So you were revving up for the big day set to take place this spring or early summer 2020, but COVID-19 has other plans. You are not alone! If it’s looking like your wedding plans are going to have to be postponed on account of the current social distancing orders and limitations on social gatherings, don’t panic. Take the necessary time you need to be upset about this incredibly unfair situation- but then get moving on rescheduling your big day.
Who Should Consider Rescheduling
Which brides and grooms-to-be should be looking at postponing their matrimony ASAP? Wedding planners and event coordinators are suggesting that couples with weddings in April and May should absolutely reschedule their wedding. If your wedding is in early June, it may be smart to consider rescheduling as well. Currently, it’s estimated that the peak of the pandemic in the US will not occur until late April, it’s safe to say that we likely won’t be seeing an end to social distancing measures until well past that. While some say that it’s best for June and July couples to just get ahead of the curve and reschedule as early as possible, others suggest simply contacting your venue to begin the discussion, and beginning to formulate a backup plan for now, at least until we have a clearer picture of where this situation will be by the summer months. If you have planned for a July wedding, you may have noticed that no couple wants to be the first to cancel – and venues are hesitant to suggest that COVID may still be a risk by July. We get it, nobody wants to believe that COVID will continue to be a major threat through the summer, and we certainly hope this isn’t the case. So, for the time being, let’s remain cautiously optimistic about July weddings. But, make sure to spend some of your time in quarantine noodling on a backup plan in case you do have to call the audible.
When to Move Your Wedding Date To
As tempting as it might be to simply push back your wedding date to the autumn season of 2020, proceed with caution. Unfortunately, you may run into a dead end as many venues are already booked throughout autumn. If you’re dead set on a wedding rescheduled to this season, you may want to look into booking your wedding on a day other than a Saturday – like a Friday or Sunday. Bonus – it’ll likely be a bit cheaper!
Additionally, don’t undervalue the beauty of a winter wedding. Because this is an off-season, it’s more likely that venues will have Saturday openings throughout the winter. Not only are events (from the venue to the catering) typically less expensive during this time, but a snowy backdrop can make for a really delightful and cozy setting to exchange your vows in. Most folks also have a little less going on in the winter months, so your wedding is more likely to stick out and be especially memorable.
Rescheduling Other Events
Even if your wedding isn’t until the later summer months, there is a strong likelihood that this pandemic will still impact other events related to your wedding, like bridal showers, bachelor(ette) parties, perhaps even cake tasting and wedding dress shopping. The travel industry has basically come to a complete standstill, making postponing bachelor/bachelorette parties and bridal showers that are set to take place over the summer months inevitable. If you are weighing out the decision to cancel an event or to forge ahead as planned, we suggest creating a good old-fashioned list of pros and cons. It can be especially helpful to assign values to different items on the list based on how important they are to you. Is it important to have all of your girls or guys present at your Bachelor(ette) weekend, set to take place in July? If so, and you have friends traveling from other parts of the country, you may want to consider the likelihood that they will actually be able to attend. We know this not an ideal situation by any means- but remember that you are doing the right thing by taking extra measures to ensure the safety and health of your loved ones.
Depending on what state you reside in (and especially if you are in New York!) “non-essential” retail may already be shut down, making wedding dress and suit shopping difficult. If you don’t already have your wedding day attire picked out or purchased, turning to online retailers like BHLDN and Floravere may be the best option. But don’t wait too long – logistical concerns may come into play as well as the spread of COVID-19 progresses and additional measures may be taken that impact the shipping industry.
Your Wedding Day Postponement Game Plan
Before you officially decide on a plan, it’s essential to make sure that you and your fiance are on the same page. If any parents, family members, or friends are assisting you in paying for the wedding or other related events, you may want to speak with them as well before you decide on a new date, and potentially alter costs. As a rule of thumb, it is better to have all those who are primarily involved in the loop than to leave anyone out and cause bad feelings down the line.
If it’s looking like postponement is in your future, set up a game plan before you make the calls. Depending on how you’ve gone about planning your wedding, you will either need to speak to your wedding planner, the venue’s event coordinator, or, if you’re doing something more casual, perhaps a tent rental company, about securing new dates. These people will be vital to call first, as they will have the most influence over when your rescheduled date will be.
It’s going to prove helpful to go in with some dates in mind, and some price ranges you’d like to stay within. If you feel comfortable with it, you may want to try negotiating a lower price than is being offered, especially if you are moving your wedding to an off-season or a day other than a Saturday. Having the dates and prices written out on paper in front of you will probably prove useful throughout the call. Keep in mind that because of just how many people this pandemic is affecting (quite literally, the entire world) you may not get the first or even second back-up date of your choice. Whatever happens, try to remain positive and focused on keeping your loved ones healthy on your big day.
Once you have settled on a new date, have a think on all of the applicable parties you’ll need to call to inform. These might include your photographer/videographer, caterer, officiant, florist, DJ, and more. Be prepared knowing that it’s possible one of more of these services may not be available for your new wedding date. While it’ll take a little more work, reach out to your friends in the area who have already had weddings, and ask for recommendations. Luckily social media makes this task easier than ever before. For a quick influx, ask using Facebook’s “recommendations” post setting. With the quarantine, social platforms like Facebook and Instagram are especially active right now, so you can be assured you’ll get a decent number of responses.
Getting the Word Out
Once you get through rescheduling the logistics for the event itself, your next step is informing your guests. Because of the uncertain state of everything, chances are that guests were already wondering if you’d need to reschedule. If you’ve already sent out save the date cards or invitations, you’ll want to send out a notice about postponement either via mail or email. Not surprisingly, wedding postponement cards happen to be on sale at the moment, like ones we found here. Phone calls are good for follow up, just to make sure everyone is in the loop.
Keep in mind that as this pandemic progresses, the status of mail in the upcoming weeks remains somewhat uncertain. Considering everything that is going on with COVID right now, there may be advantages in sending via email. Just be aware that you may still need to call to follow-up with relatives or friends who aren’t particularly active on email, if this is the only route available. Further down the line, as your new wedding date approaches, you will need to resend physical invitations with the new date on them. If you’ve already sent out invitations for your initial date, this will come as an annoying expense and activity to repeat. But, it is one that is absolutely worth it to ensure all of your guests are properly informed of your new date. After all, it’s really being surrounded by your loved ones that makes your wedding day so special
As far as other events related to your wedding goes, you may want to employ your wedding party to help you out with the rescheduling and communication. If you had a destination bachelor/bachelorette planned, keep the wedding party in the loop, ask what new dates will work best for them, and act as soon as possible when it comes to rescheduling. Remember, places like hotels are losing business right now and will be eager to reschedule, so they will likely be accommodating throughout this process. If everything on your to-do list seems overwhelming, reach out to your wedding party to help you cancel flights, reservations, etc. They will be understanding, and are here to help get you through all of this uncertainty. After all, that’s likely why you chose them to be in your wedding!
Use This Time to Your Advantage
It can be tough to remain positive in light of everything happening right now, but perspective and mindset are everything. As far as your wedding goes, the upside is that this gives you a little more time to plan for what is likely to be the best day of your life! So take a deep breath, relax, and consider that now you have extra downtime to make everything just right for your big day.
While this quarantine will give you spare time to think about your wedding, it will also give you some extra time to focus on your relationship and soon-to-be marriage. If you’ve given some thought to the idea a prenup, now may be a great time to speak to your partner about it, and build a legally sound prenuptial agreement all from the comfort of your own home, using Hello Prenup. For tips on how to start the conversation with your partner, see our other blog post, “The ABCs of Starting the Prenup Conversation.”
Julia Rodgers is HelloPrenup’s CEO and Co-Founder. She is a Massachusetts family law attorney and true believer in the value of prenuptial agreements. HelloPrenup was created with the goal of automating the prenup process, making it more collaborative, time efficient and cost effective. Julia believes that a healthy marriage is one in which couples can openly communicate about finances and life goals. You can read more about us here Questions? Reach out to Julia directly at [email protected].