#CovidWedding - What are critical steps I should take to postpone?
Thanks for all the love on the first blog about “How do I decide to postpone my wedding?”! If you haven’t read it, it will be important for you to do so as to best prepare for this topic ahead. Read it here. So what are critical or immediate next steps you should take to postpone? Now that you’ve decided to postpone, the most important step is to reach out to your venue(s) and vendors as soon as possible. Whether your date is next week or a few months away, most venues and vendors have been very accommodating of the pandemic. Usually when the client (bride and groom) decides to change their wedding date for whatever reason, there is a cancellation fee or charge to make the transition, but most venues/vendors have been waiving it due to social distancing measures in place and given that we are in a pandemic and no one is at fault (!). Stay positive and know that everyone is trying to help in the best way possible! Disclaimer: I have heard of sad stories where the venue was reluctant to offer options or automatically cancelled all weddings in their 2020 season, but know that this isn’t the norm. It would be best to start the conversation to see how the vendor responds if they haven’t reached out already. Here are some important items to bring up:
You have decided to postpone your wedding to another date.
Ask if there are any charges to move the wedding date given the circumstances.
Prepare some dates you are comfortable to postpone to and ask which ones are available.
Consider the most important and “top” vendors you would like to prioritize such as your venue, photographer, day of coordinator etc. Some vendors can only take one wedding a weekend (ex.photographer), whereas a florist may be able to take on multiple events on a weekend and accommodate the date. Considering which vendors you prioritize, this will help you to contact who first and choose the date that works best.
Make a simple chart to track each vendor, their availability, and any special notes you have to factor (ex. such as your officiant already being booked that date, but can still officiate your wedding if your ceremony time was moved).
Consider the date that works best and be flexible - it may mean choosing a non-Saturday or getting married in low season (Oct-Apr) that allows for all your vendors to create your dream wedding. Availability will ultimately depend on the dates you are open to given you are working with existing 2021 couples and those choosing to postpone.
As a rule of thumb, check in with your venue(s) and photographer first and see if there is a date that works best. So what if a vendor I booked is not available for the new date? As every scenario is different, I would connect with each vendor and ask them what the options are. Given their specific vendor role and contract, each vendor may have a different option to cater to you.
Some options I have seen occur:
The vendor refunds you your deposit as they are no longer able to fulfill their role.
The vendor is able to let you use the deposit on a different day (for example, credit to their floral shop).
The vendor allows you to sell their service as outlined in their contract to another couple (common with vendors who have reserved the whole date for you (ex. photographers, videographers) and would be losing a lot of money if they aren’t able to provide you the service. I’ve seen some couples do so on Facebook pages if they’ve decided to cancel their wedding and didn’t want to lose out on their non-refundable deposits.
The client (you!) is okay to lose your deposit if you haven’t prioritize them and the cost is minimal in comparison to everything else (this is really to your comfort level).
It is important to keep in mind that almost every vendor in the wedding industry are considered small businesses. Thus, it would be financially challenging to return paid deposits to every client who could no longer use their services given that your deposit has already been a part of their payroll. What are next steps once I have confirmed a new date?
Inform your guests! If you have a wedding website, this would mean sending a messaging sharing the reason for postponing and that the new date is __________. It would also be important to ask them to re-RSVP to your website so you know that they can attend the new date. If there was a venue or time change, it would be critical to note this as well. If you’ve sent out paper invites, you can choose to do this quickly through emailing your guest list and letting them know of the new date change. If you haven’t sent out your invites, a great way to save money from reprinting them is to add a nice note within each invite to inform them of the new date and to disregard the one printed. What's next? Look forward to your new date whether it was postponing both your ceremony and reception or just the latter. Know that you made the best decision you could and that your beautiful wedding day will still commence.
If you’re feeling sad that no celebration will happen on your original date, make it a POSITIVE one! Order your favourite date night eats, pop the champagne, do something sweet with your partner, and make it an honourary day of celebration! I like to think the more days we get to celebrate, the merrier! Until the next blog! Much love, Sarah Valencia