Thousands upon thousands of couples in the world are in your very position right now. You happened to plan your wedding in the same year as a global pandemic hits. You are probably feeling a million different emotions right now… and that’s okay. Having planned my own wedding three years ago, as well as helped 75+ couples plan their weddings in the past two years, I know how your world starts to revolve around your wedding day. Planning and postponing a wedding is an emotionally charged territory. It may be hard to talk with your partner or parent in this situation. Today I’m speaking on my perspective of being a third party, as a wedding vendor, in this situation. Remember, this is all my personal advice so take it or leave it. At the end of the day I truly believe that each and every couple out there deserves to have the wedding day of their dreams. I hope this blog post can give you some helpful advice during this crazy time!
The date I am writing this post is April 5th, 2020. All of this information is subject to change as the pandemic progresses. Keep that in mind 🙂 All of my sources that I reference will be linked below.
Time is one of the biggest factors when it comes to deciding whether or not you may need to postpone your wedding day. You may be seeing some sources saying that life can go back to normal in a month, and some sources saying 18 months. It is important to get your information from credible sources such as the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization). Another important factor is following the laws that your state has set in place. As of the day I’m writing this post (April 5th, 2020), most states have ordered for no events larger than 10 people thru April 30th, 2020. Many states have also issued a stay at home order, meaning that non-essential businesses (such as wedding vendors) must stay home. Most stay at home orders are indefinite, meaning there is not an end date in sight. What does this mean for your wedding?
If your wedding is within 2 to 3 months from today’s date, then I recommend that you consider postponement. With the future being so uncertain, in regards to the CDC guidelines and mandated orders, it is better to be prepared now than to scramble weeks before your wedding day. It may bring you a sigh of relief to not be watching the weeks pass with no answers to how your wedding a month from now may be affected. If your wedding falls in this time you will more than likely be able to receive full refunds for travel (airlines & airbnbs), as well as top picks for new dates from your wedding vendors. If you do choose to postpone your wedding I highly recommend you postpone until at least September 2020.
Some of you in this position may be thinking “I can’t wait any longer to marry my partner”. Let me say, I’ve been in your exact position! You do have the option as of right now. One option is to head to the courthouse, say your vows, and become officially married. Sadly, it is illegal for photographers to photograph under stay at home orders, but that shouldn’t deter you if this is truly what your heart is telling you to do. Call your local courthouse and see what their regulations are for courthouse weddings right now to see if it’s possible for you and your partner. As soon as this whole pandemic is over then you can pick up wedding planning and have the wedding day of your dreams (if that’s what you want!).
I know it’s a little taboo to talk about money but it plays a huge factor in this decision. It’s no secret that planning a wedding costs a lot of money… and now all of the money is on the line due to the pandemic. First, I recommend you become familiar with all of your wedding vendor policies when it comes to postponement or cancellation. The majority of wedding vendors welcome postponement with open arms. Postponement requires very clear communication in regards to availability, but it definitely isn’t impossible. You may not get the dream wedding date you’ve always dreamed of because some of your vendors are already booked. Some vendors (not all) may require another deposit if you choose a popular Saturday date in 2021, but make sure you speak to your specific vendors to see their policies.
Another hard thing to talk about is how you have personally been affected by the pandemic financially. 63% of Americans have felt the economic effects of the pandemic, so know that you aren’t alone in this. If you’re struggling with the thought of those last payments that are due to your wedding vendors, it may be a good idea to postpone your wedding day. You don’t want your financial situation looming over your head as your wedding day is approaching.
An important factor to consider is your wedding location. If your wedding is out of state, then you need to keep in mind that non-essential travel is being advised against by the government. While there are not strict barriers to prevent out of state travel, it is wise to take heed to what the government and CDC has advised. Some states are being stricter than others, so educate yourself on your wedding location’s state guidelines. Keep in close contact with your wedding venue and wedding vendors to know what their postponement plans are for the near future.
I know your wedding day is all about you and your partner but if you have chosen to include friends and family in your wedding plans then you need to think of them as well. How has the pandemic affected their jobs? Realistically, will they be able to financially handle coming to your wedding? This is a huge factor to think about if your wedding would require most of your guests to travel. If you and your partner have always dreamed of having a bigger wedding, then realistically that probably won’t be able to happen until the end of 2020 or in 2021. If having a big wedding isn’t a priority for you two right now, then you can still consider getting married this year.
If some of your VIP guests are considered to be in the at-risk population, postponement may be a good idea to preserve their health. Realistically, this virus isn’t going to vanish in a few months so you need to keep that in mind when planning a new date and keeping your guests in mind.
Throughout the whole wedding planning process you’ve had an image of what your wedding day would look like. Maybe that vision has stayed the same through the pandemic, but maybe the pandemic has caused your priorities to shift. At the end of the day, the decision comes down to you two. Discuss the non-negotiables that you want on your wedding day. Discuss who you want to be there, where you want it to be, and what you want the day to look like. Remember, this pandemic will pass. You will still get married to your dream spouse. You will still have the most beautiful wedding day… even if that feels far from impossible right now.
Invitations: The best way to easily and quickly let all of your guests know about postponement is Evites! Evites is basically an electronic invitation that you can customize completely. You can send one to all of your guests and post about the change of date on your social media. If you want to get a handful of invitations remade for keepsaking purposes, you can do that too!
How to let everyone know the changes: This can be done in many ways. I suggest reaching out to your closest friends and family members personally. For those family members and friends that you want at your wedding no matter what, make sure to keep them updated with date changes to ensure they are available still. Making a public post on social media is another great way to spread the information quickly and to a ton of people. If you have a wedding website, make sure to post updates on there so you can tell people to refer to it if they have any questions. Once you come up with a new wedding day, send an Evite to your guests so they can gather up plans to come to your special day.
Keep in touch with all of your wedding vendors: Make a document that has all of your wedding vendors, their contact information, and their availability all in one place. This will help when you need to start discussing new wedding dates with all of them. Personally, this is exactly what I’ve been doing when discussing postponement with all of my upcoming wedding couples. Stay organized to reduce your stress!
I hope that this blog post was able to bring you some clarity to this crazy situation. If you have any other questions regarding postponement, don’t hesitate to leave a comment with your questions. I’m here to help YOU. Stay safe, stay healthy, and don’t lose sights on what really matters during this time. What your feeling right now is completely valid. Don’t let other people make you feel bad about being upset over your wedding plans. Surround yourself with positivity and love during this time, and know that you will get through this. You will get your dream wedding day at the end of all of this craziness. 💛