Couples planning to get married in the fall or spring 2021 should be flexible and have a backup plan. This story was created by #ThisIsTucson and underwritten by Maya Palace , featuring Southern Arizona’s largest selection of wedding dresses . Thank you for supporting the local organizations that support us!

In the last few months, the coronavirus pandemic has crashed weddings across Tucson.

With gathering sizes restricted and uncertainty looming, Tucson couples with spring weddings canceled, postponed or pivoted quickly to smaller ceremonies .

Tucson wedding planner Mollee Richey, the owner of Peace of Mind Event Design and Waitstaff , says she breathed a sigh of relief when her last May wedding was rescheduled. Because for Tucson, summer is not much of a wedding season (of course that also means vendors who lost income from postponed spring weddings won’t be able to recoup those losses in the months to come).

She says both the fall wedding season and the spring 2021 season are full, with already-scheduled weddings and those quickly moved in the wake of the pandemic. Still other couples may be hesitant to even plan anything at this point, she says.

As a wedding planner, Richey is navigating the disappointment of her clients, the tension of trying to keep teams of vendors together as dates are rescheduled (ie: florists, bakers, venues, etc.) and her own struggles as an event planner and small business owner during a time when events look fundamentally different.

"It has most definitely been stressful in the sense that we don’t have a playbook for this," she says. "So many of us had certain things in our contracts if there were to be an act of God, but no one had thought of a pandemic clause. So it has been a challenge for us to rise to the occasion and continue to have grace and empathy with all of our couples."

And yet she is balancing hope and care, encouraging the clients she works with to do the same as they monitor public health guidelines day by day.

"My advice right now and my motto is that we’re all staying cautiously optimistic," she says.

As couples with spring weddings have learned, it’s important to be ready to pivot, even if your venue of choice is planning to be open.

Richey says communication between couples, wedding vendors and family members is crucial as plans move forward and backup plans are formed. She also points out that having a wedding planner can help facilitate some of this communication and schedule changing.

She also says if perhaps you had to cancel a spring wedding, and fall and spring 2021 dates are full at your venues of choice, you might consider getting married on an off date, like a weekday.

Our #ThisIsTucson Wedding Guide is organized by vendor to help you find venues, wedding planners and other vendors if you need to pivot."I keep telling my couples, in the end, the result is the same, no matter what your wedding looks like, whether it’s 150 people or 5 people in […]