For brides faced with having to postpone their wedding or bridal shower at Irem Clubhouse in Dallas, PA due to COVID-19, Ashley Fonzo, director of sales & events, has one message: Go with the flow!

“We are working with each bride on a case-by-case basis, taking everything a few weeks at a time and not trying to plan anything too far out in advance,” Ashley said. “We’re letting the federal and state regulations advise our decisions. We are not going to automatically cancel an event – we’re going to find something that works for you.”

From rescheduling your event for a different day, to reducing the size of the wedding, to adding a virtual component where people can livestream the event, there are numerous options for brides to consider, Ashley said. “Whatever works for their family and their group – that is how we’re looking at it.”

While most April weddings have already been postponed to other dates, there is still availability throughout the rest of the year. If a Saturday night is booked, for example, Friday or Sunday night weddings are options.

“We can fit people into the schedule,” Ashley said. “Many brides having large weddings are opting to push their dates to summer or into the fall because they don’t know whether we will be open and able to accommodate an event for more than 50 people.”

Some area wedding planners are offering consultations on how to move your wedding and decide on another date. Irem offers a wedding planner as part of one of its packages. The wedding planner will do a phone consultation, contact your vendors and get everything moved.

“Most vendors are being flexible about moving the date with you,” Ashley said.

If your bridal shower is scheduled within the next two months, chances are you will need to postpone it or come up with an alternate, less traditional approach to a bridal shower. Irem staff will help you to come up with a creative way to host your shower; for example, if daytime brunch dates are no longer available, you could have an evening cocktail party instead.

“We’re calling it the ‘little black dress party,’ where you do the same activities, but have a wine pairing and dinner instead of a brunch,” Ashley said.

There’s also the option of hosting a “virtual” shower, and having guests livestream the event through Facebook or Zoom. Guests can log in and chat with the bride, play games and watch her open gifts at home.

“If we can’t find a date for you, or there is no time before the wedding, we are suggesting the virtual shower,” Ashley said. “If there’s something we can help you with, like providing food to go, we will try to help!”

Brides can also explore Pinterest to search for ideas on how to change up the theme of their shower. Some brides may choose to do a combined bachelorette/bridal shower if there are time constraints for when people are available. “That way, the groom gets to be involved, and it’s a mini-party before the wedding,” Ashley said.

The bottom line is that your big day doesn’t have to be a “bad day” because of COVID-19. It just may have to change a bit. And the brides that do best go with the flow and are flexible, Ashley said.

“It’s time to step out of the traditional box and emerge as the bride who doesn’t fold when plans are derailed, the bride who gathers her family and friends and has the party she deserves, the bride who takes her original elements of an afternoon shower with tea sandwiches and trades them for a cocktail party with hors d’oeuvres and sparkly party dresses,” she said.

“It’s not the end of the world. You’re going to be married at the end of the day, regardless of how your party goes,” Ashley said