Updated: Apr 10, 2020
First, let me say how sorry I am.
I am absolutely heartbroken that this exciting adventure turned into tough decisions.
This is not how you dreamt your engagement and wedding day playing out and I wish that you could instead be sipping mimosas/scotch with your ladies/buds and making your final to-do list for your special day. Instead, you are having to say goodbye to your Plan A and hello to Plan B. I see you and I feel your frustration and sadness but I am hoping this brief guide will set you up to enjoy that Plan B to the fullest in whichever way you decide to present it.
So how do you go about postponing your wedding?
These are the first steps that will start you on the path of recreating
your wedding day.
*These steps are laid out in the assumption that you would like to postpone vs cancel your big day.
Step #1: Feel The Feels
Yep, all of them. Cry, scream, throw things, ask "why me?", "why now?". This is totally unfair and it is totally okay to not be okay about any of this. This event may be a luxury but it is also one of those special moments in your life that you remember forever, so mourn your missed opportunity and canceled plans. After you have felt every inch of those feels, look forward to the future. Look forward to the date that you do get to marry your soul mate and keep that moment in your heart as you move forward with changing Plan B into your new Plan A.
Step #2: Work With a Professional
Yep, I am headed into a shameless plug.... and not because I want your money or I am taking advantage of this super shitty time in your life but because I want you to enjoy this moment and process, even if it is a little shitty! You deserve to enjoy the journey and remember it in a pleasant way regardless of the plot twist you've been served.
Once you have decided you are ready to start this process you can consider if you really want to! If you are feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and don't really have the drive to make these new plans after months and months of planning the first wedding, that is okay. A wedding planner is a professional at switching plans and creating events from the ground up and they would love nothing more than to help you through this awful time in hopes of taking the stress off. They also know what to look for in your contracts and can guide you through all the decisions you will have to make ahead.
If you are sure you want to go it alone, here are your next steps:
Step #3: Plan B + Plan C = (the new) Plan A
I have mentioned these "plans" already. And though your original Plan A is no longer going to serve you, you can make a Plan B (and even a Plan C) that feels right to you and will eventually become your new Plan A! Still with me?
Time to decide what you envision your new wedding plans to look like:
Reduced Guest List/Micro Wedding: (An option I do not recommend until later in the season #flattenthecurve)
this means cutting your guest list to within the regulated number, which is 50 people at this time in Canada. Do not forget that this number must include anyone on-site; planner, photographer, venue and catering staff, DJ, etc.
Please, consider the risks that are associated with this option to yourself, guests and your wedding team during active COVID19 outbreaks.
UPDATE - Legal Wedding Ceremonies are under strict 5 person regulations currently. This includes The Couple, Officiant and 2 witnesses only.
Change of Date - Within 2020? 2021? Would you consider a date that is not a Saturday? Ask yourself all the questions!
With many other couples also having to make these tough decisions it is super important for you to try to stay flexible with rebooking your wedding date. The hope is that you can keep your full vendor team intact so you are only making small adjustments.
Elopement - Will you still celebrate your original date with a small elopement or other special ceremonies? Will you have a celebration with your guests at a later date? How would you like to elope? Where and what supplies are you needing?
Step #4: Review Your Contracts
Now that you have an idea of how you would like to go about your new wedding plans, take a look at all your vendor contracts. Most specifically these clauses;
Cancellations + Postponements
Get familiar with what repercussions will come with decisions regarding your type of situation. (This is an unprecedented time so reach out to your vendors too to see how they are handling cancellations and postponements under these specific circumstances.) Try to remember that this situation is also no one's fault and your wedding professional team is also feeling huge effects of the pandemic. Not every vendor will be able to be 100% flexible with these hard decisions and contract clauses. Step #5: Contact Your Venue
Check-in with your venue on open dates available in your new timeframe. Also, discuss with them if this new date will affect your original plans in any way, for example; no longer the only wedding on site, need to pay a postponement fee, new final number dates, etc.)
Step #6: Contact Your *VIP* Vendor Team
VIP covers any vendor that needs to be onsite at your wedding. This includes; Planners, Photographers, Videographers, DJ, and Catering, for example.
Let them know the new possible dates for the wedding and have them all check their availability. Also, double-check with them about any postponement points that you should know about.
Now, hopefully, you will be able to find a date in which your whole vendor team is available to create your new wedding plans. If not, you will have to make more tough decisions in deciding which date to pick in regards to which of your "must-have" vendors are available. For the vendors who no longer can serve you, you will start the booking process over like you did when you were planning your wedding at the beginning.
Step #7: Connect with Full Vendor Team
Finish connecting with your entire vendor team and let them know your new date. Secure your needed services with the new date and new contracts or contract amendments.
Same as above, if the new date does not work for some vendors you will have to rebook using the same process you did the first time you planned the wedding day.
Step #8: Update Your Guests
Your vendors are booked and your Plan B is officially becoming your new Plan A! Now it is time to update your guests and let them know your new plans. This can be done in a variety of ways:
Don't want to spend any more money? Send an email and post it on your wedding website
Want it to feel just as special? Send a Postponement Invitation! Minted.com is working with couples to ensure their new stationery is just as sentimental as your first invitation.
Connect - Think about spending an evening calling or face timing each guest to tell them about the news and change in plans. I am sure they would love nothing more than to love on you during this difficult time.
Give them as much information about any changed plans (dates, locations, attire, travel, etc.) as you can and get them excited about celebrating together when the new date rolls around.
Step #9: Breathe
Well, that was a crappy process but you've started the process and are on your way to seeing your new plans come together. On the positive side, you now have a bit more time to check off those last-minute wedding to-do's. Take some time to breathe though, you just completed some super emotional tasks and even though you are well on your way to that magic wedding day you may still be grieving those original plans.
One thing to think about: Imagine how your wedding day is going to feel after going through all this uncertainty and struggle. Imagine the moment that you finally get to walk down the aisle, look into your soulmate's eyes and say "I Do". After all of this . . . I bet it is going to feel absolutely incredible and powerful and one day you'll share the story of your resilience through a trying time.
Step #10: Celebrate Your Original Wedding Day
You may not be celebrating as planned but your original date is still special and still holds significant meaning. If you think it will serve you, enjoy the day with your other half and make it special. Cook dinner together (*or order from a local small business still offering delivery!) and share it by candlelight. Read vows to one another. Share a glass of champagne. Bask in your love even if you can't share it with others at the moment. Recommit to those engagement promises and feel every inch of sureness. Post some super cheesy couple photos on social media so we can all love you hard as well. You deserve that day.
Unfortunately, I can not change the current circumstances that lead you here but I hope this quick breakdown of these actionable steps will help get you to a new space of semi-comfort while we wait for this time to come to an end.
Sending you all so much love, light, and support and hope you will reach out if you have any questions.