First of all, if you’re reading this – Please know we are tremendously sorry that the pandemic disaster that is 2020 has made you have to wait longer to marry the love of your life. It plain sucks; It’s stressful and very emotional – and it’s not selfish to feel sad. You’re allowed to feel those feelings, and we get it ( insert virtual germ free hug here!) – And we hope this little guide helps you navigate a very difficult time.
Here are the basics on how to tell your guests the wedding is postponed, broken down in 3 categories depending on where you were at when the decision was made to move the wedding day.
Situation 1 – I have sent out invitations, and RSVPs have all or partially come back…
- Update the website immediately with the new wedding date, or to let them know the current date will be cancelled and an alternate date will be communicated soon.
- Send out a “Change the Date” card to all guests to inform them of the change in plans. You can do this digitally for example, over PaperlessPost, or send a physical card from your stationer or an online source like Minted – We have a few examples of wording at the bottom of this post, and you can check out this awesome article from Brides for more ideas.
- Ensure guests are instructed what to do with existing room bookings. Every hotel will handle this differently – So be sure to clarify. Will they be transferred by the hotel automatically to the new date? Or do guests have to call in, cancel the old booking, and re-book? These are important things to communicate either on the postponement notice and/or on a wedding website.
- Guests that have already RSVP’d should be asked to re-confirm if the new date works for them. You can either ask them to RSVP again for the new date, or confirm with them directly if the new date works. Keep in mind you have have to remove from a wedding website any RSVPs that have already came in, so that you don’t have duplicates.
- Remind guests to change all flights, car rentals, and other travel details as applicable.
Situation 2 – The invites are printed, but I have not sent them yet…
- You don’t have to do a complete re-print if the only thing that has changed is the date, and all other event times & locations remain the same. We suggest adding a small “Change in Plans” or “Slight Adjustment” card informing guests of the updated date.
- This can be as small as a business card, or even a piece of vellum (such as a belly band) over the invitation with the new date – Some cute design opportunities do exist here!
- Of course, re-printing the invitation is also an option as well should that align with your budget.
- Ensure the wedding website and the RSVP date are also adjusted accordingly. You may wish to adjust or reprint the RSVP cards with the new RSVP date.
Situation 3 – I haven’t sent out or printed invites yet…
- Well this is good then! Proceed with either sending out the invitations with the new date, or send a “Change the Date” or “Postponement Announcement” if the you’ve already sent a Save the Date and do not have a new date picked.
Lastly, it may be too early to ask the venue or your caterer, but if some of the meal selections change as a result of the postponement (say, certain menu items that are no longer offered due to seasonality or become unavailable with menu updates for a new calendar year) – Be sure to update that as well where appropriate.
Sample Wording for a Change the Date
Here are a few samples that we’ve used with clients so far, and a few ideas we found from the magical people at Minted. Each has a slightly different tone & formality, and feel free to mix & match to what is right for you. The end goal is that essential information is communicated to the guests, and this doesn’t have to be as “polished” as the invitation – So feel free to be very real, and people will understand.
Short & Sweet:
“Save Our New Date / For the wedding of / (Your Names) / (New Date) / (Location) / Thank you for your love and patience. ”
“Change the Date / In light of recent circumstances / The Wedding of (Names) / Has been rescheduled to (Date) / We apologize for the inconvenience / And look forward to celebrating with you.”
” Slight Adjustment / The safety of our guests is important to us, and we do not want anyone to risk their health by attending our special day. We have decided to postpone our wedding celebration and kindly ask you to save our new date of (Date) / Thank you for your love & understanding / Details to Follow.”
Fun & Casual:
“Let’s Try This Again! (Name & Name) Are still getting married on a new date of (DATE)”
At th end of the day – Keep in mind this is totally un-chartered territory in the world of invitation etiquette. There are no formal “rules” – which mean you can make your own!
Keep us posted if you found this guide helpful or have any questions for our team, we would love to help you. And we promise, even though you have to wait a little longer than expected, your wedding day when it does arrive will be one of the most magical days of your life, and well worth the wait. Till then, enjoy being called a fiancé and celebrate your love together, because that’s not going anywhere.
XO Julianne Young Weddings