media and getting real and updated information from a trusted source like the CDC.

And keep in mind that this is a quickly changing situation. So, it’s important to have and follow the current accurate information.

Now once you have the facts, then you have to think about your destination wedding.

Because in order to figure out if this is a concern and if you need cancel your wedding, you have to consider your specific destination wedding and situation.

And there are really 3 factors to consider. These 3 factors also happen to be 3 tests you can use to decide if you need to cancel your destination wedding because of the Coronavirus.

3 Tests to Decide if you need to cancel your destination wedding because of the coronavirus


So the first test is going to be your location. To start, figure out if your wedding location is on the travel advisory list.

You’ll want to check both the CDC‘s website and the DOS for information.

If it’s a location that you shouldn’t be traveling to, then rescheduling or relocating your wedding is probably best. And you would move forward with that regardless of the other two factors.

Eiffel tower in Paris France, a gay friendly wedding destinations by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: David Pullum Photography)

In addition, while your wedding location may not have an advisory or have had an outbreak, depending on that specific country’s policies you may experience travel delays, inspections, and potential quarantine.

So, you’ll want to look into the policies for your destination location and any location you’ll have to pass through (to get there and back). In addition, if travel bans start coming down the line either to your location or from your location, you’ll have to take that into account as well.

Travel delays can be a big hitch in your destination wedding and if that’s a possibility, it will be better to adjust your plans.  

Now if none of the above is a concern for your wedding location, then you can move to test #2.


Now your wedding location may not have an advisory at all or just one for at risk groups. Either way, what you need to think about are the demographics of your group.

Do you have a lot of older guests, kids or pregnant women? Or anyone who is already compromised from a health perspective?

If the answer is yes, and these are people you have to have at the wedding, then you may want to reconsider. Or you can even talk to each individual to see how comfortable they feel about traveling before making a decision.

ring bearer dancing at a wedding reception at the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Bowerbird Photography)

If the answer is no, the risk is lower.

But remember, that doesn’t mean someone not in an at risk group won’t be hesitant to come. Because there is still a risk and there will always be people who are scared to travel regardless of location.

So, make sure you’re prepared for that if you’re moving forward to test #3.


Which perfectly leads me to test #3 and perhaps the biggest factor, yourself.

If you’ve made it this far, then it’s important to assess how you feel. Are you worried for yourself? Do you not want to make any of your guests travel no matter how low risk it is?

Or are you worried about people not coming? Do you want to ensure your guests attend?

What will you regret more – having your destination wedding or not having it?

Alfresco wedding reception dinner with bistro lights at Autocamp Yosemite by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events
(Photo credit: Mary Meck Weddings)

Think through how you feel about the situation and what you want for your wedding. It will help to steer you one way or another.

And that could result in you going full steam ahead, but taking some precautions. Or rescheduling, relocating, adjusting or cancelling the wedding all together.

If you’ve gotten to this point, there is no right or wrong answer, just what makes sense for you. Follow the guidelines being shared by the government and CDC, then do what feels right and you’ll be fine.

The Coronavirus is scary. There are lots of rumors and people have a lot of fear.

But, make sure understand the facts and think through your situation before you make a decision on cancelling or adjusting your destination wedding because of Coronavirus.

And things keep changing, so make sure you have the most updated information before you make a decision.

Need some help figuring out what to do or how to pivot your destination wedding? Contact us today, we can help make it so much easier.

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