How to Postpone Your Wedding Because of COVID-19

What a crazy two weeks our country has been having. If you were planning your wedding for this spring or summer, you might be feeling overwhelmed, sad, angry, or all of the above. (Totally valid!)

You’re probably thinking to yourself, where do I even begin if I am postponing my wedding? In this post, I’m going to walk you through what I’ve been doing myself with my spring and summer couples and the steps you can take to minimize the stress. You will have actionable steps that will help you get through this already overwhelming time.

And now, how to deal with the situation, if you have to postpone your wedding:

Step 1: Contact Your Venue(s) and Essential Vendors

Below is a sample email of what I’ve sent to the venue and the vendors my couples would die to have to replace.

SUBJECT: Spring/Summer 2021 Wedding Dates
Dear x:
Given the current situation, Partner 1 and Partner would like to explore potentially postponing their wedding to spring of 2021 (I think around the same date as this year, but they’re flexible). You’ve been identified as one of our preferred vendors.
Can you let me know: 1) What fees they may have to forfeit if they do reschedule to a later date while still [
being at
your venue/working with you]? 2) What dates do you still have available? 3) If they have to cancel it and move to another venue due to availability, can you confirm what the cancellation fee would be? 
We definitely would prefer to keep all the same vendors including you! We need to do some due diligence before making a final decision.
Thanks so much,

On the positive side, the vendors I’ve been working with are managing reschedules and postponements with the utmost kindness and understanding and are allowing couples apply their deposit to a future date within a year (ish) of their original wedding date, based on availability. You could even ask to put a soft hold on the date you prefer the most while you reach out to your vendors. However, not all will be able to do this, so be prepared that this might happen.

Step 2: Contact Your Vendor Team

Alert the vendors that you’ve contracted with to provide a service on your wedding date that your current event date is being postponed, and you tentatively have the following dates(give them 2-3) you are considering. Ask for their availability as soon as possible. I find that creating a spreadsheet works best with these as the column headings works well:

  • Vendor type (caterer. venue, florist, photographer, etc.)
  • Company name
  • Availability
  • Notes

Remember, their availability may be in flux as couples shuffle their dates from when you reach out to them and when you confirm a new date.

Step 3: Inventory Which Vendors are Available and When

Unfortunately, your whole vendor team may not be available on the new date. Depending on if it is a vendor that is a top priority for you, then you may need to make your decision based off that.

Step 4: Communicate Your New Date Immediately

Once you’ve chosen your new date, communicate it to your vendors immediately. You can expect amended contracts with the new date to sign so all paperwork is correct. Unfortunately, some vendors may not be able to accommodate the new date. They may or may not be able to refund you at this point. Please understand this isn’t to make your life difficult or to be insensitive. What they were paid for your current date was the income they were counting on coming in and they have no way to recoup those funds. Your vendors may stick to their cancellation policies in their contracts, please be prepared for that. Others may need an additional deposit “to help keep the lights on” while they wait a whole year or 6 months before your wedding.

Step 5: Communicate the New Date to Your Guests

Now you need to communicate the new date to your guests. Let ALL the guests know that you’re postponing the wedding. You can follow this up later with a new save-the-date & invitation, which we would recommend for accuracy’s sake for RSVPs. But for now, just communicating the postponement via email, text, or phone works. Split the list up between your fiance’s family, your family, your friends, and family, and everyone can divide and conquer!**

If you’re still weighing your options and need to send your wedding invitations, below is sample text to include as an insert with your invitations (courtesy of my good friend and talented stationer Stone Fruit Studio):

PLEASE NOTE
At the time of this mailing, all scheduled wedding events are set to proceed as planned.

We are closely monitoring current events. Please visit our website for the latest updates and continue to check your email as we will communicate any changes electronically.

www.yourweddingwebsite.com

We have extended our reply-by date to Month and date, 2020.

*If you have a planner, let your planner do the majority of the communication with your vendor team. This journey needs one person driving the bus! And if you have a good, professional planner, let him or her be that for you.

If you want to have it but are worried about low attendance and people traveling . . .

Look into having your videographer or a professional A/V company live stream the wedding so guests can attend virtually. This is helpful for those that are too far to travel, live internationally, or have increased health risks that prevent them from traveling. Make sure you have a dedicated hard-wired internet for them to plug into. Wifi is spotty and will result in a lower quality feed. Have a separate laptop dedicated just to this. You can set up a Zoom, Skype, Google Hangout, Facebook Live or YouTube live to stream it. 

If your wedding isn’t until later this summer . . .

We have no idea what the future holds. It’s best to at least look into some back-up options. Set a timeline for yourself to make a decision or at least revisit the situation. My May 30th wedding is moving forward with sending out their invitations, but we’ve included the insert above. We’ve also looked into new dates for their venue and key vendors for 2021. My August 1st wedding has set a deadline of May 1 to revisit the situation and decide then whether to postpone or go on with the wedding. Given the current state of things, you’ll want to consider that guests may have financial limitations that they didn’t a few weeks ago and how that will impact your decision-making. There’s no right or wrong decision and it will be different for everyone.

If you’re waiting on a wedding dress . . .

If your wedding date is not expected to be affected by COVID-19 but you are waiting on your wedding dress to arrive, PLEASE contact your store immediately. We will see delivery delays. Be patient with them as they’re working with many clients, but know they’re doing their best.

Conclusion

These are unprecedented times. Everyone is going through a lot. Kindness and respect go a long way. Let’s show each other some love (from a safe distance). If you have follow-up questions, feel free to reach out to me or send me an email at hello@verveeventco.com.

Resources

Below are links to additional websites that provide great advice on how to deal with the situation and how to take care of yourself as well.

 

How to Postpone Your Wedding Because of COVID-19

Top Free Resources 

Top Free Resources

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