We know that many of you have had to postpone your wedding during this crazy and stressful time. Whether or not you are one of our couples, we have been so impressed by everyone’s grace and flexibility during this time, from both vendors to couples. One wedding professional who has blown us away throughout all of this is Aneesa of Harmony Weddings, The Graham Mill, and Forest Hall at Chatham Mills, based in Raleigh, NC. We asked her to write this post to help you know what to do if your wedding needs to be postponed and she’s got some incredibly helpful tips to share with you!
COVID-19 has had an impact on all of our lives. One of the disappointing, stressful, and heartbreaking ways it has affected so many engaged couples around the world is by forcing the postponement of their weddings. You may have looked forward to this day for years, even decades! Now, just as you are in the final few months or weeks leading up to your wedding, you have had to make the heart-breaking decision to postpone.
We are guessing you have:
- Consulted with your immediate family and loved ones to decide new potential dates
- Consulted with your venue to learn their rescheduling policy
- Reached out to your key vendors to ensure they are available on your new date
- Selected your new date that works for your loved ones, venues and vendors!
NOW WHAT?! We hope this list of our top 9 next steps will assist you as you navigate through this challenging time.
Confirming new date with all vendors
It’s no secret that weddings are expensive! One of the most important steps you could take in order to not have to spend even MORE money is selecting a new wedding date that works with your full vendor team. You have spent months selecting your vendor dream team, we don’t want you to lose any of them in the rescheduling process! If you are fortunate to be working with a wedding planner, they are likely handling this step for you. If not (and of course we highly recommend hiring one!), below is a list of every possible vendor to communicate your new date to. Prior to selecting your new date, you may have asked key vendors about their availability, but don’t forget to circle back and ensure *everyone* knows the new date is official!
- Wedding Planner
- Cake/Dessert Baker
- Rentals (Linens/China/Lights/Lounges/Decor)
- Fun Additional Vendors (Photo Booth, Live Artists, etc.)
You should either receive a new contract with your new wedding date, an addendum or a revised contract from every vendor. The contract should reflect if you will be sticking with your original or a revised payment schedule as well.
Communicate with guests
You consulted your immediate family and wedding party thus far. But now it’s time to let the full guest list know your new date. Before notifying guests by mail or digitally, consult with your planner and photographer to ensure your ceremony start time does not need to be adjusted. If your wedding has moved from Spring/Summer to Fall/Winter, your ceremony may need to start early to ensure enough time for photos before sunset.
By Mail: It is likely that your guests already received your “Save the Date” in the mail. Depending on how close you were/are to your original date when you had to postpone, you may or may not have already sent your invitation. Regardless, you want to send your guests a postcard, letter or formal invitation communicating your new date. To save money on postage, many couples are choosing to send a simple postcard that says “Save the NEW date” or “Change the Date”! If you are within 2 months of your new wedding date, it is important to include RSVP cards or a link to the wedding website where guests can RSVP. If your wedding is more than 2 months away, there is no need to collect RSVPs at this time. You don’t have to design it yourself, Minted.com has over 30 beautiful and creative templates to choose from!
Digitally: If you prefer to communicate your new date digitally, you may consider sending an email or e-card. Digital is the way to go if you are on a time crunch, have International guests or are hoping to save money. Paperless Post is our personal favorite for sending beautifully designed electronic cards. Don’t forget to update your website with not only your new date and time but with any additional relevant information such as new hotel block codes or changed welcome party locations.
Adjust your design
Hundreds of decisions went into designing your wedding day between you, your wedding planner, florist, rental company and many others! Just because the month of your wedding may be changing does NOT mean you need to start over! Some minor adjustments could make a major impact in matching your wedding design with your new season.
- Color Palette: Talk with your wedding planner about what changes (if any!) could be made to your color palette. You may simply select a lighter or darker shade of one of your dominant colors or swap out an accent color.
- Flowers: Ask your florists what changes (if any!) they recommend making to your floral design. The good news is they likely have time to change their flower order! Together you may decide to slightly adjust some of the colors or flower types.
- Layout: Due to the potential change in weather, you may choose to move parts of your special day indoors or outdoors.
- Details with Dates: Don’t forget to change your date on the small details such as welcome signs, guest books, programs, cocktail napkins, cake toppers, etc.
Adjust your attire
The first step is locating your attire! Where is your dress/suit/tux currently and can your shop or seamstress hold it until your new date? You also want to adjust your seamstress appointments to be closer to your new wedding date. Lastly, you may want to consider some changes to your attire to make it more seasonally appropriate. Switching from Summer to Winter- maybe you want to add sleeves to your dress or order a darker colored suit? This may also impact the attire of your wedding party. Maybe you want to order fur shawls for the bridesmaids or change the tie color for the groomsmen?
Adjust your menu
Do your drinks, food and desserts still work with your new date?! Some things to consider:
- Drinks: If your wedding is not in a new season, you may consider changing your signature drinks or even adding new ones, hot or cold!
- Food: With the significant uprise of farm-to-table caterers, you may need to consider changing your menu to reflect what is fresh and available. This includes your appetizers, salad, protein, sides and late night snacks. Instead of fresh strawberries on top of your salad, you may now have fresh plums!
- Dessert: We all love cake 365 days a year! But maybe there are some fun add-ons such as an ice cream or s’mores bar that are more seasonally appropriate?
Make it even better!
In the planning process, did you ever find yourself saying “I would have loved to include X if we had more time!” Maybe additional time was needed to create homemade favors, create custom welcome boxes, or design a creative seating chart. Maybe you wanted more time to save money to add on uplights, a signature drink, an additional dessert or a videographer. Consult as a couple and decide how you can use these “bonus” months to make your wedding day even MORE perfect!
Change plans for wedding-related events
In the months leading up to your wedding, there are often a slew of events and celebrations- bachelor/ette parties, bridal showers, engagement parties, you name it! You might have been able to host some of these gatherings electronically. However, make sure to communicate with your family, wedding party and friends to make the necessary adjustments to the dates and travel plans. Most importantly, don’t forget to adjust your honeymoon flights, hotels, and excursions!
If you were just weeks away from your wedding when you had to postpone, you likely had all your beauty appointments booked! Make sure to reschedule these appointments (especially since they will be in high demand) for the weeks leading up to your wedding.
Ex. hair and makeup trials, mani/pedis, haircuts and color
Take a break!
It’s very possible that for the past few months, you have been in non-stop wedding planning mode. Now that you have extra time, you may feel like you have to continue spending time on wedding planning. But guess what?! You deserve a break! Your vendors and guests have been notified and you made the necessary adjustments. Don’t try to start from scratch and start overthinking! Take a moment to reflect on all the hard work you have done to plan your perfect wedding and then close the binder (or laptop). Take some time to enjoy your fiance’s company and focus on each other’s well-being during this difficult time.
We hope you found this article helpful! Take a moment to pat yourself on the back. You are doing an incredible job navigating this uncharted territory. If you are in need of a wedding planner, the Harmony Weddings team would love to support you! We wish you love, grace, patience, and joy during this uncertain time.