This is an unprecedented time when venues are closed, families can’t travel, and large social gatherings could be dangerous. Many of our couples have had to make the hard call of postponing their wedding and finding new dates for winter, or 2021. Having a wedding event where more than 10 guests are present isn’t realistic right now, so unless you are looking to formally elope or just tie the knot at the courthouse, below you will find our suggested tips and steps for ensuring you can successfully reschedule your wedding without all the added stress.
1. Have that hard conversation with your fiancé. Talk about what is important to you and what will drive the decision to reschedule and for what date. Do you want a large wedding where friends/family can attend or do you want to focus on just getting married? Is pushing the wedding until the fall of 2020 feasible or do you want to give yourself more time to plan and for the pandemic to pass and reschedule for 2021. Unfortunately not all your guests will be open to coming to your wedding in the fall of 2020 and some travel restrictions may still be in place. This could make it hard for out of town guests to attend a wedding this calendar year.
2. Reach out to your venue. Rescheduling your wedding date needs to be a coordinated one but once you have a better idea of the time frame in which you would like to reschedule, start with your venue. To formally begin rescheduling you must secure a new date at your venue first. If your options are limited, and date selections are not in your favor, it might be worthwhile to consider what your deposit was to the venue and if it is worth saving or forgoing. If the date is more important than the venue, you may need to look elsewhere.
3. Talk to your coordinator/planner next. Your coordinator can help you map out rescheduling once you know the various options available to you. Your coordinator or planner can help you prioritize vendor rescheduling, navigate conversations and get updated documentation. They will also ensure you ask the right questions.
4. Review your event insurance policy. If you opted for this before the pandemic, find your information and review the policy terms. Again, lean on your wedding planner or coordinator to help you navigate what is covered and what isn’t. You will need to assess and decide what costs to forego, what costs are sunk costs, and what costs you can recoup. If you didn’t invest in wedding and event insurance, you may not be able to obtain it right away, but you should consider investing in it later in the year when your wedding is rescheduled.
5, Pull your vendor contracts. Review your vendor contracts with your partner and your planner/coordinator. Take the time to review the rescheduling and cancellations policy, act of god clauses and payments terms within each of your vendor contracts. It is important to know how each of your vendors will handle the rescheduling, what payments are still due and how/if they might be able to be postponed. Your coordinator/planner can help you navigate the clauses and terms and give you a realistic timeline of when your decision to reschedule needs to be made.
6. Alert your guests. You will need to alert your guest of the decision to reschedule and provide a new date if you have it. There are many creative ideas on Pinterest, and there are many ways to share the information. You can mail “change the date” cards to your guests, or you can use electronic means like your wedding website, postables, wedding wire, and Aisle Planner. The important thing is your guests know the new date and have the opportunity to RSVP online if RSVPs were already returned.
7. Stay in the know. Reviewing the CDC, WHO and local news channels related to how Maryland, DC and Virginia will adjust to having social gathers will help ensure you can stay up to speed on new deadlines, state restrictions and updates and can respond to adjust our wedding plans appropriately. Your coordinator/planner will likely keep you informed as well as they stay up to date with the most local and national new updates, but being informed never hurts. Of course if you have questions on how the changes to extended “stay at home” orders are affecting your state, be sure to reach out to your planner/coordinator.
8. Use the additional time. Now that you have additional time to plan your wedding, use the additional time to get ahead of some things. This can include updating your payment schedule and vendor payments to ensure you know who you need to pay by when. Your coordinator/planner should be able to help you with that as well. You can do some additional research into the special escort wall or design element you had your eye on but didn’t think you had time to get to before. You could also use the time to review your wedding finances with your fiance and see if you could save some additional funds to cover the wedding now that you have more time to save.
9. Try virtual meetings. FaceTime, Google Meet and Zoom are all great ways to employ virtual meetings as a way to connect/book with vendors you had not previously booked. This is great for even bakeries. You can run into the bakery to grab the normal tasting offerings the bakery would have provided and take them home with you. You can try them all in the comfort of your home and then follow up with the bakery electronically to ask questions, connect with the bakery and ensure you know the process for booking them once you are ready.
10. Don’t forget the small stuff. There will be other adjustments to make when changing your wedding date. Below are a few other things that are smaller, more nominal wedding changes to consider. None of the below items have to be done right away, but good to think about.
-Don’t forget to update your wedding registry and be sure to keep it current so you can maximize your discounts.
-Update your wedding website so guests are able to use it for up to date information. Let your hotel blocks know you plan to change your wedding date and ask about their adjustments you might need to make to occupancy adjustments and number of rooms to book.
-Make a new plan for shopping for wedding bands. Getting fitted is definitely an in person errand and must be done before you can order wedding bands.
-Talk with your florist to see how your design choices might be impacted by the blooms in season.
-The county courthouse might have reduced hours, limited schedules and new appointment requirements for obtaining your marriage license. Be sure to check out the new hours and requirements online for the county you will be married in. Usually marriage licenses need to be picked up between 30-60 days out and can’t be picked up on federal holidays or weekends.
-If you haven't taken engagement pictures and still want to, talk to your photographer about their comfort level with shooting and ask about secluded places they might be able to recommend.
-Let your bridal boutique know of the new date. They won't worry about rush shipments to meet your old wedding date. Next you can talk about a more appropriate timeline for alterations once your gown is in.
There are so many more things to think about when making the decision if and when to reschedule. We hope this list of things to think about and act helps when it comes to rescheduling your wedding. We know the decision is never easy and while we don't have a crystal ball to know when this is all will be over, we are here to help you get through it, navigate it, and make it a little less stressful. If we can help you with the above, or if you are looking for the assistance of a wedding coordinator, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would love to connect with you and ensure you have the assistance you need to plan or replan your big day!