LAST UPDATE: 23/03/20 9.30pm
It was never going to be easy to write a post called “How To Postpone A Wedding”. Especially on a wedding site where we champion hosting Your Day, Your Way. But sometimes situations arise which are not under our control. I’m sure you’re exhausted from reading the words ‘global pandemic’. Whilst we’ve all been monitoring the situation closely it seems that for some of you, the time has come to do the most difficult, yet socially responsible thing and postpone your wedding day. Even if you feel deep down that it’s the right thing to do, that doesn’t make it easy. The heartbreaking disappointment you feel is entirely normal. Yes, we all want to keep our loved ones safe and do our bit for society, but the reality is that you’ve likely been planning and looking forward to your day for a long time. And it’s ok to feel a swell of emotions that it may not go ahead exactly how and when you initially wanted. There are scores of couples currently going through and talking about this on the Rock My Wedding Forum. So if you need a place to be supported by like-minded people then please join us.
What you’ll find below is a step by step guide, explaining what you need to do and when to postpone a wedding. This will hopefully offer a bit of assistance in what can be a very disorientating and emotional time.
We’re urging our affected couples to postpone rather than cancel. If you have already paid a deposit for a venue or supplier, some will consider allowing you to transfer this deposit, under the current circumstances. Others will require you to forgo your deposit and make a fresh booking for your new date. Please have an open conversation with your suppliers. If you, however, decide to cancel the wedding, you will almost certainly lose any deposits paid.
If your wedding is within the next 8 weeks, postpone now. The longer you delay postponement, the more you risk not being able to postpone (or having to pay additional costs for) suppliers who have already purchased materials or have begun work on your wedding services, such as florists or cake designers. The sooner you’re able to act on this, the more likely you are to minimise any financial impact. Follow the steps listed below to make sure you cover all grounds.
Based on the current government guidelines of the COVID-19 pandemic and anticipated projection of the crisis, we would recommend that you think hard about how long you postpone your wedding for. If you’re set on having a summer wedding for instance, rather than postponing until August, consider postponing until much later in the year or next year. Yes, there is a lot of disappointment over having to wait that bit longer to get married and/or celebrate, but you will hopefully be able to enjoy your wedding process much more than constantly checking the latest news and guidelines. Of course, only you can decide when you want to get married depending on both your tolerance to risk but also how long you’re prepared to wait.
How To Postpone A Wedding
- Check your insurance policies and read all venue/supplier contracts carefully. Contact your wedding insurance company to let them know you intend to postpone the date. They should be able to then make you aware of any policies that cover you and also any excess you may need to pay to access those policies.
- Create a list of all of your suppliers, put them into two categories. Those you are certain you want to keep in Group A. And those who you’d either be happy to find an alternative for if needed or perhaps are naturally more flexible on dates (such as your wedding dress boutique) in Group B.
- Speak with your venue about the postponement. If you’re getting married in a separate venue, you will need to work closely with both the ceremony venue and reception venue. Try to get everything in writing for future reference. See if you can choose a date in the future that you’re comfortable with. You may need to switch to a weekday wedding in order to secure the venue(s) you want. Let’s make something very clear: a Tuesday wedding in November is equally as beautiful as a Saturday wedding in June. Marriage is marriage, regardless of the season, day or number of guests. If you’re having issues with your venue refusing to postpone, or you’re unsure about any policies within their contract, seek legal advice.
- Once you have pencilled in a date with your venue(s), but before you fully confirm, contact your nearest and dearest. The people you absolutely must have at your wedding. Make sure they can attend your newly proposed date.
- Next, contact all of the suppliers in Group A and see if they have availability for your new date. Be prepared that there may be some back and forth to find a date that suits everyone.
- Once your Group A suppliers have pencilled it in and your key guests are happy, contact your venue(s) and secure the new date. Then reconfirm this date with everyone involved. This may also mean contacting your local registry office and changing the date on your Notice Of Marriage.
- Next, contact your Group B suppliers to let them know of the change in plans. If any of these suppliers are unable to accommodate your new date, ask them for a referral to a peer in their industry that they trust, who could perhaps help. You may lose some deposits here, but hopefully, they will be of a small enough amount that you can manage.
- This is going to take some time, but call each of your guests individually to make them aware of your new wedding date. Prioritise those who are planning to travel. This allows you to not only make sure that you can actually get the message to the right people, but gives you an opportunity to have a chat about their concerns and see how they are fairing in the current situation. You can then either follow up with a text message/email or postcard, just confirming the new date and giving them a physical reminder to refer back to for any details they might need.
Please note: If your wedding is due within the next 6 weeks, it would be a good idea to give your guests a courtesy call as soon as possible to let them know the day is being postponed, even before you secure a new date. Then you can follow up with the new details once you have them.
Some final tips to help you get through…
Keep Calm and Level Headed
Approach this from a factual and problem-solving perspective as much as possible. Tensions and emotions may be running high, but in your communication with suppliers, try to focus on a solution together.
It’s Okay To Be Upset
Whilst we know that your wedding day is likely not your only concern amidst the current climate, you have every right to be upset about postponing or canceling your wedding day. It’s normal and natural to grieve for the plans that you had. So be kind to yourself.
Be Kind To Others
This is a heartbreaking decision for anyone to make, but acknowledge that your suppliers are going through their own difficulties, with many of them facing months of no income. Be kind and understanding, this will also help you form a better relationship with your suppliers, making the postponement process easier.
Acknowledge Your Original Date
Don’t let your original wedding date pass you by. Make a point of celebrating and acknowledging it. Even if this just comes in the form of cracking a bottle of something bubbly and having a picnic on the living room floor. Remember that the very point of all of this is love and union with that one special person. Just because you can’t tie the knot and have that party (yet), don’t let that stop you from taking a moment to celebrate that special thing that you two have together.