There, we said it. You didn’t ask for this, you liked your wedding date and you don’t love the idea of moving it. It is OK to feel this way, to be upset and to grieve the wedding you thought you would have.
This entire thing is sobering. We look around and see people getting sick, people anxiously working essential jobs, people stressed that they won’t have a job or a business when this is over, and people quarantining to flatten the curve. This is a stressful time to be in the world.
You can be concerned with the world and also upset about your wedding. Let’s have a moment of silence for the wedding you thought you were having.
Once you have allowed yourself to feel also allow yourself to get excited about how amazing it will be when you can gather with the people you love, hug them and celebrate your marriage. (And guys, the marriage will be here long after COVID-19.)
Should I Change My Wedding Date?
If your wedding was supposed to be in April or May, it is likely that you have already made the move or you are in the process of doing so. You went through or are going through the process of shifting all of your vendors to another date and now you are getting used to the fact that you may be waiting another few months or a year to celebrate.
If your wedding is supposed to be in June you may be on the fence or have already moved. Things are changing weekly and it can be really hard to know the right thing to do is during a completely unprecedented event. (Everyone is just feeling their way through this.)
Trust your gut. If you know you will be a nervous wreck from here until your wedding day look into the process of moving. If you are comfortable for now moving forward, keep on swimming. Early June seems to be a bit up in the air and we are hopeful that late June will be more in the clear.
For late summer/ fall/winter weddings we are moving forward and planning just like normal until we have a reason not to. (But also paying close attention to the force majure clauses in each contract.)
When to Make a Decision
If you are on the fence about moving a wedding in the next few months we recommend making your decision no later than one month before your original date. You will need time to contact all your vendors as well as your guests.
How to Move Your Wedding
Contact Your Venue
- Ask them what their postponement policy is during this time and if there are any fees to postpone.
- Many venues are transferring dates without a fee during the weeks/months affected by COVID-19.
- Some are allowing it through certain dates while others are moving but charging a fee if you move to 2021.
- Ge a list of the available dates that may work for you.
- If you were getting married on a Saturday availability may be limited for this year so consider whether or not you are open to a Friday or Sunday.
- See if they are able to hold one or two dates.
- If your venue is in high demand dates will fill up fast so you will want to move quickly on getting a new one locked in.
Make a Spreadsheet and Reach Out to Vendors
- Put together a spreadsheet with all the possible dates, the names of your vendors and whether or not there is a postponement fee.
- Ask each vendor about the dates you are looking at to see if all of your vendors are available on the same date.
- Many vendors are postponing within the same year with no fee while others are charging a small fee to move to 2021. This is not to take advantage of your situation, but because this virus is affecting everyone in different ways. Moving the date to next year takes that date out of their calendar for new clients that help keep their business running.
- If you can transfer each vendor to your new date you have a better chance of not losing any of the deposits you have already paid.
- If they do not have your final date open you will likely be at risk of losing the deposit you have paid to them.
- Talk to your vendors. They know what a stressful time this is for everyone! If they are not available ask them if they have an associate or colleague who could assist on your wedding day in their absence.
Choose Your New Date and Sign New Paperwork
Choosing a new date can be hard when taking into consideration parents, wedding party and family. Try not to complicate it any more than you have to. (You are already in a situation you don’t want to be in and complicating the date can lead to extra stress you really don’t need.)
- Once you settle on a date send a confirmation email to all of your vendors (including hotel blocks).
- Ask each vendor for new paperwork with the new date on it. (Remember how we are sticklers for getting a contract; that hasn’t changed.)
How Do I Let My Guests Know?
Once you have everything secure you will want to let your guests know right away.
- Update your wedding website
- If they RSVPd through that website you may be able to share information with each guest that way
- Share the new date with them and any new booking links for hotel room blocks.
- If your venue has changed, share new venue information.
- Email/call/tell all the guests, starting with those who may have been travelling.
- Send a postponement announcement or a new date announcement
- If you used a local designer they can help you with this and may already have some put together.
- White Ink Calligraphy here in Nashville has some beautiful hand written postponement announcements.
- Paperless Post has some great digital options to get the word out right away.
- Minted also has some beautiful print options.
Should We Elope Now?
This is totally up to you. Do you want to wait until you are in front of all of your friends and family are are you anxious to just be married? (Please note, many places are not issuing marriage licenses right now so check with your country clerk!)
If you have to postpone your wedding months or a year you may want to consider doing a small elopement when you can. Being married takes off a certain level of stress and may help you get through the time between your original wedding date and your new one.
Date, Breathe, Hope.
This is a heartbreaking set back but it is one you can overcome together. You WILL get married, and the two of you and your marriage are what really matters.
Enjoy your at-home dates with your takeout and to go cocktails and look forward to the time when you can hug those people you love and celebrate with them.