The coronavirus pandemic has impacted virtually everything about our day-to-day lives, including our ability to gather for events like weddings. Since the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines warn against large group gatherings, couples all around the world have had to make the difficult decision to postpone their weddings for the safety of their guests and community.
Having to postpone your wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic can add more stress to an already stressful time. In order to hopefully make the postponement process somewhat less challenging, we’ve written this guide to postponing your wedding due to COVID-19. Read on to learn all the steps you should take when postponing your 2020 wedding.
First Consider Your Backup Timeline
Before you start reaching out to your vendors, your venue, and your guests to let them know about your wedding’s postponement, you should get a general idea of your backup timeline. How long do you want to postpone your wedding? A few months? A year? More than a year? Don’t pick a specific date right now (you’ll need to coordinate that later), but do decide on a timeframe that feels right for your future date.
Right now you may also want to consider whether or not you can be flexible with the day of the week you’ll get married on. For example, if you were getting married on a Saturday, would you consider moving your wedding date to a Sunday or a weekday in order to get a date within your ideal timeframe? Or would you want to work something else out in order to make sure you had a Saturday date? Think about what’s important to you now so that you’ll already know what will work for you when you start the rescheduling process.
Review Your Wedding Insurance (If You Have It)
If you have wedding insurance, consult with your insurance agent to check your coverage. While it’s uncommon for issues caused by pandemics or viruses to be covered by wedding insurance, everyone’s policy is different. Be sure to check your plan and see if there are any coverage options you can take advantage of.
Reach Out to Your Venue & Vendors
Once you know that you’ll be postponing your wedding and you have a general timeline in mind for your new wedding date, reach out to your venue and vendors. You need to let them know that you will not be having a wedding on your original date, then you’ll need to see what the next steps will be for rescheduling.
When rescheduling, it’s a good idea to coordinate with your venue first. Ask them about their availability and choose two potential dates based on their openings. Then, reach out to your family, your wedding party, and all of your vendors to learn their availability on these two potential dates.
As you work on rescheduling with your wedding vendors and venue, remember to be patient with them during this process. Your venue and vendors are probably dealing with a huge influx of coronavirus-related cancellations and reschedule requests, so try to understand that they may be backlogged.
Select Your New Wedding Date and Update Your Vendor Bookings
After you’ve gathered information on the availability of your venue, vendors, family, and wedding party, select your new wedding date and get your new contracts in place with your venue and vendors. As you decide on your new wedding date, well-meaning loved ones may pressure you to pick the date that they think is best. But remember that this is your decision to make. As always with wedding planning, what’s most important is what feels right for you and your fiance, so try not to let outside chatter influence your decision too much.
Make Sure to Move All Appointments or Reservations
Be sure to check your calendar and make sure that you’ve moved all of the appointments or reservations connected to your wedding date. For example, do you have hair appointments, spa appointments, a reservation at a restaurant for your rehearsal dinner, or a hotel room block reservation? Triple check that you’ve handled moving all of your appointments, since you could end up paying the full bill for a service you did not receive if you forget to cancel or reschedule something.
Inform Your Guests
Unless you’re able to reschedule your wedding in full very quickly, you’ll probably need to send your guests more than one message about postponing your nuptials. It’s good etiquette to give your guests as much notice as you can about your first wedding date’s cancellation. So, as soon as you know that you’re definitely going to move your wedding date, send your guests a message updating them on the situation. In this initial message, you can simply let your guests know that you’ve made the difficult decision to postpone your wedding date and that you’ll be sending them updates on your date change soon.
Once you have your new date locked down, you’ll want to let your guests know. We suggest first reaching out to close guests (such as your immediate family members and your wedding party) individually, then emailing or mailing everyone on your guest list a Change the Date card with your new wedding date.
To ensure that your guests always have access to the latest information as you work to reschedule your wedding, remember to keep your wedding website updated. Update your website as soon as you know your wedding will be postponed, then keep it updated as you finalize all the details for your new wedding date.
Hire a Wedding Planner if You Need Help
If you feel overwhelmed during the postponement process, know that you can always hire a wedding planner who can help you deal with this challenging situation. You can bring a wedding planner on board at any stage of the wedding planning process, including during the postponement stage. A wedding planner can figure out all of the logistical details of moving your wedding date so that you can focus on dealing with the emotional side of things.
Know That It’s Okay to Be Upset About Postponing
It’s true that there are a lot of big issues going on in the world right now, but it’s still completely understandable if you feel upset about having to move your wedding day. It’s okay to feel sad or disappointed about having to cancel and reschedule something you were very excited for, even when you know that moving your wedding day isn’t the biggest issue in the grand scheme of things. It’s also important for you to acknowledge your feelings as valid if you’re upset, since that will help you cope and move forward. So, let yourself grieve this loss and be sure to share your feelings with trusted loved ones who can support and comfort you.
Do Something Special on (What Would Have Been) Your Wedding Day
When your original wedding date comes around, do something special to mark the day. It’s still a significant day for you and it’s one you should commemorate. So, consider celebrating in a small but meaningful way, like by having a date night in with your fiance or by having a Zoom cocktail party with your friends and family.