Imagine you have a wedding booked for May 2020. You’ve been planning for over a year, dealing with all the different vendors so that you aren’t having to last minute plan for your big day. You booked the venue more than a year in advance, the only way to ensure the dates. All your family and friends have booked the day of and are planning to attend, some of them have already bought dresses and clothes to wear. Then COVID-19 hits and everything shuts down. What do you do?
You’ve already spent considerable time planning the wedding, You have many non-refundable deposits paid that you can’t get back if you cancel. You might feel like if you cancel now the time and effort you spent planning is wasted. Additionally you feel like the money and energy your family and friends put in to help with the wedding would be wasted if you postpone.
That would be falling into the Sunk Cost Fallacy. No matter what decision you make now the non-refundable deposits are gone, the time you spent planning is gone, you can’t get it back, you have already sunk it in.
You need to focus on the best decision for you going forward regardless of what you have already sunk in. Think about what is important to you. It might be; celebrating with family, having a big party, being married as soon as possible, not spending much more money than you originally planned, or many other things. You should be making your decisions based on how you can best meet those goals based on the situation we are all currently in. Is that a 2 person ceremony, an online ceremony, a smaller wedding next year and similar wedding next year?
What is important in your decision making is that you are deciding based on what’s best for you going forward, not based on how much you have already sunk in to the wedding plans.
This doesn’t only apply to weddings. It can apply to many situations that we are all dealing with these days. Vacations, family reunions, holiday celebrations, birthday parties, graduations, ADR workshops and many more examples. We are needing to sometimes re-think how we make decisions and find creative solutions to meet our objectives even if we had already planned on meeting them in a different way.
If you’re interested in hearing more about the sunk cost fallacy, please watch this video (hyperlink video to https://sfhgroup.com/sunk-cost-and-the-sunk-cost-fallacy/) that I filmed before COVID-19, as you will notice when you see me at a grocery store.
Stitt Feld Handy Group