Since weddings and social events can contribute to the spread of COVID-19, many couples are scrambling, and you are thinking the same thing… Postpone your wedding? The CDC has put together a list of considerations for postponing or canceling gatherings, and discourages events of any size during this time. (Be sure to keep an eye on the updates and stay informed as things change!)
While it may be tempting to just throw up the white flag and cancel your wedding, we strongly encourage you to reconsider—and reschedule. Here’s why:
- This is YOUR day. Think about how you’ll feel 5 years from now. 10 years from now. Will you regret not having a celebration with your nearest and dearest? If the answer is yes, postpone your wedding instead of canceling.
- You will support small businesses. Most of your vendors are independent business owners. Couples are greatly affected by this pandemic, but so is the industry at large.
- Canceling could hurt you financially. Before you make the decision to cancel your wedding, consider the financial hit you may take. Read the fine print in your contracts for policies on nonrefundable deposits, retainers, or cancellation fees. This is money that could potentially be applied to a new date instead of lost entirely.
1. Check your insurance policy
If you secured wedding insurance *before* the pandemic hit, check to see if you’re covered. Every insurance policy is different, so you’ll want to review the terms carefully.
If you’re thinking of buying wedding insurance NOW to assist with a current cancellation, it doesn’t work that way.
2. Contact your venue and vendors before you postpone your wedding.
If you have a wedding planner, great! They’re going to be your biggest support system through all of this (as well as your therapist!). They’ll be able to reach out to your vendor team, review your existing contracts, and navigate through any details you may not have thought of.
If you don’t have a wedding planner, reach out to your wedding team personally to let them know you’ve come to the difficult decision to postpone. Set up a time to chat about the terms of your contract as well as future available dates.
Keep in mind that any changes to a venue or vendor contract may incur additional fees, especially if they’ve already begun working on your wedding. Also be understanding if your venue + vendor dream team don’t all have the same future dates available. Consider your highest priorities first (like your venue, coordinator, photographer, etc.), find a date they all have open, and be flexible from there. Consider choosing weekday for your wedding.
3. Communicate with your guests
Your families, wedding party, and friends need to be informed ASAP. Call or email each guest and post updates to your wedding website or social media. Get confirmation that all guests have received your updates. You can even enlist your wedding party to help!
Pro Tip: If/when you have a new time-frame in mind for your rescheduled event, make sure your VIP guests will be able to attend before setting the new date in stone.
Update your wedding website of course, but also consider sending out cute “Change the Date” cards if you’d like a more formal notification.
4. Keep an open mind
It’s okay if your rescheduled wedding looks totally different. Yes you were hoping for a Saturday wedding in May, but now you’re looking at a Thursday wedding in November. While it’s okay to be disappointed, feel the feels…and then try and look at the bright side of things!
For example: Your favorite vendors will most likely have availability, the off-peak day and date will be far less expensive, and fall weddings are some of the most beautiful we’ve seen. Plus, you’ll have plenty of time to rearrange all the details, your guests will have plenty of notice to reschedule their travel, and at the end of the day, you’ll STILL be married to your best friend. See? Silver linings abound.
Even if we’re all still quarantined, you should find fun ways to celebrate your original wedding date! Set up a virtual happy hour for the wedding party on Zoom or cook an elaborate dinner with your soon-to-be spouse (complete with a cutting cake!). Just because we’re socially distanced doesn’t mean celebrations are canceled—so do something that brings you joy.
And please remember: Even though it’s chaotic and emotional and scary and out of your control right now, you WILL get through this. Yes, it sucks having to adjust your wedding plans. But it really helps to keep things in perspective. You’re still madly in love. You can still have a fabulous celebration once this pandemic blows over. And you’ll have a heck of a story to tell your grandkids!
Here are additional tips on how to plan a wedding during this challenging time.