Postponing, rescheduling, or cancelling a wedding can be a difficult and upsetting task. No couple wants to plan their dream wedding just to have to postpone it. Furthermore, rescheduling your wedding can lead to conflict issues with your venue, vendors, and guests.
While no one wants to consider that they may have to reschedule their wedding, the COVID-19 pandemic has made this an unfortunate reality for many couples. Due to venue and vendor closures, social distancing guidelines, and health and safety concerns, many couples in 2020 have been forced to postpone or even cancel their long awaited weddings.
While this has been devastating for couples around the world, the good news is that you can always postpone. Rescheduling a wedding is no small feat; you’ll have to walk through the entire planning process to change dates, confirm details, and re-book vendors that you had previously locked in for your original date.
How To Reschedule Your Wedding
- Check Your Wedding Insurance
- Contact Your Venue and Vendors
- Pick a New Date
- Tell Your Guests
- Re-Book Vendors
- Be Flexible
- Allow Yourself to Mourn
- Celebrate Your Original Date
Check Your Wedding Insurance
A wedding is an expensive affair, so it’s not uncommon for couples to invest in wedding insurance. Typically, wedding insurance covers things like damage to the venue, any possibility of injury or illness that occurs at the event, and may cover postponement or cancellation. You can also get deposit coverage for your expensive vendors.
Wedding insurance may not cover postponement due to COVID-19; this is an unprecedented crisis, and most insurance policies probably do not have language that mentions a global pandemic. Regardless, if you purchased wedding coverage, check your plan. If postponing isn’t covered entirely, you may be able to save money on lost deposits or cancelled vendors.
If you did not buy a wedding insurance policy, buying one now will not cover your need to reschedule. That does not mean that you will lose all of your deposits, however. Read on to learn how to reschedule your wedding and vendors so that you can still have the wedding of your dreams.
Contact Your Venue and Vendors
Your venue may contact you first to cancel if your wedding would break state or local safety guidelines around COVID-19. If you haven’t heard from vendors yet, but you’re sure it’s necessary to postpone your wedding, contact them ASAP.
Let your venue know that you need to postpone and, assuming that you want to keep your venue, that you’d like to discuss dates to reschedule. Some venues may have policies in place about cancellations and rescheduling. Ask your venue how the process works and inquire about any fees.
Many couples have been forced to postpone since the pandemic hit the US in March, so finding the right date may be difficult. Discuss with your venue and try to find a date that suits you.
Most couples prioritize the venue, so it’s best to work with them on picking a new date. If the venue is less important than another vendor like a caterer or photographer, you can choose to reschedule your wedding around those instead of the venue.
You should also contact vendors to let them know that you’re postponing your wedding. This applies to any vendor who needs to be there the day of the event, or anyone whose timeline is changed by your choice to reschedule. Be sure to inform the following vendors:
- Photographers and videographers
- Hair stylists
- Makeup artists
- Wedding planner
- DJ or band
If you have any other vendors who will be affected by your change of date, be sure to let them know. While you may already have your wedding dress picked out, you may need to let your seamstress know to reschedule your final fitting and alterations so that they are closer to the big day.
If you have your new date settled on, let your vendors know and see if they can accommodate your new date. It’s likely that at least one of your vendors will have a conflict; try to take it in stride and ask for a recommendation for someone new to hire.
Pick a New Date
As we mentioned above, you’ll have to discuss a new date with your venue, first and foremost. If your wedding band is more important to you than your venue, however, you may want to reschedule around the band instead. Figure out what matters most to you and try to pick a new date so that you can keep your most important elements.
Most couples choose a new date based on their venue’s availability, but if their schedule doesn’t work for you, you can always pick a new venue. This is stressful: the venue is one of the most important elements, and you might have had your heart set on a specific venue. If it comes down to it, however, it is possible to find a new place to get married. Once you find a backup venue, ask about their availability to find a new date.
Picking a date is difficult, especially the second time around. You might have planned an outdoor, colorful, summer wedding that won’t work in the winter. It can also be difficult because you don’t want to wait forever to get married. If you were planning on getting married in the summer of 2020, the autumn of 2022 can seem painfully far away.
Many couples have postponed their wedding due to COVID-19, so if this is your situation, be sure to consider how long the pandemic may last. Some couples in March may have rescheduled for August, not realizing just how long COVID-19 would stick around. Be sure to postpone long enough to account for health and safety regulations.
You should also consider more than just your venue and vendors when picking your date. When are you available? When is your family available? Will your important guests be able to attend the new date? Don’t forget about your guests when rescheduling your wedding day.
Tell Your Guests
Inform your guests about your decision to postpone as soon as possible. Even if you don’t have a new date set, let your guests know that you will be postponing the wedding, especially if guests have to purchase travel or hotel accommodations.
How you tell your guests is up to you. Depending on the size of your guest list, you may want to split up the list between the bride and groom and call each guest personally. You can also choose to email your guest list – just keep in mind that some guests may not check their email regularly. If you have a wedding website, you can post updates on there as well.
When you inform your guests, let them know how and when to expect updates on the reschedule date. If you plan to send out new save-the-dates and invitations, let them know, or tell them to keep an eye on your wedding website, social media pages, or their own email inbox.
Depending on your unique situation, some guests may have already purchased airfare and booked hotel rooms. Try to assist those guests as much as possible. For instance, if you secured a block of rooms at a hotel, try to negotiate with the hotel to get your guests a refund or to accommodate your new date.
Keep open communication with your guests as you replan your wedding. Try to let them know your new date as soon as possible so that they can try and make it. Unfortunately, some guests may not be able to make it after rescheduling. Unless they are an important guest, don’t try to change your plans – you won’t be able to accommodate every guest and your vendors.
Some of your vendors may be able to accommodate your new date with ease. It may be as simple as pushing your reservation to a later date. There may be some rescheduling fees involved, so consider your budget before agreeing to a high fee.
Some, however, may not be available on your new date. While this is a frustrating possibility after months of planning your wedding, postponing means that there is still time to find new vendors. Go through your planning checklist and figure out what elements of your wedding need to be re-booked. Depending on how far you are from your new date, begin searching for the vendors that need to be replaced.
Many couples are postponing their weddings at the same time due to COVID-19. This can make booking vendors difficult. Reach out to your wedding party, families, and friends for help. Your support network should be there to help you through the difficult process of replanning your wedding.
Postponing a wedding is a difficult task. Try to be flexible about making changes as necessary. You may not be able to keep every aspect of your original wedding that you wanted – you’ll likely lose a vendor or two, have a few guests change their RSVP to “no”, and face frustration while trying to coordinate the wedding you already planned.
Allow Yourself to Mourn
Planning a wedding is stressful enough on its own. Postponing your wedding is a huge disappointment and adds even more stress to your life, as you have to go back through the planning process all over again. It’s okay to feel upset and overwhelmed, especially in the midst of a global pandemic.
Take time to mourn the loss of your wedding as planned and all of the hard work you put into planning it. Allow yourself to grieve that loss so that you can get back to work and look forward to your new date!
Celebrate Your Original Date
Finally, celebrate your original wedding date with your fiancee and any other family and friends you wish to see. Depending on your original date, you may have to limit your social circle or wear masks to protect yourself from COVID-19, but you can still commemorate your original wedding date. Some couples may even choose to get legally married on their wedding date and save the ceremony and reception for later.
Share a nice meal with your future spouse, spend time with your family and friends, or simply drink a glass of champagne to celebrate your original wedding date and look forward to your new one!
Use our tips to figure out how to postpone your wedding and plan for your future wedding day. While postponing your wedding day is likely a huge disappointment, you can still look forward to your future wedding and make the most of your situation!
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