If you’ve been faced with the decision to reschedule or cancel your 2020 wedding, you’re not alone. If only this whole situation was a huge April Fool’s Day prank! We know it doesn’t make it any easier, but we have spoken with countless couples who have either proactively made the decision to reschedule their weddings or have been required to do so.
COVID-19 Wedding Planning Advice
First of all, you’re completely justified in feeling the myriad of emotions you’re likely feeling. Sad, angry, frustrated and probably many others. It’s not selfish; essentially, you need to grieve the loss of a very important piece of your life. BUT, then, you need to shake it off because it’s just temporary. Try to remind yourself that you WILL get your day...eventually.
According to Matthew Trettel, president of The Wedding Guys, "It’s been a hard choice for couples to decide, but just like weddings, our couples are determining what is right for them." He added, "Many couples are choosing to move forward with small gatherings, while others have chosen to postpone their weddings." Needless to say, you could also just head to the courthouse with some witnesses and get it done.
If you're among the majority and refuse to give up on a more traditional affair, the best thing you can do is to be flexible, patient, stay positive and keep planning. Read on for tips on how to heed this advice.
BE FLEXIBLE WHEN RESCHEDULING
Look at your contracts and know what your options are regarding cancellations and rescheduling. Also know that many vendors are being more flexible than what was initially agreed upon in writing. When trying to reschedule, understand that many other couples are trying to do the same, so have a few preferred, new dates in mind. And, if you’re open to a weekday or Sunday event, you’ll have less competition.
BE PATIENT AND KIND
The last thing you want to do is to be rude or insensitive to any of your vendors, many of which may be worried about the longevity of their businesses. The best thing you can do is to work together to reschedule vs. cancel. And, come to terms with the fact that your ability to reschedule may not be an option for a while. Trettel suggests, "If you need to postpone, cancel or reschedule your wedding, the best thing to do is have a candid conversation with each explaining your specific circumstances so that you come to a solution that works for both you and the wedding service provider."
The sad reality is that some of us are losing very important people in our lives, including partners of many years. If you still have your loved one by your side, be grateful that you have a lifetime of love and laughter ahead. If you can get through a wedding replanning during a pandemic together, signs are pretty good that you have made the right partner choice AND you will be able to weather the inevitable ups and downs of married life.
Other potential positives during a wedding redo:
Fix your mistakes. If you were further along in the planning process, you likely made some mistakes. Now you can do it right on your second try.
Get a better date. Maybe you missed out on your preferred day, season, etc. the first time? Here’s your chance to snag it on round two.
Save money. Put your stimulus checks and tax refunds towards planning for an even bigger and better event or honeymoon. Or, opt for a smaller event and pocket the extra cash.
Meet your fitness goals. If you can refrain from quarantine binge-snacking (guilty), now’s the opportunity to get those toned arms and tight abs you wanted to show off on your big day.
You know you’re still going to go ahead with a traditional affair, but you don’t know when. No problem! If you weren’t too far into the planning process, there are a lot of things that you can still do, and ways you can support small businesses, while things are temporarily on hold:
Check out The Knot's Wedding Checklist. Here are some of our recommendations to check off your list:
Send out ‘change the date’ cards. Now’s the time to inform your potential guests that things are going to be rescheduled. If you still don’t have a new date, at a minimum you need to inform your guests that your wedding is on hold indefinitely. Brides.com has compiled a list of the best Change The Date cards from a variety of vendors.
Create or update your wedding website. Now, more than ever, a wedding website becomes a central location to keep your wedding party and guests informed in real-time. If you haven’t created a site yet, check out wedding website templates from The Knot
Purchase your wedding bands. This important activity usually appears on the planning checklist a couple of months before the big day, but now’s the perfect time to consider ordering from a business that handcrafts their items vs. a jewelry chain or re-seller of mass-produced rings. When you plan ahead, you have more time to find or design the perfect ring(s). High quality, made-to-order wedding bands like the ones offered from Jewelry by Johan usually have a 4-6 week turn-around time.
SHOULD YOU HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next, now might be the time to consider hiring a professional wedding planner. They are well-connected with the venues and vendors and will no doubt relieve much of the stress involved in whatever needs to be done to get you back on track to your big day.
ALL WE NEED IS LOVE
In the end, what really matters is that we’re surrounded by the people we love most right now, right!? You may not be legally married YET, but your love is unchanged by this temporary situation. The message in the passage that makes regular appearances in wedding ceremonies sums things up pretty well. To paraphrase, “Love is patient, love is kind.” Even more importantly, “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres!”