I am in a bit of a holding pattern right now for my son’s Bar Mitzvah in the winter. It’s only 7 months away and I do feel like I should be moving forward. However, I am nervous about signing contacts and putting down additional deposits given the uncertainty of the state of the world right now. Planning a Mitzvah during COVID-19 has some unique challenges!
I completely understand your nervousness about putting down additional deposits and signing contracts now. These are unusual and unprecedented times and this hesitation to move forward with vendors is something that the entire event industry is seeing right now.
My advice for you is to proceed, but with caution. Spring Mitzvahs (including all of mine) have begun rescheduling for fall and winter with vendors that they’ve already contracted with. That means that fall and winter are going to be extra busy for event vendors. If you don’t move forward, you risk those vendors’ calendars filling up. Nothing is final until they have your contract and deposit.
But here is the caution part– talk to these vendors about this hesitation. Open communication from the beginning is key! Ask them about what their plans are if your Bar or Bat Mitzvah needs to be rescheduled. Confirm that your contract includes this information. Under what circumstances could you receive a refund? What is their capacity in terms of how many events they can handle in a day? This will not be the first time that your vendors have had this conversation and they likely have plans already in place.
Next, assess the strength and reputation of each business. To be totally candid, there are some businesses that will not make it out of this pandemic. With deferred income or canceled events plus so much uncertainty, the entire industry is struggling. Also keep in mind that your deposit helps to ensure that business will be there when it is time for your event.
Still, protect yourself! Pay the minimum necessary to hold the date and pay by credit card, even if they charge an additional fee. That gives you extra security because, again, there are some businesses that will not make it out of this pandemic.
Hope that helps!