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Postponing Your Wedding: Tips to help navigate postponing your wedding due to the Coronavirus
Frankly, I hate that this is a blog post topic; but Patrick and I are always trying to do the best for our clients. SO that is starting here with helpful tips on navigating the Coronavirus.
Some commonly asked questions are: Will I loose my deposits? When should I make the decision to postpone? What do I do first?
1. Start the Conversation
Reach out to your vendors! Craft an email or schedule a phone call. We are navigating these tough times and are here to help in anyway we can. They will be able to talk your through your contract, if deposits are refundable, what their current availability looks like, etc.
Have a list of questions for the vendors lined up. Just like when you were choosing your vendors and had a list of questions for them about their services. Prep once again with questions about how the virus has effected their services and what comes next.
Example Questions include: What is your postponement policy? Are you willing to work an event with more then the /government-recommended number of people in attendance? Can we apply our deposit to a future date? How does postponement effect the payment schedule? What is your availability in 2020/2021
2. When should I decide to postpone? When do I make the decision?
The government and counties all have different guidelines. For example SLO county currently has a shelter in place order until mid April. That could be lifted tomorrow (although unlikely). During this time it is a day by day or even hour by hour which makes answering this question difficult.
Some things to help with your decision:
Reach out to your vendors. Figure out the fiscal impact of rescheduling your wedding. Do your vendors have availability to reschedule? How far out would you have to book for another Saturday date where all of your vendors are available?
Reach out to your family/friends. What is there feel? Do they have young children, are your grandparents elderly, are they at a high risk? I think one thing that is important to note is that this may not go away fully for some time which means people will be still considering staying home after the shelter in place is lifted. It will take time to get back to normal.
Weigh these answers in making your decision. Unfortunately, no one can make the decision for you. But these are the things to consider.
In my head I think a month out from your wedding, if you are still sheltering in place, then it is probably time to make that decision or at least start the conversation with your vendors. I personally wouldn’t wait longer then that.
Current climate: Right now, my fellow vendor friends are reporting weddings as far out as July being consistently rescheduled. I know this is scary, believe me vendors are scared too. BUT this isn’t a hard rule. If your wedding is in May, June, July, any month… This is your decision. Every wedding and couple is different! What works for one may not for the next!
One more thing to help would be to think about if you aren’t going to be getting married on your date, then what is the next date you would want? Is it important to be married in 2020? Then consider a new date sooner before they are all booked by your vendors.
3. Okay, I made the decision to postpone, NOW WHAT?
The next step is notifying your team of vendors and then notifying your guests and wedding party!
How to choose a new wedding date? This ones hard, I will be the first to admit.
Think about what made you choose your first date. Was it the time of year? Availability of a particular venue or vendor? Do you want to start a family and want to be married first? Was the date special to you?
Take these reasons and apply them to your next date. If you have a planner then get them involved asap! They are going to be able to navigate new dates, vendor availability, and give you so much encouragement and help. If you don’t have a planner, and can make it work, hire one. They will be instrumental in this process.
Next, I would narrow my dates down to 3 and gather vendor availability based on those dates.
Something to consider is a NON SATURDAY DATE. Most wedding vendors book over a year in advance, which means Saturdays are most likely booked by at least one vendor. SO if your goal is to not loose any vendors, then think late 2021 Saturdays, SUNDAY-FRIDAY weddings, or off season weddings (December/January)!
How do I let my guests know?!
Normally a cute mailed rescheduling announcement would be my go to BUT with the current virus, I would suggest email, or even phone/facetime/zoom calls.
Voice Announcement: If you have the time it might not be a bad idea to reach out by voice just to rekindle some normal social life at the moment. This is a great reason to chat it up with friends if you are stuck at home and isolated. I would still follow up in writing after the call so your friends/family have something to look at.
If not by voice then send an email, and use your wedding website if you have one!
When do I let my guest know?
It’s important to inform all of your guests of the change of date ASAP! They may need to cancel or rebook their flights and hotel accommodations. You may need to let them know the decision has been made NOW and then follow up with actual new date and information later.
4. Consider other options…
Consider eloping with a reception to follow! Everyone dreams of their wedding day in different ways so maybe this doesn’t apply to you. However if you abso-fricken-lutely want to be married this year, but you aren’t able to reschedule for 2020. Then you can/should consider having the reception/party at a later date and eloping on your current one or 2020 one. We have experience with planning full service elopements and if you would like we can offer a video reel of your elopement to be played at your reception! We are currently offering discounted elopement services, so get in touch if you want to explore this option!
5. Know it is okay to be bummed out, stressed, upset, happy, whatever emotion you are feeling.
Times like these are completely unpredictable! With everything going on, it may feel unwarranted to be upset. I am here to tell you: it is a hundred percent okay to be disappointed about having to post pone your wedding. Your wedding is a giant life event. BUT take solace in knowing it will happen!