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Getting engaged and marrying the love of your life are two of the happiest days in a couple’s life. Having to make the decision on canceling or postponing a wedding due to a public health crisis could be on the list as one of the hardest days. All the planning and time spent on this one day might feel like a waste of time causing anger and sadness and potentially feelings of doubt. As engaged couples of 2020 navigate postponing a wedding, there are going to be lots of questions and not a lot of answers. One of those questions being how long to postpone and what if rescheduling has to happen again?
Based on the CDC (Center For Disease and Control) guidelines along with state and local health officials, organizers are encouraged to assess current conditions whether to cancel, postpone or significantly reduce the number of attendees per gathering. As these regulations and precautions continue to evolve per state, most couples through the winter of 2020 might not get to say their “I dos”. As more and more couples are making the jump to postpone their weddings, rescheduling the date and making proactive moves are going to be important to move forward. Here are 5 steps to help guide you through the postponement process.
1. Review Contracts
Once the vision of the perfect day has subsided and realizing that you will be postponing a wedding, it is time to start remaking plans. At the beginning of the planning, hiring a wedding planner might have felt a bit extra, but they are going to be the biggest help and support over the next several months navigating these uncharted waters. If you do not have a wedding planner, it is totally fine. Your therapist will be your biggest support! You have planned the wedding thus far, so the rescheduling will be a piece of cake for you!
First things first, communicate with the venue, vendors, and suppliers and let them know about the change in plans. Work together with these individuals to see if there will be financial implications or things not thought of for the reschedule. Remember, these are businesses and all the rescheduling will impact them as well. They will do everything they can to help, but there could be a chance they are not available on your new date and you may not get your deposit back. So make sure to read your contracts very carefully. Flexibility is going to be extremely important during this time for all parties involved!
If you happen to purchase an insurance policy for the big day before the pandemic hit, check to see if there is coverage. Unfortunately now is not the time to be purchasing insurance. The purpose of insurance is to cover unforeseeable or unknown circumstances. At this point, the pandemic is a known issue and insurance companies are not going to retroactively grant coverage. Hindsight is 2020, literally!
2. Communication Plan
Next up on the checklist when postponing a wedding is communication. By now your immediate family and wedding party are probably already helping and supporting in whatever way they can. Next up is the guest list. You may have already sent out save the dates, invitations or your wedding is next month so guests are going to need to adjust travel. Whatever the case may be, there are a couple of different ways to notify your guests.
- Wedding Website – This will be the easiest and most effective way to communicate, assuming your guests are keeping up with your updates. A simple, direct message will be most effective, and possibly even putting together a short FAQ on travel refunds, hotel accommodations, new dates, etc. can help mitigate extra questions.
- Call Or Email – This might feel a bit outdated and mundane but might also be a great way to ensure you contact a majority of your guests. Put together specific messaging for each and start knocking out that list. Now would be a great time to get your family and wedding party involved.
- “Change The Date” Cards – Postponing a wedding invitation, who would have thought? In addition to updating your wedding website and calling/emailing, sending “Change The Date” cards can be a more formal way to communicate with guests if you do not want to deal with the other two options.
Read More: Easy Invitations For Every Occasion
3. Adjust Travel and Lodging Plans
In addition to wedding guests needing to make travel adjustments and fix their hotel accommodations, the wedding could be a destination wedding and the honeymoon could have been booked months ago. All of these things can be changed, it just might take a little bit more coordination. Hotels are usually accommodating when it comes to room blocks and adjustment of dates depending on what has already been rescheduled and the new date that has been selected. Call the hotel and understand their policies around this type of scenario and try to negotiate a full or partial refund on behalf of your guests.
Airlines have been cutting schedules, employees and a number of flights daily since the pandemic started and continues to spread across much of the world. If you are needing to reschedule air travel, the great news is that many airlines are providing a no change fee and flexible rebooking options. But always double-check by calling the airline directly to review their new poliocies. And if you are an uber planner, you may have purchased travel insurance that may help cover any unforeseen costs as well.
Read More: 10 Reasons To Buy Travel Insurance
4. The Grief Of Postponing A Wedding
Let’s be honest, postponing a wedding doesn’t bring out happy feelings and might even bring lots of sadness and disappointment. The thought of not seeing your plans come to fruition on your originally scheduled date is upsetting because it was, up to this point, everything you wanted as a couple. These feelings are completely normal and ones you should be expressing. If it takes a day, a week, or however long you have to be sad, let your feelings as an individual and as a couple be felt and heard.
There may not be a wedding celebration on your original wedding date, but make sure to celebrate anyways. Postponing a wedding can zap your happiness. Once you have given yourself the time needed, get your positive energy back, pop open the champagne and set up a virtual celebration with your bridal party and immediate family. If you are wanting a more intimate night with your beau, plan a fancy dinner in with just the two of you, a nice bottle of wine and movie to cap off the night. Even if this is not how you envisioned your wedding day, the date will still hold a special meaning in your heart!
With the start of a new decade, 2020 was supposed to be an amazing kick-off to the next ten years ahead. No one thought we would have a worldwide pandemic making social contact a thing of the past. Postponing a wedding can be a very hard decision to make but with these 5 manageable steps, we will help you get through this. Take a deep breath and get ready to start tackling your to-do list!
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on 4 Ideas For A Simple Wedding.
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