Whether it’s from “cold feet,” sickness, natural disasters, or even a global health crisis (as we have seen this year) occasionally weddings are postponed. While this is not something that any couple wants to consider, knowing what issues may arise if you find yourself in the position of postponing is important to acknowledge.
If you are facing the task of postponing your big day, chances are you are feeling a wide range of emotions. First of all, it is okay to be sad and grieve the ceremony and reception that you have been planning for months. You’ll then have to consider the logisticial challenge of replanning. Depending upon the reason for the change of date, you will want to consider taking some of the following steps including: informing your venue and vendors about the adjustments; letting your family, guests and bridal party know the plan; and checking in with your wedding insurance agent.
Communicate With Key Vendors
If your wedding day needs to be rescheduled you will need to communicate with the key people who are helping plan your wedding.
We suggest starting with your venue coordinator who can assist you in any way they can. This person will know availability for future dates, and provide their policies on postponement. Once you have determined a new date, contact florist, entertainment, photographers, and transportation to check their availability and policies. Your contracts with them will have key information that will let you know if you are looking at losing any deposits or if those deposits can be carried over to the new date.
If you can, enlist wedding party members or family members in this task so it will not seem as overwhelming when choosing a new wedding date and informing all the vendors you have booked.
Notify Family, Friends, and Guests
Notifying your immediate family members is probably something that will happen first for most couples. But informing the extensive list of guests and extended family and friends is a task that you may be dreading.
Some couples find that notifying guests is a little easier if you already have a future date in mind. Then, you can send a letter to your guest list with a “Change of Date” notice. More and more couples are using email to send updates on postponements since it is quicker, and more cost effective than sending out postage (especially after spending money on the initial invitations!)
While some guests may know the reasoning why the date is being changed, such as a global pandemic or a natural disaster, you may want to provide a brief explanation.
In the postcard, email, or letter that you send to your guests, help them navigate the new date by giving suggestions for lodgings, transportation, and/or restaurants near your venue just as you would in a typical wedding invitation. If you don’t have these details yet, at least let people know the new date and explain that further details will be coming.
Be clear in your request that guests must respond as to whether they can attend the new date so you can let your vendors know, especially the reception venue that may need to adjust the number of guests for the meal.
Consult Your Wedding Insurance Policy
If you purchased a wedding insurance policy just in case, this is the time to confirm with your agent what is covered and what will not be covered. This will be helpful if your vendors require an adjustment in price or a loss of deposit.
If you need more advice or are wondering what the right etiquette is for postponing a wedding the Knot and Here Comes the Guide offer some great tips on how to manage a postponement especially in the time of Covid-19.