Yes, it sucks. But right now, it’s necessary. And here’s how to go about it.
Since weddings and social events can contribute to the spread of COVID-19, many couples are scrambling to reschedule their big day. Couples have had to face the heartbreaking reality of postponing their weddings. Festivals, conventions, proms, graduations, baby showers, birthday parties, and mitzvahs have been cancelled or postponed. We are collectively feeling the heaviness, loss, and disappointment of not being able to celebrate, in-person.
Be sure to keep an eye on local updates and stay informed as things change! For those planning a wedding in Vermont, here’s a list of COVID-19 specific VT resources. The CDC has put together a list of considerations for postponing or canceling gatherings, and discourages events of any size during this time.
While it may be tempting to just throw up the white flag and cancel your wedding, we strongly encourage you to reconsider—and reschedule. Here’s why:
- This is YOUR day. Think about how you’ll feel 5 years from now. 10 years from now. Will you regret not having a celebration with your nearest and dearest? If the answer is yes, postpone your wedding instead of canceling.
- You will support small businesses. Most of your vendors are independent business owners. Couples are greatly affected by this pandemic, but so is the industry at large. We want to #saveevents and help our fellow humans during this time. Postponing is one way to do this.
- Canceling could hurt you financially. Before you make the decision to cancel your wedding, consider the financial hit you may take. Read the fine print in your contracts for policies on nonrefundable deposits, retainers, or cancelation fees. This is money that could potentially be applied to a new date instead of lost entirely.
If your wedding is affected by the coronavirus pandemic and you need to “change the date”, here are the steps to take. You got this!
We know that planning a wedding during the coronavirus pandemic can be INSANE. That’s why we’ve instituted a flexible scheduling and refund policy for 2020-2021, to ease planning for couples impacted by ongoing circumstances. Learn more about our Vermont wedding photography services.
1. Check your insurance policy
If you secured wedding insurance *before* the pandemic hit, check to see if you’re covered. Every insurance policy is different, so you’ll want to review the terms carefully.
If you’re thinking of buying wedding insurance NOW to assist with a current cancelation, it doesn’t work that way. Steve Lauro of WedSafe says, “Given the news coverage and official designation as a pandemic, it is considered a known event, which would likely preclude any coverage for policies sold after a certain date in time.”
2. Contact your venue and vendors
If you have a wedding planner, great! They’re going to be your biggest support system through all of this. They’ll be able to reach out to your vendor team, review your existing contracts, and navigate through any details you may not have thought of.
If you don’t have a wedding planner, reach out to your wedding team personally to let them know you’ve come to the difficult decision to postpone. Set up a time to chat about the terms of your contract as well as future available dates.
Keep in mind that any changes to a venue or vendor contract may incur additional fees, especially if they’ve already begun working on your wedding. Review your existing contracts and agreements ahead of reaching out to vendors.
Also be understanding if your venue + vendor dream team don’t all have the same future dates available. Consider your highest priorities first (like your venue, coordinator, photographer, etc.), find a date they all have open, and be flexible from there.
3. Communicate with your guests
Your families, wedding party, and friends need to be informed ASAP. Call or email each guest and post updates to your wedding website or social media. Get confirmation that all guests have received the news. You can even enlist your wedding party to help!
Pro Tip: If/when you have a new timeframe in mind for your rescheduled event, make sure your VIP guests will be able to attend before setting the new date in stone. Fortunately, we’ve all got a lot more open weekends than we used to.
Update your wedding website of course, but also consider sending out cute “Change the Date” cards if you’d like a more formal notification. Maybe with a bit of humor – we could all use some these days.
4. Keep an open mind
It’s okay if your rescheduled wedding looks different from what you were planning. Yes you were hoping for a Saturday wedding in May, but now you’re looking at a Thursday wedding in November. While it’s okay to be disappointed, feel the feels…and then try and look at the bright side of things!
For example: Your favorite vendors will most likely have availability, the off-peak day and date will be far less expensive, and fall weddings are some of the most beautiful we’ve seen. Plus, you’ll have plenty of time to rearrange all the details, your guests will have plenty of notice to reschedule their travel, and at the end of the day, you’ll STILL be married to your best friend. See? Silver linings abound.
5. Celebrate your original date
Even if we’re all still quarantined, you should find fun ways to celebrate your original wedding date! Set up a virtual happy hour for the wedding party on Zoom or cook an elaborate dinner with your soon-to-be spouse (complete with a cutting cake!). Just because we’re socially distanced doesn’t mean celebrations are canceled—so do something that brings you joy.
And please remember: Even though it’s chaotic and emotional and scary and out of your control right now, you WILL get through this. Yes, it sucks having to adjust your wedding plans. But it really helps to keep things in perspective. (Remember those silver linings we talked about earlier?) You’re still madly in love. You can still have a fabulous celebration once this pandemic blows over. And you’ll have a heck of a story to tell your grandkids!