We caught up with wedding planner and owner of Occassion Queens, Nina Beer, to come up with an action plan if you’re having to postpone your wedding amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Everything you Need to Know About Postponing Your Wedding
With many of us self-isolating and social distancing putting a stop to events and occasions up and down the country, you may find yourself have to thinking about postponing or even cancelling your wedding.
After months – sometimes even years – of planning, the thought of seeing all your hard work and, most importantly, your wedding budget take a hit can be too much to bare. However, there are a number of steps you can take to make the process as painless as possible.
We’ve called in the wedding planning experts for some much needed advice in these testing time. Wedding Coordinator and owner of Occasion Queens, Nina Beer, has some top tips if you find yourself have to postpone your wedding.
“Firstly, don’t be too hasty,” explains Nina.
“The current climate is changing quickly so take some time and give yourself the space to make educated decisions. If your wedding is in the next couple of months then you may feel the pressure is on to change your date and plans.
“However, if your wedding is towards the end of the summer into the autumn, then carry on enjoying wedding planning with one eye on the current situation.”
Follow this action plan if you think you need to postpone your wedding:
- Work out from your guest list the ‘must have’ VIP’s, whose attendance is essential to you on your big day and whose absence would be desperately noticed.
- Out of those, how many are over 70, fall into the vulnerable categories or are having to travel from afar?
- Would you need to postpone the wedding to have everyone there? Are one of your bridesmaids pregnant or does your Grandad have lung or heart trouble? If these people need to be there when you get married, you are best to look at postponing.
- Contact your venue, what is their current policy on postponement and how much time do you have to make that decision. And what other dates do they have available?
- Contact your wedding insurance company and see what the situation is if either you or your immediate family get ill or if the Government bans social gatherings alltogether.
- Check all the terms and conditions and contracts that you have with all your suppliers and write a summary of each of their postponement and/or cancellation policies.
Postponing Your Wedding: The Next Steps
- Set a new date
- Work with your venue
- Seek legal advice
- Talk to your suppliers
- Check your wedding insurance
- Manage your guests
Once you’ve worked out the facts and come to an informed conclusion about postponing your wedding, the next steps are all about working out the logistics.
You may still feel that you want legally marry on your original date but choose to celebrate at a later date. A big blow-out for your one year anniversary could be a nice way to have something to look forward to.
Either way, it’s best to keep your suppliers informed at every stage of your thinking or forward planning, so they can make necessary arrangements or let you know of any issues or cancellations from their end.
Work with your venue
Firstly, work with your venue on finding a new date.
Nina strongly recommends that you look at a date later this year in the autumn or winter and midweek. By doing this you are increasing your chances of all your suppliers being available and therefore there is a much smaller chance of any money being lost on either side.
As we’re all adapting to the new guidelines and the long-lasting effect of the coronavirus is unknown, venues are working to different policies set by the powers that be!
You may find that a family run venue is more lenient than a large chain or a venue that is used to dealing with corporate bookings may not change their stance for weddings even though the mental and financial cost has larger implications. They also have much larger overheads so they need to make sure this is still covered with all their weddings postponing. Everyone is learning as they go and policies are changing each day, hour by hour.
Seek legal advice
If you are struggling to reach a compromise at all, reach out for extra support from a mediator or seek legal advice.
Crunch the numbers and talk to your suppliers
Look at your minimum numbers with your venue (or caterer) and make sure that is inline with your new guest list if you have had to change that all.
Once you do have a potential new date with your venue, go back to your suppliers and start to look at which of those are available and happy to change the date.
Wedding suppliers are all coming together to support each other and you, they are invested in your day and will be as fair as they can be to accommodate this forever changing and uncertain situation.
Check your wedding insurance
Don’t forget, once you have a new date to inform your wedding insurance company and check when you gave legal notice to get married as you may need to do it again.
Check back on any orders you have made online – has everyone got the materials they need to deliver your product and on time? Have they needed materials from China or are they self isolating and can’t get to the post office. Find out what the alternatives are!
Manage your guests
Keep your guests regularly updated on the situation. You could go back to your stationer and ask them to design a picture that you blast out to everyone on WhatsApp/social media/email with regular updates. Or you could get crafty with some DIY notices.
Theses could say things like, ‘We are looking to postpone our wedding, bear with us while we work with our suppliers to see when that will be’ or ‘Our wedding will now be on 14th October 2020, more information to come soon’.
If you don’t already, make a wedding website. This way it’s easier to answer all the questions your guests may have and keep everyone updated.
Look at ways to involve guests that can’t be there – live stream your ceremony or ask your photographer and videographer to do a very quick edit on a small part of your day that you can send to them super quick.
But whatever happens, remember that this is all temporary. You will marry the person you are in love with. It may not be on the day, month or even year you thought, but it will happen – and that is what is truly important.