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If you are one of the hundreds of brides and grooms who have had to postpone their wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic, we totally understand if you want to stop reading this, step outside, and let out a good, long scream into the crazy world we find ourselves in. Once you get that out of your system, we’ll be right here waiting for you…
Now that we got that out of the way, we all understand that this pandemic is one of those crises that you simply couldn’t have planned for. We spent months, if not years, predicting every possible scenario for our weddings. What will we do if it rains? What do I say when Aunt Rose shows me a very white dress she plans to wear to my wedding? How do I keep our best man’s toast from making our moms blush? Those things we can deal with. Coronavirus must have misunderstood and took all that as a challenge, “Oh, really? Let’s see what you can do with this.”
A little humor aside, brides and grooms are not oblivious to the very real and important health crisis that is at the heart of this pandemic. We are concerned for our loved ones, our jobs, and the global community suffering from the illness caused by COVID-19. Many couples are members of the incredibly selfless population of first responders, medical providers, and essential business organizations who continue to work long hours in the midst of a highly contagious virus. With all that being said…we still want to punch the virus in its metaphorical face for ruining our big day.
It’s absolutely ok to feel the way you do about postponing your wedding. This is a judgment-free zone. It’s ok to feel all the anger, disappointment, and frustration. Cry it out, take a deep breath, and then, (forget your “big girl panties”) put your veil on! You’ve got this – and you’ve got us. We have a wedding to reschedule that will make your original day green with envy!
Where do you start? Once you make the decision to postpone (which you probably don’t feel you had a choice about), gather your support system and get organized. Let’s go over a quick checklist:
- Sit down with your fiancé. Don’t forget that you have a partner in this (even if he/she didn’t necessarily care about what color peony would be in your bouquet or whether you’d serve tray passed champagne upon guests’ arrival!). Trust us, your fiancé is feeling the same emotions and concerns – and respectful communication will be key to finding a solution together.
Decide what your priorities are as a couple:
- Do you want to get married sooner than later, even if it means a small “elopement” style ceremony in a casual setting on your original date? Should you then plan a big reception later on to celebrate with everyone?
- Would you rather hold off and get married on a day when all your family and friends are there to witness it after coronavirus has come and gone?
- Do you want to keep all your pre-existing vendors and perhaps reschedule for later in the year – or even next year – in order to make sure everyone is available on your new date? Or are you open to just keeping your most significant vendors and changing a few if they aren’t available on your new date?
- Do you want to accommodate certain guests who may be traveling from across the country or overseas or will you be satisfied with a smaller group of loved ones in attendance?
- Take out your calendar, maybe even buy a new Wedding Planner, you deserve it. Even though the near future is filled with so much uncertainty, you’ll need to have a point of reference for potential new dates. If your wedding was scheduled originally for March, April, or May 2020, you may be holding out hope for the summer months. (Keep in mind that your original marriage license may expire by the new date of your wedding, so check your local county offices for appointments. Many county offices are currently closed due to the outbreak.)
Consider these issues:
- Are you comfortable moving your wedding to June or July, with the understanding you may have to change the date again if government lockdowns and closures continue?
- Will out of town guests be able to travel by your new date?
Keep in mind, if you’d prefer to simply pick a new date and move on for your emotional health, you may want to look later in the year or even in 2021.
- Contact all your vendors, but start with your venue. Assuming that your venue will allow you to reschedule without any loss in deposits already paid, check their open dates. If you had a Saturday wedding already planned, are you willing to pick an alternative day of the week? If so, make a list of your preferences. If your venue has its Saturdays all filled up, you may choose to have a Friday or Sunday wedding…or maybe even a mid-week event.
- Once you have potential dates in mind, email all your vendors as soon as possible. They are all in the same boat, so to speak, and may be busy rescheduling several events during this unexpected crisis. Try to be patient as you wait for their responses. Give them a list of your potential new dates and ask if they are available. You may get lucky and find a date that most – or all – of your vendors can move to the new date.
- Talk to your close family and bridal party. This is unchartered territory for everyone and you may encounter some push-back about your decisions. Some friends may question your choice to host a Friday event, while other family members may wonder why you are trying to schedule your wedding in the near future when the world is still recovering from this chaotic and stressful time. Only you and your fiancé can decide what will work best for your special day, but you may have to be understanding if someone’s plans to attend change.
- That brings us to the big question. How do you send invitations for your new date, especially if you’ve already spent hundreds of dollars on beautiful invitation suites that were sent out months ago? Try to give your guests as much notice as possible during this stressful period of time. People are dealing with their own health concerns, loss of work, or anxiety about traveling. They would still love to attend your wedding, but may need time to consider their options within the current environment. Here are a few ways to approach it:
- Send a “Change-the-Date” postcard with an online RSVP. Give your wedding website address and a new RSVP due date.
- Talk to your original invitation vendor. Many vendors are offering discounts on coronavirus-postponement-related invitations.
- Send an Evite to save you time & money on costly invitations.
- Reach out personally to everyone on your guest list. This may be easier with a smaller wedding, but try not to put people on the spot by calling. Email or text friends and family with a cute graphic that you can create online to announce your new date and any relevant information.
No matter what, we are all going to get through the initial shock and disappointment of having to postpone our wedding days and we’ll move forward. We will marry the loves of our lives regardless of when, where, or how we do it. We deserve to be happy with our choices, so take the time to feel all the feelings, communicate with your fiancé, and work together to find a solution that you’ll be happy with in a year or in 50 years. We are here at Sparkling Soirées to help you every step of the way.
Photo by Erica Streelman Photography