The first 5 things to do to postpone your wedding
Updated: Apr 22, 2020
I’m going to be honest with you.
I wish I wasn’t writing this blog post and I wish I wasn’t outlining these steps. The sheer fact that I am writing the words on paper and have spent the time to process through these, means that we’re in a tough spot. We’re all in a really tough spot.
If you’re reading this and you are a bride who is postponing her wedding. My goodness, know that I am with you. (Mean it.)
I am crying with you. I am mourning the loss of what you thought was to come. I am grieving the day that was supposed to be full of celebration, centerpieces, and MARRIAGE. It’s a hard thing to walk through, a hard season to be weathering. Maybe all the harder because we don’t necessarily know when we’ll be able to hug again or when we’ll be able to celebrate together again.
But, I promise you this -- that day will come. We will hug again. We will celebrate and dance our FACES off again. And until that day comes, I’m here. I’m actually here for you. If you’re a social media silent follower or you’re new around here or if we’ve never interacted before, I mean it still. I am here. Processing right alongside you, joyfully willing to do all I can in my power to make this season all the easier for you.
It is my joy - one of the greatest of my life - to be able to take those logistics, respond to those email’s, ensure that your DJ is on board, manage the adjustments that need to be made and give you space to work through this emotional and challenging season.
While we’re talking about logistics, I wanted to give you the first 5 things to do if you are postponing your wedding.
McKenna Mansfield Photography
NOTE: None of this information is intended to supersede medical, federal, or legal advice. This is intended to be exclusively advisory based on experience in the wedding industry and navigating postponement with many couples. Grit and Grace Events is not a legal agency and is not liable. Please be most attentive to the state, county and federal laws that are being instilled within your specific location, with regard to COVID-19. We encourage, above all else, to honor and obey the laws that have been instilled in your county and location. For future reference, this blog post was written March 30, 2020 in Orange County, California.
ONE (1) - Talk to your venue!
Blake Nelson Photography
Remember a few months (or many months ago!) When you started your venue hunting? You had to start there before you could book your photographer, florist or anyone else. The same goes for postponement. You’ll need to connect with them first all over again.
The questions you should consider asking:
Have you closed your doors for production? If not, are you intending to do so in the near future?
What are your options for postponement?
If we must make changes to our contract due to COVID-19, will there be financial ramifications?
How much time do we have to postpone? (6 months? 8 months? 1 year beyond the original wedding date?)
If there aren’t any dates available (at the venue) that work for us (the couple), what are our options for being released from our contract?
PRO-TIP: Do NOT ask the fifth question unless you are seriously considering cancellation with your venue. By asking that question, you may be putting yourself in a position of being the “initiator of cancellation”, which means that you may not be able to get your deposit back. If your venue is the one to initiate the need for cancellation, you are more likely to get your deposit back.
TWO (2) - Talk to your vendors!
You know all those people who are there to make your day actually happen? Yup. Them. Photog, florist, planner, bartender, rentals, DJ, etc.
You want to keep your communication clear and to the point. That being said, a good sequence of emails for you vendors would be:
EMAIL ONE - Once you decide that you need to postpone. Let them all know that you have decided to postpone due to COVID-19 and that you will let them know when you have decided a new date.
OPTIONAL MIDDLE STEP IN CASE YOU HAVE VENDORS YOU ADORE SO MUCH: Gosh, I hope that you have some you adore adore. If you DO, then, email them individually and see what they’re availability is in the month or months you’re hoping to reschedule. Take their availability into account!
EMAIL TWO - Once you have decided your new date. Let them know the new date that you have decided upon and ask if they are available.
If they are available, HOORAY! YAY!
If they are not available, consider asking:
Do you have associate shooters who could shoot the wedding?
(This means that the vendors you booked themselves are not available, but they have a team member who can do the work in their place. Best part of this is that you are keeping business in the same place!)
If we need to cancel our contract, what are the ramifications?
Do we get all/none/ some of our deposit back?
THREE (3) - As best as you can, keep your business within the same vendors.
By keeping your business within the same vendors and the same business, you are likely playing a role in allowing them to keep their doors open. (Which is a big deal!).
Many vendors have associates or a team that would be available for your date, if the person that you initially booked with isn’t personally available for your date.
There are certainly exceptions to this: If you are being disrespected, mistreated or not valued by a business, you have every right to walk away. At the end of this day, you should feel confident in making the decisions that are best for you and your fiance.
FOUR (4) - Prioritize what matters to you!
In a dream world (and in some cases!), all your vendors will be available for your new wedding date. I so wish that for you!
I should preface by saying that it’s really heartbreaking to have to write this. Because what I know is that by prioritizing one person over another, there might be some hard conversation you need to have to essentially let someone go from your wedding vendor list. As much as I try to remove myself from the emotional part of all of this as a wedding vendor who might be subject to one of those conversations, I know that we know that this isn’t easy for anyone. By approaching it with grace, kindness, and understanding could be a true game changer for the outcome of the conversation.
If they are not all available, it will be necessary to sit down with your fiancé and think through which of your vendors you want most at your wedding. Maybe your flowers are the most important part for you. For others, it might be your planner. Whatever it is for you, you might need to make decisions that reflect that priority list.
FIVE (5) - Keep your guests in the loop once you make your decision!
If you’re getting married in April, May or June, you’re already likely getting asked, “Is the wedding postponed?” (A lot.) A great response to that could be, “Thank you for reaching out! We are working together and with our vendors to make the best decision we can for us. We will keep you in the loop as we make decisions!”
A few of the easiest ways to reach out to your guests are --
In order of cost-effectiveness:
1. Website Updates
Use your wedding website to update your guests!
2. E-mail Updates
Use your guest emails to keep them in the loop.
3. Print an updated flyer + mail it out.
There is a good chance that you already have their mailing address, so use an online graphic designer to create a pamphlet to print them and send them!
4. Resend invitations
Recreate your invites with your date!
There you have it! The first 5 things to do when you need to postpone your wedding. If you want an actual flyer that you can print (and is a little bit more concise) you can find it here: www.gritandgraceevents.com/freebie
Lots of hugs, grit and grace to you - always..