Friend, if you’re reading this because you’ve decided (or have been forced) to postpone and reschedule your wedding due to COVID-19, I’m so sorry.
You’ve likely been anxiously waiting for your big day to arrive and dreaming about finally being able to call your best friend your spouse. And, in case you haven’t felt comfortable saying this, I’ll say it. The fact that your celebration and marriage are being delayed just isn’t fair.
While I wish there was something that could be done to help you keep your original wedding date and safely celebrate with your loved ones, this pandemic is dangerous, and many states’ “stay at home” orders are preventing even the smallest weddings from happening.
Your big day may have to wait. However, this doesn’t mean you have to lose money, let your dream wedding go, or—heck—even wait to get married! With this in mind, here are six steps you can take to postpone your wedding due to the coronavirus and save as much money as possible!
Whether you’ve decided to postpone your wedding for the sake of your loved ones’ health and safety or have been forced to postpone your big day by law, the first thing you’ll want to do is contact all of your vendors (venue, coordinator, photographer, videographer, caterer, florist, DJ, etc.).
Explain the situation to your wedding pros and ask for each vendor’s upcoming available dates. (If you’re willing to be flexible and have your wedding on a Friday, you can likely reschedule your big day sooner rather than later!) Hopefully, you’ll be able to find a date where all—or at least most—of your wedding vendors are available.
Because wedding vendors understand the craziness of the coronavirus situation, most are currently waiving any rescheduling fees. This means that as long as you stick to the same vendor team, you likely won’t face any additional costs. (Every vendor is different, though, so please know that there may be exceptions.)
You’ll likely only lose money rescheduling your wedding if you decide to cancel with a vendor or let a vendor go. Because quite a bit of work goes into preparing for your big day, most wedding vendors ask for a nonrefundable retainer to save your date. If you decide to let a vendor go, your nonrefundable retainer won’t be returned, and you’ll essentially lose this money.
Side note: You’ll also lose nonrefundable retainers if you decide to cancel your wedding entirely. You’ve likely already paid for most of your celebration, so you might as well enjoy it!
To save as much money as possible and to enjoy your dream team of wedding vendors (You likely picked your vendors because you like their work!), the best thing you can do is reschedule your wedding for a day where all—or at least most—of your wedding vendors are available to serve and celebrate you!
While you want to make sure your wedding vendors are available for your new date, you also want to make sure your closest family and friends will be available too!
While I’m sure most will happily rearrange their schedules for you, I would recommend checking in with your family, bridal party, and anyone else you can’t imagine celebrating without.
For example, it would be so disappointing to pick a new date to then find out one of your bridesmaids is supposed to be in her sister’s wedding on the same day and won’t be able to celebrate with you.
Once you’ve talked to your vendors and loved ones, you can officially set your new date!
Once you have a new date set, you’ll want to inform your guests. There are a couple crafty ways you can do this!
Did you send “save the dates”? Well, now, you’re going to send “change the dates”!
To make the lives of brides and grooms being affected by COVID-19 a little easier, many invitation companies have started making change the date cards. These pieces of stationary simply include your changed date and any other updated details your guests need to be aware of.
Chances are, the company you ordered your invitations from already has a change the date card design that matches your invites that you can easily customize and order! Or, if you worked with a graphic designer, your designer could probably come up with a great design that matches your other stationary!
If printing change the dates isn’t the best option for you or if you simply want to save trees, you can also send digital save the dates via email!
While I would encourage you to serve your guests well by sending them a change the date of some kind (whether it be printed or digital), you’ll want to let your guests know ASAP that your wedding is being postponed—even if you aren’t sure of the new date yet.
Your guests may need to change travel plans, and the sooner they can do that, the easier things will be for them. Whether you want to share the news on social media and email, text, or call your guests, get in touch with them as soon as you can so they can plan accordingly.
You’ll also want to update your wedding website with postponement details. Oh, and to make this process even easier, see if your wedding website platform will allow you to email all of your guests. Zola does, and this could save you a lot of time!
Side note: If you’ve blocked rooms somewhere, you’ll also want to call the hotel. While guests will have to make their room changes and cancellations themselves, you can let the hotel know about your new date and find out what the hotel can do to make date changes as easy as possible for your guests. Your friends and family will be so appreciative!
In addition to rescheduling your big day, you’ll likely need to reschedule your honeymoon due to travel bans.
Thankfully, most airlines, resorts, and hotels are being understanding through the coronavirus situation. (I know this is a stressful time for so many, but God bless the customer service staff of travel companies who are having to deal with all of this!)
As soon as you can, contact whomever you booked your travel and accommodations through and find out what your options are. Some companies are giving full refunds; others are issuing credit; and some require you to change travel dates.
Basically, contact the appropriate travel companies to determine how they’re handling things and which option is best for you!
Now, friend, you probably have a lot to be thankful for. However, it’s okay to be sad and disappointed that your wedding date had to change. It’s a hard thing. Don’t feel guilty about being upset!
However, rather than being sad for long, I want to encourage you to focus on soaking up and enjoying being fiancés! This is such a special season that you only get to experience once. And, you’re basically getting an extension!
Or, if you just can’t take waiting any longer (I was so excited to marry Zach and 100% get this!), get married before your wedding day!
Go to the courthouse; ask your officiant to do a private ceremony; ask a loved one to get ordained online; or—heck—if your officiant’s willing, ask him/her to do your ceremony via Zoom! (I’m not really sure what the laws are on this last suggestion. You’d have to ask your officiant!)
I’m by no means encouraging you to break any laws or put yourself or others in any danger. (You may have to wait until stay-at-home orders are lifted.) But, a wedding and a marriage aren’t synonymous. And, just because you have to wait to celebrate your wedding doesn’t mean you have to wait to be married.
Ultimately, do whatever is best for the two of you, and don’t stay sad for long. You still get to do life with your best friend, and in this crazy world, that’s a blessing you don’t want to take for granted!
It might be hard to think past the inconveniences travel bans, social distancing, and stay-at-home orders have caused. But, ultimately, these regulations are for your and your loved one’s protection.
Postponing your wedding day is sad and disappointing, but it would be truly heartbreaking to celebrate your wedding and to find out a few weeks later that some of your loved ones were diagnosed with COVID-19 and likely contracted the virus from your celebration.
By postponing your wedding until it is safe, you’re helping ensure the health and safety of the people you love, and that’s a selfless, amazing thing.
Again, friend, if you’re reading this because you’ve decided or are being forced to postpone and reschedule your wedding due to COVID-19, I’m so sorry.
I hope these tips help make the rescheduling process a little easier for you. And, no matter when you celebrate your wedding, I hope you remember that your marriage is by far more important than your wedding.
You might have to pick a different date. You might have to change a few things. But, you and your best friend are going to be just as married, and that’s what matters most!