With all that’s going on in the world, many, many spring and early summer weddings are being forced to change dates or postpone. In today’s wedding planning advice post, I wanted to give you some tips for what to do if your wedding gets postponed or the date changes unexpectedly.
For this helpful advice, I went right to the experts. I asked wedding vendors across all areas from DJ to florist to wedding planners to stationery designers to a wedding welcome gifter for their best advice on what to do if you have to reschedule your wedding for a different date. If you have to move your wedding date to a new day, stay with me because I have all the tips for you.
Photo Credit: Ashleigh Bing Photography
First things first, my best piece of advice is to hang in there. This will all get worked out. I know that it can be hard to know and to have confidence, but you have to stay positive. You don’t know how it will get worked out, but one way or the other, trust that it will be worked out.
Right now, when you are in the thick of all the drama and the phone calls and the questions about when and where to move your wedding and reschedule for a different date, it can be hard to stay positive and keep moving forward.
So, hang in there, it will work out.
If you haven't hired a wedding planner, there is no time like the present. There are tons of wedding planners out there who are ready and willing to help. They have tons and tons of experience with these kinds of changes! Dealing with changes and unexpected situations is what they do! Just because you didn't hire a planner from the start, doesn't mean that you can't hire one now. You can still hire a planner to help you sort through the chaos.
Stephanie at Couture Parties, a wedding and party planner in Newport, RI, says that you can hire a planner at anytime in your wedding planing process, especially during a crisis. A wedding planner will step in and help you and get you down the aisle no matter the date!
You can even get a planner for short-term help, such as phone calls for advice. There are lots of planners out there who are happy to get on the phone or video call with you to help, answer questions and offer advice.
Do not try to do this alone and try to coordinate all of the scheduling for your wedding date and try to sort through the contracts and the new vendors. Get a planner to help you, to guide you and to walk you through all of the mess.
Hopefully you’ve hired a wedding planner, because now, more than ever, you will need them to help you sort this out and get you a new wedding date. Your wedding planner will be your best friend here. This is their job and this is why you hired a planner in the first place.
Another benefit of having a wedding planner is all of the wonderful vendors that they have connected you with and helped you hire for your wedding. From catering to the venue to the photographer, a planner knows the pros to work with so that when a crisis, like having to postpone your wedding hits, you are in good hands.
According to Kristin from Kristin Ashley Events, a wedding planner in St. Louis, MO and Austin, Texas, when you have a major change, like moving your wedding day, it is a perk when you’ve hired a planner. As a wedding planner, she set up all of her clients with great vendors from the start, so that when a major change happens, all of her vendors have been amazing to her clients.
With this most recent health crisis and spring and early summer weddings, she hasn’t had one issue with rescheduling or any money drama. It has been a seamless process, because she was working with quality vendors in the first place.
When all the drama hits and you have to reschedule your wedding, it can be tempting to cancel the wedding all together. As someone in the wedding industry, I’d encourage you to reconsider canceling. There are many, many small businesses who come together to produce your event and they are relying on your business for their income. If you can reschedule, the wedding industry would thank you greatly.
In addition, there are financial implications to canceling to keep in mind. If you’ve paid any deposits already, you will be losing that deposit money. For better or worse, the vendor most likely will be within their rights to keep the deposit based on the contract that you signed.
If you can, try to reschedule your wedding for a different date. If you’ve received your marriage license already or you are “wedded” to a particular date, you can always have a small courthouse or civil ceremony and then host the bigger wedding celebration with a reception at a later, new day.
We all love a Saturday night wedding, but when everyone is trying to reschedule their wedding, finding a new date can be tough and very competitive.
Chicago based wedding DJ Megan Taylor suggests that couples consider an alternative day of the week like Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The venues and vendors will be thankful for the business on the other days of the week besides Saturday.
Choosing an unexpected date will probably give you lots more options of venues and dates to choose from.
This amazing tip about what to do when your wedding date moves is from my friend, Jamie who is a wedding welcome gifter at Marigold & Grey…
If you find yourself far down the path with certain elements of your wedding such as wedding welcome gifts, consider drop-shipping your finished gifts out to your guest list letting them know that while you’re saddened that your original plan didn’t pan out that you’re so excited to celebrate with them once everything is rescheduled. So, instead of a welcome gift, it becomes more of a “get excited for what’s to come” type of gift! You can then do a simple, scaled-down welcome favor for the rescheduled wedding, if your budget doesn’t allow for another round of full-blown welcome bags! Your wedding guests will still remember the gift you surprised them with in the mail and chances are will still be raving about it. Let’s face it. Even if you skip the welcome favor altogether on your rescheduled date, they’ll likely not even notice.
So, you have this day that you were supposed to get married, but now you have to move your wedding day. What do you do with the old date? Or can you still get married on this day anyway?
Wedding DJ Megan Taylor's favorite option is to honor the day anyway!
“Even if you move it, create an intimate celebration on the day you were supposed to have your wedding. Don’t treat it like any other quarantined day, celebrate and honor your original wedding day,” she said.
Another amazing idea from Vicky at Event Accomplished, a wedding planner in Washington, DC is to have a small civil ceremony on your original wedding date and officially get married. Then, postpone your reception or larger wedding celebration with your family and friends for the same day one year later.
You can have your wedding celebration on your one year wedding anniversary!
She said that this is a unique and wonderful option that many of her couple’s are choosing, because it means that they can keep their same date, still get married as planned and have an amazing celebration with their friends and family.
I know that some of you prefer to watch your wedding tips instead of reading. I created this video for you with all of my best tips for what to do if your wedding gets postponed...
If you can't see the video, click here.
It’s true that if you have to move your wedding date to a different date, try to see the positive. If the date is farther in the future, you can look positively that it is more time to plan and more time to enjoy being engaged.
Consider it more time to do research, more time to find exactly what you love, more time to enjoy that bliss period of being engaged with out the stress of your wedding day approaching so far.
Lots of engaged couples right before their wedding say, "If I only had more time" or "I wish I knew about this before my wedding." Well, now you have more time, so try to make the best of it and enjoy the longer engagement.
I love this tip from Jamie at Marigold & Grey….
“Wedding planning is stressful on its own let alone with a crisis on top of everything. Tensions and emotions can run high. Try, as hard as it may be, to remember that the marriage matters more than the event. Take the extra weeks or months to enjoy a longer engagement. Once the big day finally rolls around, you’ll be even that much more appreciative of everyone being there with you to celebrate.”
If you've already sent out your wedding invitations or your save the dates, be sure to get the word out of the possible date change to your guests.
You guests will want to know ASAP if there has been a date change. Even if you don't know the new date, just be sure to let them know that a change will be coming and they should begin to cancel any plans or reservations that they have already made.
Most stationery designers will work with you to create festive graphics that match your invitation suite that you can email to your guests. They will work with you to make it gorgeous and beautiful, just like your invitations.
If you've sent out your invitations, now is the time to handle things virtually or online, so that you don't have to incur the cost of reprinting and re-mailing your invitations. Consider online RSVP's and email responses. It's not ideal, but unfortunately, it might be better than having to pay to re-print your invitations.
Photo Credit: Ashleigh Bing Photography
Another great idea fromDJ Megan Taylor is to roll with it and try to have fun with the wedding date change. She suggested that you send out a fun video to your wedding guests from your house. Tell them that you can't wait to celebrate with them when you find a new date.
Kristin from Kristin Ashley Events, a wedding planner serving St. Louis and Austin, suggested to one of her April clients to get the top tier of their wedding cake and still have a celebration!
You can ask the bakery to make a top tier of a wedding cake for pick up. (Most wedding cake designers or bakeries will be so thankful for the business right now!) You can also learn to bake a cake on your own, it doesn’t have to be fancy.
She also suggested that the couple still exchange wedding gifts, even if it is a thoughtful card. And, consider exchanging vows on their original wedding date. You can also make a video to look back on and share with your kids someday!
Celebrating your original wedding date isn’t ideal, but you can make the most of it. It will be so fun for you and it will make it memorable among all of the chaos of finding a new date.
Try to make your original wedding date about more than just the rescheduling!
There is so much advice out there beyond what I've given you here about having to reschedule or postpone your wedding unexpectedly.
If you need more help for what to do, I love this article on Every Last Detail on What To Do About A Crisis And Your Wedding. This is also a great, helpful article from The Knot on How to Postpone Your Wedding Amid A Crisis.
So what do you think? Will you have to postpone or change your wedding date?
Remember, you can shop for blue, vintage, classic and modern garter heirlooms anytime in my garter shop or get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on custom designing a garter just for you!
If you have any more garter questions, check out my garter 101 blog series or find all of my wedding planning advice here on my blog.