There’s no question that it’s an uncertain time. The world has seemingly turned upside down and it’s unclear when things will go back to normal. If your wedding is scheduled to happen sometime over the next few months, you are faced with a really tough decision – should I postpone my wedding? We know that this can feel absolutely heartbreaking, and is a lot to think about and manage during an already stressful time. If you do make the decision to postpone, here are some things to consider:
It’s okay to be disappointed
Feel your feelings. There’s no denying it – this truly sucks. It’s okay to be sad, mad, heartbroken, disappointed. Give yourself space and kindness as you process these truly valid emotions. Remember this – even though you may have to postpone your wedding, you are STILL going to be married to the love of your life. Your wedding can and will still happen. Once you process the negative, try to steer your focus toward the positive. You now have a little more time to plan, and can enjoy the fiancé time period just a bit longer. In the grand scheme of things, the delay will not be the lasting memory – it will be the moment you say, “I do,” which IS coming.
Review your contracts
First things first: prioritize postponing instead of cancelling. You have looked forward to this big day for such a long time and I refuse to let you give up on it because of this pandemic. Your wedding is a celebration of your love and it can happen at any point in the future especially if all your vendors are willing to postpone which they most likely will.
Before you make any calls to your vendors, you will want to read through your contracts as they’re there to protect all parties involved. Familiarize yourself with any and all language regarding date changes, cancellations, refunds and more. Then read what it says about impossibility, force majeure, and any Acts of God/Man. Take stock of payments you’ve already made and how much you have left to pay. Understand the cancellation or rebooking policies and what each vendor’s procedure is for handling them.
Insurance: The best advice to avoid any loss of investment is to look into wedding insurance. This type of situation is exactly what wedding insurance is there for. It protects couples against situations that are outside of their control. That said, you will want to check for availability. Due to the economic crisis we are in, some wedding insurance may not cover the costs of cancelation due to the Coronavirus.
Contact your wedding vendors ASAP
Once you’ve reviewed where you stand legally, it’s time to connect with your planner, venue, photographer, florist, baker, etc. Understand that they are also going through a lot of communications and cancellations right now, so there may be a delay in their response. Work with them to understand their availability for future dates, their restrictions on your reschedule window (most limit it to =6/9/12 months from the original date) and how payment schedules may change. In the instance that they may not be available for a future date you have in mind – worry not. The wedding community is HUGELY connected – ask for recommendations. Vendors will be looking for work right now, so you WILL find a replacement should your first round of picks not be available. Work closely with your planner (if you have one) through this process. They will be such a valuable asset in handling new timelines and to-do lists.
Pick a date you’re comfortable with
It’s difficult to say how far out you should reschedule for. This a decision that will be personal to you and your family, but don’t feel rushed to make a quick or close decision. Currently, the fall season is looking like the earliest period to reschedule to, but as things are changing daily, you need to pick a date that will bring you relief, versus a date you constantly have to worry about. Basically, don’t put yourself in a position where you may have to postpone again. *Pro tip* If your future date isn’t available, how about a weekday wedding? Be open!
Keep your guests updated
If you don’t currently have a wedding website, now is the time to make one! You will want to put a message on the homepage, letting guests know that either A – you’ve picked a new date and you’ll need them to RSVP again or that B- you are currently postponing with a new date TBD. Our friends at Minted have updated their site with stylish postponement cards and invites. They’ve also provided suggestions on language:
- Wording suggestions if you are rescheduling but you don’t have a new date yet:
- In light of current events, we are postponing our wedding so we can celebrate safely. New details to come soon.
- It’s still happening! …Just at a later date. New wedding date to come soon!
- Social distancing just isn’t our thing. New wedding date to come soon so we can party properly!
- Wording suggestions if you are rescheduling and have a new wedding date:
- Please mark your calendars with our new wedding date! We can’t wait to celebrate with you.
- Save our NEW date!
- We changed our date and can’t wait to celebrate!
- Don’t dust off your dancing shoes yet! Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are now getting married on [insert date].
- Wording suggestions if you are not rescheduling:
- Due to unforeseen circumstances, we decided to elope! We’re planning a celebration soon and will send you the details.
- We do. We did! Since we aren’t able to celebrate in person, we decided to elope! More celebration details to come.
Try to update your guests ASAP. This will help keep them informed and also relieve some anxiety they might be feeling about the upcoming wedding. Asking guests to re-RSVP once you have a new date is very important, as those who may not have been able to attend your original date may be able to now. You may also consider giving helpful links, such as airline cancellation policies, to guests who may have to cancel their current travel plans for your wedding. If you booked a hotel block, reach out to the hotel as well and inform guests on how to move forward.
Think outside the box
Elderly guests may have hesitation about future gatherings right now, understandably. Consider setting up a livestream for guests who may be scared or unable to attend your wedding in the future. You may also consider adding more photos and setting up a conversation space for you to communicate with your guests and share key milestones.
Celebrate your original wedding date
Your original wedding date is going to come, and with it a lot of emotions. We recommend getting a really nice bottle of champagne, dressing up and having a lovely at home dinner with your fiancé. Celebrate the day. Enjoy it. Talk about all the things you are excited for. Practice your first dance in the living room. Above all, love and be patient with each other. Good things are coming.