If you have an upcoming wedding this spring or summer, you’re probably feeling a whirlwind of emotions – stress, uncertainty, confusion, and disappointment. Our event staff at Gari Melchers Home and Studio is here to support our couples, community, and the wedding/event industry as a whole during this difficult time of social distancing.
As brides and grooms everywhere are in dismay over whether they should hold, cancel, or postpone their weddings, we’ve made a guide to help out couples who’ve chosen the latter.
Consult with Key Decision Makers.
This could mean anyone from your partner, whoever is footing the bill, wedding planner, or parents. Discuss new possible dates that would work for your wedding VIPs (people you cannot get married without – parents, wedding party members, close family and friends.) Make sure to ask for any dates that won’t work for these people and make note of them. Start making a small list of dates that would work for you, your partner, and your VIPs.
If you don’t have a wedding planner, consider getting one due to these circumstances. They will help you immensely with navigating this stressful situation.
Let Your Vendors Know ASAP.
Contact the people in charge of making your wedding happen. The venue, caterers, photographer, videographer, DJ, band, officiant, florist, baker, hair stylist, makeup artist, etc. Your pros will totally understand and support your decision and be able to provide additional guidance and advice. If you don’t have a postponement date yet, don’t stress. Explain to your vendors that you’re still working on securing a date and ask for any dates that won’t work for them.
Once you’ve made the decision to postpone, even if you don’t have a date solidified, couples may want to reach out to guests informally – phone call, text, or email – to inform them of the postponement. Just something as simple as, “In light of what’s happening in the world, we have decided to postpone our wedding. More details to come on a new date where we can all celebrate together, safely.” If you already have a new date set, you can give them the date or wait until you send out your date-change cards. It’s never a bad idea to give people as much notice as possible when it comes to event dates.
Read Over All Contracts.
Read venue and vendor contracts so you understand the terms for postponement and cancellation. Some vendors won’t charge additional fees for a postponement, but you might lose some deposits if you cancel all together. Venues, vendors, and wedding professionals might be more willing to offer partial refunds if not full refunds during these unprecedented times so be sure to have the conversation with them.
Talk with your venue about the list of potential new dates to see if they’re available. If they are, great! If they aren’t, you either must choose another venue or go back to your VIPs to determine a new date.
Reach out to Vendors.
If one of your vendors isn’t available for your new date, it’ll be up to you to rethink a new date or find a new vendor. Ask all your vendors for updated contracts with the new date. This is a tough time for wedding vendors since their income will likely be affected due to cancellations and postponements. Where you can, keep your contract with your original vendor, even if that means working with an assistant or associate!
Rebook If Needed.
If you need to rebook a vendor, do that now. Ask your original vendor for any recommendations for a company with a similar vibe, style, pricing, approach, etc.
Update Website and Registries.
Once you have a new date locked in (with contracts) from all vendors, update the date on the website first thing. Don’t forget your registries and honeyfund too!
Update your wedding room block with the new weekend. Ask the hotel how guests should handle their reservations. If your original hotel(s) can’t accommodate the new date, ask for other nearby options.
Rethink the Design.
If your original date was in May but your new date is in November, you may want to alter your floral arrangements, tablescapes, centerpieces, party favors, cake design, menus, decorations, etc. A spring wedding can be designed very differently than a fall wedding, the small details do matter.
Don’t forget to ask your venue about any federal, state, local, or company measures that may affect your future date. Be sure to clearly understand the regulations that may be in place regarding social distancing, crowd capacities, and nonessential business precautions.
Don’t forget about activities that weekend! Rehearsal dinner, welcome party, and farewell brunch will all have to be handled the same way.
Rebook Relevant Appointments.
Rebook all appointments that fall around your wedding day. This means dress and suit fittings, hair appointments, nail appointments, spa, etc.
New Wedding Stationery.
If the date is more than three months away, consider a new save the date (electronically or paper.) Bes sure to send out new invitations and RSVP cards to get a proper guest count for the new date.
Locate your Wedding Dress.
Whether your dress is in transit, at the store, or getting altered, let whoever has it know your postponement plans. Make sure to make new alteration appointments so your dress is perfect!
I know this is hard. You need to give yourself time to feel grief and disappointment but then it’s time to get the wedding postponement ball rolling! Start thinking positively. situation isn’t ideal but everyone’s in it together and your wedding pros are here to support you!
Featured Image (at top of page):
Photographer: Sarah Schultz-Taylor