Amidst this unprecedented pandemic situation, you may be one of the brides faced with the heavy decision of postponing your wedding. First, we are so sorry you’re going through this. We completely understand the effort and passion that goes into planning this incredibly special day, and in turn, the disappointment and emotions of having to change plans in a major way. While the health and safety of you and your guests is of utmost importance, getting to have the wedding you’ve been eagerly looking forward to is important, too! While you may have to let go of your dream date, you can still have your dream day. Follow the tips below to ensure your wedding plans can get back on track when the time is right. Stay safe, brides!
Photo // Modern Love Photography
Steps to Take When Postponing Your Wedding
1. Decide whether to postpone, adjust or if your date is far enough out, to go ahead with your original plans. As of this post’s publication, events taking place July 2020 and beyond are most likely safe, but Coronavirus statistics and guidelines continue to change, so always pay attention to local rules and guidelines for gatherings (your city, county and state government websites should have the latest information), and of course, stay up to date with the latest info from the CDC. Your guest count and guests’ travel plans should factor in most. If a large number of your guests will require long trips or travel by air to get to your wedding, postponing to a fall/winter 2020 or spring 2021 date is probably best. The later your new date, the less risk you run of having to postpone twice. No, thank you! If you’re open to simply adjusting your original plans, consider eloping or having an intimate, private or family-only ceremony (you’ll still need an ordained minister and license for it to be legal) and postponing only the reception to a later date.
2. Family first. Before you talk to any vendors, clear a few potential new dates or a range of dates with the people closest to you – your spouse-to-be and your immediate families. Unfortunately, it may not be possible to find a new date that works for every single person in your extended family and bridal party, much less your entire guest list, but don’t panic. Your loved ones understand how important this is to you and will do their best to accommodate a new date. Consider streaming your ceremony and/or reception so those who can’t make the new date can “attend” in their own way!
3. Prioritize vendor communication. You’ll need to get in touch with ALL of your vendors as soon as possible, but in these circumstances, the order in which you reach out matters. We recommend speaking first with your planner – as the liaison between you and other vendors, their input is invaluable and they may be able to take care of the bulk of the communications involved in postponing your wedding. If you aren’t using a planner, we suggest reaching out to vendors in this order:
– Photographer + Videographer
– Florist, Caterer, Rentals (they have large, expensive, time-sensitive orders to place)
– All other vendors
With so many moving pieces, it may be extremely difficult to find a new date that works for every vendor you’ve booked. Decide which couple of vendors are your absolute must-haves, and make sure your new date works for them first. You may have to go another direction with certain vendors, and that’s okay! Review all contracts to see the protocol for changing dates, canceling if need be, and which payments are non-refundable. Remember, this is a stressful time for vendors too, but kindness in your communication with them can go a long way.
4. Notify guests. Update your wedding website with your new date and any updated travel recommendations for guests. Give your guests plenty of time to adjust their travel plans, change flights, etc., but at the same time, don’t communicate anything to guests out of panic before you’ve nailed down a Plan B (steps 1-3). Let your guests know of the new plans by posting on social media – many vendors have created beautiful templates for Instagram to help with this announcement – or sending a new save the date. If you’re not keen on extra postage costs, email announcements are totally okay in this situation!
5. Make sure your marriage license will still be valid if you’ve already gotten one, or adjust your plans for picking up that important piece of paper. Don’t worry: we’ve got a comprehensive guide to getting your marriage license, too!
6. Adjust your honeymoon travel plans. Definitely be aware of CDC and government guidelines before making any major travel adjustments!
6. Breathe. Think big picture. Remember, no matter what happens, it’s still your day and before you know it, this will be behind us and you’ll be married to your person.
Brides of Oklahoma Is Here to Help
We know postponing your wedding can feel extremely overwhelming, but hold on to these two words: focus + flexibility. Focus on what’s most important to you, and be flexible with the rest! We hope to make the process a little easier for you as you go about making adjustments to your wedding plans. Need to hire a different vendor? Our directories are full of reputable, talented local vendors who will be eager to help serve you on your new date. Need inspiration as you finesse your original vision? We’ve got you covered there with amazing local weddings and styled shoots. Our social media channels are full of helpful information as well, and we hope to be a resource for you during this time.
Cheers to you! We wish you all the best!