Planning a wedding at an uncertain time like this may seem hopeless. How can you focus on celebrating when everyone’s worried about their personal safety? How can you gather all your friends and family and have your memorable first dance with your spouse if you aren’t allowed to be closer than 6 feet? Realistically, how do you even host a cocktail hour with a 100 or so people, all standing 6 feet apart? Is any of this even realistic? Whoever imagined their wedding filled with mask wearing vendors, perpetual hand sanitizing, and people afraid to touch each other. Weddings are supposed to be filled with joy, laughter, happy tears and lots of touching and hugs. Especially hugs!
With the situation today, surely you’re asking yourself, should I postpone my wedding?
The answer is, yes AND no.
Honestly, there is no right answer here. The decision to postpone is not an automatic response, given the circumstances. There are factors to consider before you decide on a new wedding date. And that’s what we’re going to cover in this post. That, and some tips and reminders to remember in order to postpone your wedding successfully.
Your Wedding Date
Start by contemplating your wedding date. If you’re getting married in 2021, it would be best to wait a little longer to choose your venue and date to see how events start to unfold in the following months. Many venues will put soft holds on dates for you to give you (and them) a little more time to see how things pan out. But don’t wait too long to decide! Many of the 2020 couples that are postponing are taking all the 2020 dates, venues AND vendors.
But if you’re getting married this year, 2020, a year we all want to forget about as of now, then yes, it might be ideal to postpone your wedding until next year. Some clients have already postponed Spring 2020 weddings to Summer 2020 then to Fall 2020, and to say it has been an emotional roller coaster for them (and us) is an understatement . After a 3rd date change, I would say it’s time to consider moving to next year. Your guests will thank you. Still not convinced? Consider sending out an anonymous survey thorough Survey Monkey that asks your guests the likelihood of them coming to your wedding in 2020 versus 2021. Results are confidential and you will get to see exactly what they are thinking to help make an informed decision. If you are going for quantity, you may want to postpone. If you are going for quality, however, you may find that you are able to pull it off in 2020. We realizing, for some, waiting over a year to have your wedding just isn’t something that you want to do, and that is OK! Some of our clients are moving forward, regardless of the turn out, and others, are making the hard decision to move. We have had a few clients move forward with getting married on the original date, and just postponing “the party”. That works too. One bonus to this is that it gives you more time to “save” and maybe some additional freedom to do some things you otherwise couldn’t afford. On the flip side, maybe if you continue with 2020, you will have a smaller guest count, by default, turning your once 200 person wedding into a 50 person wedding, which offers you the freedom to splurge a bit more on them. There is a bright side to both sides.
Where will your wedding take place? Is it in or near a location where cases of the coronavirus are high (or have a history of spiking rates)? Is it in a church, the beach, or any venue where people still aren’t allowed to visit? If yes, postponing might be a good move for you. Consider if your event takes place in a lot of enclosed places, or offers a lot of fresh open air options to your guests. This too could effect your decision to host and their decision to come.
And if your chosen venue or location continues to have record high cases, you may want to consider a safer wedding venue or location.
If your wedding venue doesn’t fall into any of these categories, it’s still important to keep an eye out for future events. The location might be safe, but you still need to consider travel restrictions (especially on your guests’ points of origin) and limitations on mass gatherings. With so many International travel bans, your guests may have no option to get your wedding, or risk getting home.
Which brings us to our next factor…
Ask yourself these questions:
- How many guests are you expecting to attend the wedding? Remember, the World Health Organization still finds it risky for a large group of people to gather. Most events must be 50 or less.
- What is their age range? Elderlies are encouraged to stay home until the health threat subsides. Keep this in mind if you’re planning to include your grandparents on the guest list.
- Where would they be traveling from? For instance, guests coming from other countries may not make it to your special day since some countries aren’t opening their borders for international flights yet, as mentioned above.
Your Vision of Your Dream Wedding
If you want to pursue the idea of your dream wedding detail-by-detail, you may need to wait a little longer to make your vision come true.
But if you’re not much for grandeur, perhaps you don’t need to postpone. Plenty of couples today have settled for weddings in a small setting with a smaller number of guests. What we like to call a “micro” wedding. And to be honest, they are lovely, because you can splurge on your guests in more ways than one, and spend multiple days at multiple events with them. It really can be quite lovely. Then, you could always have a larger celebratory “party” down the road.
Tips on Postponing Your Wedding
Once you’ve considered all of these factors and you’ve decided to postpone, here are a couple of tips to help you go through the process with as little headache as possible. Even better, get yourself a wedding planner. They can be invaluable in times like these and do all the grunt work for you.
Decide on New Dates Immediately
Talk to your partner about new possible dates for your wedding. It’s best to choose more than one, so you can have backup dates in case your first choice doesn’t work with the venue or the vendors.
Remember to make the decision as soon as you can. Plenty of couples across the globe will be moving their wedding dates, too, so competition on availability of venues and vendors will be stiff. Don’t let this discourage you, just try not to hesitate. You could also consider a more off the beaten path destination that might not be quite as popular as your existing location, This could give you a bit more of an advantage when picking a date.
Make Adjustments on Other Factors of Your Weddings
These include color scheme, your venue’s design and aesthetic, your wedding dress, your menu, and your guest list.
For example, if you’re shifting from a summer to a fall wedding, you’ll need to adjust your color scheme (e.g. from pastel or summer-ish palette to earth or jewel tones). Your choice of flowers for the time of year you are moving to may need to change to. Don’t forget to pay attention to these small but important details. You might need to consider a new design for your wedding dress (or go for a new one instead). Also, you may need to tweak your menu. The list goes on and on. Weddings are all about details and making sure everything is cohesive.
You may also need to postpone your bachelorette party and honeymoon for now, especially if you’re going for a destination party or honeymoon. Fortunately, hotels, airlines, VRBO, and Airbnbs are waiving fees for those who decide to cancel their bookings due to this pandemic dilemma.You could also look into hosting your wedding in a luxury home or villa that can hold a significant amount of people. This is where something like INSPIRATO could really help! Check it out.
Be Transparent with Your Vendors
Discuss your situation, your expectations, and work on solutions with your planner and vendors to adapt your wedding to this crisis. Frankly, if at this point, you don’t have a planner, you may want to consider getting one.
Also, be considerate of each other’s situation during your meeting with them. They’re in the same ambiguous plight as you are, so they’ll understand your frustrations and decisions regarding your wedding adjustments. But offer them the same courtesy. No one expected this or has been through this before. This is new territory for ALL involved, therefore, EVERYONE should be treated with respect and given lots of grace and understanding. This is a time to respect and cherish your vendors. And show them that you realize this is hard for them too, especially the small businesses.
Be Prepared for Extra Fees (and a lower chance for refunds)
Depending on your agreement, you might be entitled to a partial, full, or no refund. If you’re looking to bring back your investments, review your contracts first before discussing with your vendors.
Some vendors may also charge extra to accommodate your new date. Make sure to discuss this with them so you can be clear with the budget you’ll create. When vendors move weddings from one date to another, especially 12-18 months out, it makes it very difficult for them to re-book that date with a potential new client that comes to them during the upcoming 2020 engagement season. Also consider that your vendor may have given you a discount because you were getting married on a Sunday in off season and now you want a peak Saturday. In all fairness, the vendor should be entitled to charge a premium. Vendors also tend to raise their prices each year, or every few years, so consider that the following year (2021) that you now want to book, may have fallen under that circumstance. Frankly, this is not a time to nit pick and nickel and dime, especially those people that are going to help you pull this off, whenever it happens to be.
Think About How Technology Can Help You
Couples who have celebrated their weddings amidst current events have found success with the help of technology. You can also do the same and contemplate how you can use technology to make things easier for everyone before, during, and after the wedding.
For instance, video conferencing apps are ideal if you want all your guests to witness your ceremony of love virtually. I’m sure we all wish we had bought stock in Zoom before all of this happened. Many videographers can also set up multiple cameras, connect to a WIFI signal, and connect guests from afar virtually into the experience.
After you get your photos back from your photographer, definitely upload them to a great quality photo website and make a custom photo book that you can share with everyone, whether they were in attendance or not. This will help your memories of this glorious day last FOREVER.
And lastly, always remember to…
Ask For Help When You Need It
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you aren’t sure of your next move. You can ask couples in the same situation as yours and wedding professionals for ideas and solutions. The internet’s also an ideal place to find helpful information, like this post. There are some great Facebook groups you can join as well all related to planning a wedding during a global pandemic.
But, just remember. Keep calm. Your wedding WILL take place. You’ll get to spend the rest of your life with your partner. YAY! It may not happen at the original date, but it will happen. And trust us, your wedding is a wonderful celebration, but it doesn’t make the marriage. Your love and respect for each other does. Keep your focus on the big picture, and keep moving forward.
Table 6 Productions