What happens if you and your partner decide to postpone your wedding? What happens if the reason is Covid… or a natural disaster… or an unthinkable event? Here are some basic tips to help you navigate through any challenging time.
Postponing Your Wedding During Covid (or Any Other Time)
Top of the List, Notify Your Vendors
Hopefully, you were proactive and smart and you have a planner who can assist you with this first step. This will alleviate much stress. If you don’t already have a planner… it’s not too late. My professional advice is to hire one now!
Many couples think that they can plan and execute a wedding without a planner. And that is 100% true. However, the more pressing point is that you will be able to enjoy your wedding more (both before, during and after) if you have a qualified professional helping you during these stages. [link to post]
In addition to letting your wedding team know that your celebration will not take place on the originally planned date, you’ll need to coordinate your vendor team to move forward to a future date. This will be a lot of moving parts and keep in mind that one million other couples in the United States are also looking for future dates—at once. You’re competing for time with all of these other couples and with your team of wedding professionals. It is a highly possible that you will not be able to get everyone on the same page; you may have to move forward with most of your wedding team.
Your wedding professionals should be completely understanding. If they are not, this should be seen as a huge red flag and now is the time to consider firing them. However, keep in mind that most of your vendors are probably small business owners and probably are inundated with calls just like yours. Be patient. In addition to the effects Covid has had on their business, they are also dealing with some of the same personal stumbling blocks as you are¬—sheltering in place/quarantine, lack of childcare, home schooling their children, working from home, spouse out of job, etc.
Above, I mentioned that one million weddings were canceled or postponed due to Covid. That was a literal statement. In other words, yours is not the only wedding getting pushed to a new date. You are not competing with only these rescheduled weddings, you’re also contending with weddings that were already planned and the wedding planning that is just getting started.
Your original date may have been on a Saturday. However, in order to get your entire wedding vending team moved to a future date, you may have to consider a less popular day of the week, i.e., a Monday, Thursday or Friday. If you’re concerned about your guests—yes, they’ll still attend.
Review Your Wedding Insurance
In most cases, a pandemic is not covered by event insurance. However, every single policy is different and yours may be the exception. Pull out the plan, review it, and then call your agent to confirm if your policy covers something like this (or the reason you’re postponing). It’s better to check rather than just assuming your event is not covered. [link to the knot post]
Inform Your Guests
The most official way to inform your guests (if time allows), is to send them a re-save the date mailer. However, depending how close your original date is, you could also create a wedding website with all the pertinent and pressing information. However, if your wedding website wasn’t created at the beginning of your planning, you’ll also need to advise your guests about its existence. The easiest way to do this is to send emails or texts. The most formal method would be to call each and every guest. You can split up your guest list between you, your partner, your parents and some of your bridal party to help make this easier.
Help Your Guests
If you secured a hotel room block, reach out and see if a full or partial refund is possible on behalf of your guests. This will take a huge burden off of the people who made special traveling plans to be at your wedding.
Even though there are HUGE issues that we are currently facing as a country… as a world, it’s okay to recognize your disappointment. Your feelings are valid and you should not keep them bottled up. Hash it out with your partner, best friend, your parent… even your planner. The mere act of speaking the words will help you to cope.
You can still find ways to celebrate your original wedding date. Here are some ideas:
- Move forward with the actual nuptials in a minimony—a smaller, less extravagant wedding ceremony that meets the current social distancing guidelines and save the party for the future date.
- Live broadcast a very small ceremony on social media and again, save the partying with their guests for later.
- Take a picnic lunch to the venue on your originally-planned wedding date.
- Have your first dance in a special place—the venue, your living room, the place you met, where he proposed.
- Spend the day quietly reflecting on how you envisioned your wedding day would go.
- Create a journal entry detailing these things.
- Plan a wedding-movie marathon. Here’s a short list: The Wedding Planner, 27 Dresses, Bridesmaids, Wedding Crashers, Crazy Rich Asians, Love Wedding Repeat, Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates, The Wedding Ringer, Bride Wars, Bachelorette, American Wedding, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Five-Year Engagement, Mamma Mia, Meet the Fockers, Table 19, I Love You, Man, Destination Wedding, Hangover, Hangover Part II, The Proposal, Think Like a Man Too, Sex And The City
- Take a short road trip to somewhere special—a place that has significant meaning to your relationship.
- Plan a quiet, romantic evening for two. You can either order delivery or prepare the meal as a couple.
- Spend the day reminiscing about your journey thus far. Get out all the pictures, videos and mementos you saved. Stay immersed in deep conversations, funny stories and light banter about things you have experienced as a couple.
- Lastly, if you want to include your guests, plan a virtual game night with them. My friend, Winston (Gaines Entertainment) has been hosting group trivia games online that are a lot of fun. And, my friends Liz and Garrett (5050 Photo Booth) and Serena and Dominic (At Last Entertainment) have been co-hosting Fiancé Faceoffs.
In closing, here are the steps again should you need to postpone your wedding because of Covid or any other reason.
- Notify your vendors.
- Be flexible; be willing to pivot.
- Review your wedding/event insurance.
- Create a plan to communicate with your guests.
- Help your guests.
- Allow yourself to grieve.
- Celebrate your original wedding date.
Hopefully, circumstances will change quickly and you can arrive at a point that you’re comfortable with proceeding with your wedding. (As of the date of writing this blog, event spaces are allowed to fill to a 50% capacity.) If you are unwilling to move forward with your wedding with only half of your originally-planned guests, these steps will help you to postpone your wedding with less stress.
**The images contained in this blog post were shot under the direction and for assignment of Straughan Photography. The images are copyrighted but used herein with permission.
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I am a full-time, internationally-awarded and WPPI-C certified professional wedding and senior photographer based in South Texas near San Antonio. I offer a premier and personal service coupled with an unforgettable photography experience. I cater to clients who appreciate quality photography and help them to create family heirlooms that will last for generations.
I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journey and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.
When I’m not photographing a wedding, family or high school senior, I love to spend my spare time hiking, camping, cycling, reading, listening to Elvis and Prince. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents and grandson would be proud of!
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