5 Steps to Postponing Your Wedding due to Coronavirus
Updated: Apr 17
Did you ever think that a worldwide pandemic would knock your wedding plans off track? You plan and prep for all of those little things that might throw a wrench in your day but I bet you hadn’t thought of that one 6 months ago! As a wedding planner, I know I certainly didn’t have that on my checklist of “things that may go wrong” (it’s going on new checklists by the way…) But here you are now having to postpone the beautiful wedding you’ve been planning for, saving for and dreaming about for months and years and I am so sorry you are having to do this. I can’t say this enough so I’m going to say it here again: it’s ok to grieve this. Yes, even with a worldwide pandemic happening. Yes, even though "worse" things are happening to other people. It’s ok to grieve the plans and dreams you had for your wedding. If you get nothing else out of this blog post, please, please know that. Once you’ve had that chance to grieve, cry, scream and potentially break things, then it’s time to pull on those big girl or big boy pants, grab a glass of wine (or your drink of choice - wine is mine) and start re-planning your wedding by un-planning the first one.
With that in mind, I’ve put together 5 steps to Postponing Your Wedding due to Coronavirus and I hope this helps make it just a little bit easier for you. (The wine will help too…)
Step 1: Work with your Venue
Your venue is one of your biggest expenses so being able to get a date secured with them is your first step. Not to mention, it’s where you’ve been dreaming, planning and visualizing your big day so having it available on another date is ideal all the way around. Work with them to find 2-3 dates you are comfortable with moving your wedding to and ask if they will put a temporary hold on those while you are reaching out to other vendors. If they are not able to do a hold, ask if they will let you know asap if someone else is interested in one of the dates.
Things to consider: Thursday, Friday & Sunday weddings are becoming more and more popular and, most likely, will grow in popularity even more over the next couple of years with so many weddings being postponed. Consider taking one of those dates! Other vendors will probably have more availability as well.
Step 2: Choose “Key” Vendors Look through your line up of vendors and choose the top 2-3 that you absolutely want to be a part of your wedding day. It may be your planner who’s been by your side this entire time (I may be slightly biased on this one…), your photographer who you’ve been stalking on instagram since you knew getting engaged was a possibility or your officiant who you’ve grown close with during your premarital counseling. Reach out to those vendors with the available dates from your venue and see if you can find one that they all are available for. If not, it becomes a more difficult decision in figuring out which date to go with. Things to consider: If there isn’t a magical date for all key people, the next thing I would look at is the financial loss of NOT using one of them. Meaning, who had the bigger deposit that you would forfeit or who would it cost more to replace. Sometimes the numbers help us make the decisions when our hearts don’t want to choose.
Step 3: Communicate with your Remaining Vendors
Begin reaching out to your remaining vendors. Let them know you are postponing and that you have a new date for your wedding. Ask for their availability and their coronavirus postponement policy regarding deposits or payments already made. If they are not available, ask if they have associates or another vendor that they have set up agreements with for this situation. It may help you mitigate losing a deposit and land you with a vendor that has a similar style, feel or price point as your original vendor! If they do not have that type of system in place, ask what their policy is for the payments you have already made and what steps you need to take to officially cancel the contract. If you made a non-refundable deposit, it is very likely that you will not receive that back. It’s not because the vendor would not love to give your deposit back but they are, most likely, doing everything they can to keep their business alive and employees retained. Wedding vendors generally have non-refundable deposits and this is nothing new due to the pandemic. Check out my other blog post on why wedding vendors have non-refundable deposits. Things to consider: If you are working with a planner and have full or partial service contracted, this may be something they will do for you. Check your contracts or ask your planner if this is something you could either add on or currently have within your package. This step is by far the most work throughout this process and having a planner there to handle it and negotiate new contracts will make this so much easier!!
Don’t have a planner yet? Check out our specific Postponement Packages for deeply discounted options to contract with a planner to help with this!!
Step 4: Communicate with your Guests If you already know your new date, send a postponement card/save the date with new information. Check out my blog post that features some local stationary vendors and the cute ideas they are coming up with for these! If you do not know the new date, think about creating a Facebook group with as many of your guests list as you can to be able to get the information out quickly. There will be people not on Facebook, of course, but that list is much smaller to reach out to on an individual basis and may be able to be divvied up between you, your mom, your future mother-in-law and a couple of helpful aunts!
If you are cancelling your wedding reception all together and not postponing. Be sure to communicate that with guests as well. Otherwise, they may be waiting and wondering if/when it will be happening. Plus, if they know it’s cancelled, they may opt to send you a gift rather than hold onto it for a reception that’s never coming! Things to consider: No matter which route you are going, DO NOT send anything with an address “where gifts can be sent.” Neither Emily Post nor I will sanction that etiquette. If guests would like to send you a gift, they will figure out where to send it. Pinky swear. Step 5: Start Planning for your New Wedding Date! Now, I know, starting to plan your wedding (again) may not fill you with joy right now but do you know what the number one thing is that I hear from brides after their wedding is over? “I wish we could do it again!!” Guess what? You get to! Start slow by hopping back on that Pinterest board and seeing what things are important to include in the next wedding. Are you in a new season? Do you need different flowers or a new color palette because of it? Start looking, liking and dreaming about what this
new day may feel like! Was it going to be too cold for outdoor pictures on your original date but now it should be 80 degrees? Well, that sounds like cute parasols might be in order for bridesmaids gifts! Or are you going to potentially get a snowy white, winter wedding now? Let’s just browse those beautiful faux fur wraps you know you secretly want. The point is, start looking for things that will make you excited again about your new date and build on that excitement, wherever it takes you!
Things to Consider: If you are getting married at the same time but next year, look through your current plans. What weren’t you that crazy about? Is there a chance to change that? Or, now that you have another year to save, are there areas you skimped on that you could bump up a little bit more? Or what about those DIY projects you meant to get to but then decided not to do because who has the time? Guess what?! We’re in quarantine!! We have the time! Look for the things that you think this extra time could actually help you improve! That’s it! (She says as if all of that is easy…) I really do understand and realize that this is not an easy or simple project. I’ve been joking that I’m no longer a wedding planner but a wedding un-planner right now and have been working alongside my clients for months and years to plan these weddings that are being postponed. It breaks my heart. Just know that all of your vendors are truly feeling this with you and want to do whatever they can to make this easier for you. Have open and honest conversations with them and, I promise, we will help get you down that aisle as soon as we are able! And what a party that will be for you, for your guests and for those of us behind the scenes… we may even drink a little champagne (or wine) with you that day! Sending you big, virtual hugs!
Jenna Culley Owner & Event Planner at Jenna Culley Events