Although your wedding is very much your special day, it includes many other people too. This means that rescheduling has a ripple effect that may feel overwhelming when it becomes the only way forward. Your family is going to be affected, as well as your other guests and your vendors.
The logistics depend on your specific circumstances, who you are working with, and where you reside. But it would be best if you remember why you are doing this. When it comes down to it, putting the elegant invitations, unique flower arrangements, and carefully curated details aside, you chose to get married because you wanted to do so in the presence of your loved ones.
This is why it’s essential to approach the task of postponement with this idea: what’s best for everyone involved?
Read on to discover how to break down this complicated process into easy to accomplish small steps and navigate the crisis like a pro!
We have created a step-by-step guide on managing the additional stress of postponing your wedding and have plenty of helpful advice on planning the celebration of your dreams the second time around. You can still have the celebration you have always wanted, we promise.
Examine Your Insurance
If you have wedding insurance, your first port of call should be to contact the company to find out what your policy covers and what this means for your relationships with your vendors.
If you haven’t got it, use this opportunity to rectify this situation and get some immediately! Please don’t beat yourself up too badly about not getting it the first time around, but don’t make the same mistake again.
Don’t even think about approaching vendors about a new date until you know what your insurance covers.
Inform Your Guests
Let your guests know as soon as you decide that you will need to change your date, even if you haven’t settled on a new one yet. And while phone calls are technically the proper way to do this, emails are acceptable in the case of large guest lists. It’s a great idea to let people know about the change using the same method of communication that you did for the actual invitations.
Keep your cool and explain as best you can that you’re sorry, and you will reach out once again the moment your new date has been confirmed. Then do so as soon as possible.
There Will Be Financial Consequences
When it comes to any change of plans, there is always the potential for an entirely new set of costs. This includes accepting losses on deposits, and even final payments, depending on where your wedding will be held.
You also have to take fees on non-refundable goods and services onboard and make peace with the fact there will be a financial burden when postponing your big day.
Read the Fine Print
Take another look at all the contracts you signed with your vendors and make sure you understand what their specific cancellation policy looks like. Have they missed something that will allow you to get some of the money you’ve paid back outside of those funds marked as refundable?
Many retailers have Act of God, or Force Majeure, clauses in their contracts, but what exactly this covers depends heavily on how the agreement is worded.
Budget for New Costs
The vast majority of vendors will do their best to work with you when you have to change your plans. But it’s simply not possible for all of them to do so at the exact cost as they initially quoted. In addition, fees change according to season, so keep this in mind when you’re creating your new budget.
Vendors will most likely have exchange costs based on the scope of the work required, whether these are hourly rates or contract amounts. And this is very understandable when you consider that staff was hired, the date was booked out, and other work was possibly turned away because of your wedding.
If you’re moving your nuptials to another season, the payment is unlikely to remain the same, but it can also be less than you originally were willing to pay. On the other hand, you may benefit if your new date is in a less popular quarter of the year. Many vendors will be happy to meet you more than halfway if they are appropriately compensated for the additional time and work required from them because of the change you’re requesting.
Talk to Your Venue
When chatting to your venue, try and find a date as close to the original one as you can. If there’s nothing that works for you in this case, check whether or not they have a sister property that could accommodate you. Each venue has its pros and cons, and you may find one you like just as much or even better.
But it is also essential that you keep an open mind about available dates as far as you can. And while weekdays may be far easier to book, this could be too challenging for your guests, so keep them at the front of your mind during this part of the process as well.
Reimagine the Details
Although your wedding doesn’t have to be coordinated with the season, we still recommend that you ask yourself if any changes should be made to the big day because of the new date. For example, are the flowers you want going to be available? Will the linens still work? Will you need to make any changes to the menu?
From a visual perspective, we strongly suggest that you seriously consider whether or not you want everything to be the same. For example, a wedding held in spring and one held in the winter months can be vastly different. Go over every detail to know what to hold on to and what you’ll need to change.
Talk to Your Vendors
Once you’ve spoken to your guests and your venue about rescheduling your wedding and have a thorough understanding of your vendor contracts and their applicable clauses, reach out to the retailers you initially hired to rebook. These businesses are as invested as you are in getting things up and running the way you want them. But they are also small businesses and need to be able to survive.
Consider sending out a mass email with the dates that you can make work detailed in it. The sooner you can do this, the better, and we recommend doing it in two stages.
Talk to your primary service providers first, your band, caterer, florist, photographer, and videographer.
Then reach out to businesses capable of doing more than one wedding in a weekend, like bakers, rental companies, and stationery designers.
Don’t approach this transaction with an eye on getting a discount! Most vendors will do their utmost to move everything at a minimal cost to you when it comes to postponements. So naturally, it’s easiest to hold on to the providers you’ve already booked as far as possible.
Keep your interactions short, honest, and heartfelt. We’re all human beings prey to the same pitfalls and challenges, and treating people respectfully will generally engender the same response.
Accept the fact that certain vendors may be unavailable for your big day. Unfortunately, deposits are not refundable and, if you have to forfeit this money, remember that this is not a personal attack on you!
Usually, your original vendor will be happy to make recommendations in this case. You hired them for a reason, and the wedding community is as small as any other. Everyone knows someone, and you could get great advice on who to contact if someone cannot help you themselves.
Stand-out service providers are successful for a reason. You’ll find that they rise to the occasion more often than not, supporting one another and the brides whose dreams they’re such an integral part of!
You will also need to postpone your honeymoon if you have one booked and planned. However, if you have a dream destination lined up, you can change your booking too. Take the same approach to this task as you did with the new wedding date. Try to retain as many details as possible, or recoup as many costs depending on the kinds of tickets and reservations you make.
Be Your Best Self
Be as understanding and supportive of everyone you need to help you postpone your wedding as you hope they’ll be to you. Find a way to thank everyone who steps up to the plate too.
Recommend vendors to friends, family, and on your social networking sites if they pull through. Write a glowing review if you can and offer to be a resource if a business needs a recommendation in the future. If you can afford it, be extra generous when it comes to tipping.
Showing people that you appreciate them and what they’ve done should be something we do all the time. But most importantly, when they’ve helped you navigate a potential crisis.
Postponing your wedding isn’t the end of a dream. It may just mean you need a bit of a different plan!