Information changes daily and it’s important to stay informed with the regulations & restrictions in place by healthcare advisors in your area.
Please speak with your vendors as many situations are being handled on a case-by-case basis. We encourage collaboration and respectful interactions understanding that everyone is doing their very best to navigate the crisis. Work together, and above all – be kind.
When should you make the decision to postpone the wedding?
We recommend 60 days out, and between 60-90 days starting to work on a plan B so that you can implement the plan around that 60 day mark. This is enough time to “pivot” if needed with vendors without losing final deposits (ie. what might be due after 1 month or 2 weeks out), and late enough that you can make as informed a decision as possible.
Remember, you’ll never have all of the information, and this is a huge decision. You can only make the best decision you can with the information you have at the time.
- Have a look at your contract for the Termination & Cancellation clause, and when payments are due – If your last deposit is due 90 days out, then you may want to make the decision at/before 90 days before another payment is due.
- If it’s not specified (and normally it’s not) in the contract – Ask the venue how they’re handling re-scheduling weddings due to COVID-19
Overall – There will be a waiting period & some time of uncertainty until you’re able to make a decision. Uncertainty is uncomfortable, but keep breathing. Choose hope over fear, and don’t panic too early.
Nothing good comes from making unnecessary pessimistic predictions and no additional risk comes from keeping positive either! Nobody has a crystal ball, so stay hopeful.
Why postpone and not cancel the wedding?
At the end of the day, you have been preparing for this amazing day for months or years, and you deserve to celebrate it! It’s going to happen, and when that wonderful day comes, we promise it’ll be worth the wait.
Also – Financial reasons. You are likely to lose any deposits you’ve made to vendors if you cancel. This is nobody’s fault for needing to change the date – Not yours, but not your vendors either. Most deposits will state in the contract as “non-refundable”.
Are there any fees associated with re-scheduling?
There are generally very few fees associated with rescheduling. Don’t wait until less than a month out to decide as you might be on the line for things (such as F&B minimums) depending on your contract. Also, consider floral costs – If you cancel too late, you are putting yourself at risk of the florist already having bought the product, most will then charge you to recover that cost if it cannot be sold to another wedding/client
If you decide on a new date that vendor isn’t available, it’s likely you’ll lose that deposit, so try find a date that works for all your vendors.
Most vendors are willing to postpone the date & apply the deposit to a new date – Some may have restrictions that it has to be within the same calendar year or on a non-prime date/season (such as a long weekend) it’s important to check with them & please be understanding with policies in place. Businesses are doing what they need to do in order to survive and make it to 2021.
You may need to send out a second round of invitations, but there are savvy ways to do this as well. Minted has some cute postponement cards available that we love.
How to Postpone – In 5 Easy Steps
1 – Read your venue contract & contact the venue to ask what alternative dates they can offer. Pick 2-3 if you’re able, and act fast.
Your venue is normally the first vendor you need to check with on dates. If you have a separate ceremony venue, make sure both venues are available
2 – Contact core vendors and align a date that ideally works for all of them. Core vendors are vendors that you’ve already paid a large amount to, or vendors that are a “must” for your wedding, like photographer, video, wedding planner, DJ or Band, Hair & Makeup.
Once confirmed, sign amendments as needed, and remind vendors to move hotel room bookings if applicable
3 – Contact your non-essential & decor vendors (limos, photo booth, rentals, flowers…)
Same as above, can the deposits & current plan be transferred to another date? These vendors are more lenient as they can normally service more than 1 wedding a day.
4 – Inform Guests & Update your wedding website.
Immediately reach out to any guests that have already RSVP’d regarding the postponement or new date. Please ask these guests to RSVP again when the new date is set.
Consider sending a follow up mail out piece or e-invite with the “Slight Adjustment” to a new date, and to please RSVP again.
If you have printed but not sent invites – Don’t let it go to waste, and print another piece of paper even the size of a business card with date clarification, and of course – update the website
5 – Follow Up Checklist & loose ends to tie…
- Ensure your hotel rooms & room blocks are moved over, and other room bookings for vendors or guests you made.
- Make sure your wedding website RSVPs are “re-set”
- Check/cancel flights if applicable
Everything is done, but I am so SAD! What do I do?
Do not be Rachel McAdams in the Notebook, sitting in a bathtub in her wedding dress.
- Plan something special at home on the would-have-been wedding day! Order in dinner, grab a nice bottle of wine, dress up & have fun with it.
- Don’t get ahead of yourself (& the world). This is definitely easier said than done, but try to not overthink the situation. It’s important to take things one day at a time. No matter what happens, your wedding will be worth the wait, we absolutely promise you that.
- Sometimes there is a silver lining on the new date! It’s possible. Be open to it. For example, guest room rates might be lower if you’re no longer looking at peak season for the rescheduled date, win!
Above all, we hope that you stay safe over these challenging times, and be patient with yourself as your process & deal with grief – It’s okay to be sad about this, it’s a very sad situation. Rely on the support from others to help get you through this as much as you can, and we are here for you too – So please feel free to reach out to our team should you have any questions or want to discuss these matters further.
Our doors are always open – virtually, of course, although we look forward to welcoming you to the office again one day!