As promised, I’m back (in my role as Resident Wedding Planner for Coco Wedding Venues) and understandably, for my next few features I’ll be adding my voice to the incredibly informative series Coronavirus and Your Wedding.
If you haven’t yet had the time/chance to read the wealth of insightful features that can be found in this series, then I’d recommend Will the Coronavirus Affect My Wedding Planning as a starting point.
Today, I’ll be offering advice and guidance on what you might need to do and consider once you’ve decided to postpone your wedding. Due to the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus, couples who still have wedding dates in the diary for late July and August might be wondering IF they should postpone.
Our advice is to of course work with your venue first, but if you do have a wedding still in the diary for July postponing is most likely the best option right now.
To date (since the beginning of March) my team and I have postponed 22 of our clients weddings, so all of the advice that I offer comes from my own experiences, and I truly hope that this helps you in turn.
Before I start today’s feature, I just want to say that if your wedding has been affected, then I hope that you and your loved ones are ok. I understand, I feel this too, I’m right there with you. I also hope that you’ve managed to resolve any issues and in turn have a positive plan in place moving forwards.
And finally, as I mentioned in my last feature (How to Plan a More Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Wedding), if there are specific topics that you’d like me to cover over the coming weeks and months, or planning questions that you have (whether that’s general advice or something more specific), then PLEASE just let me know – you can find my contact details here.
Right, shall we revisit those positive plans I referred to above?
Next Steps Once You’ve Decided to Postpone Your Wedding
Liaise and communicate
Without a shadow of a doubt the most difficult part of postponing a wedding is coming to the decision that you need to postpone. Once you’ve decided to postpone, you’re well and truly over the first and biggest hurdle.
As a next step you’ll need to liaise and communicate:
- Talk to your venue, ask for available dates, and discuss postponement implications
- Reach out to your suppliers (for me personally I’ve found that group emails are the most effective and efficient way to do this) to check availability (and hopefully align calendars and dates), postponement terms and potential financial implications, if for example suppliers aren’t available. Please remember at this time to be understanding of your suppliers and their situations
- Check availability with your families and wedding party
- Choose a date and confirm this in writing with all parties concerned
Create new paperwork
Once you’ve officially postponed your wedding and confirmed a new date, it’s time to talk about my favourite topic – paperwork and spreadsheets!
But in all seriousness, this has genuinely kept me sane throughout the postponement process. With all the emails flying around and back and forth from various suppliers, with some confirming postponements verbally, others in writing, some sending over new contracts, others sending over revised payment terms, others not… it’s hard to stay on top of everything. I’ve personally found that creating a spreadsheet with a list of all my suppliers and then columns for status updates next to each one has been incredibly valuable and has 100% kept me and my clients on track. At any one time we can now see who has/hasn’t responded, what paperwork has been received, what still needs to be done etc. and as a result we can move forwards with complete peace of mind that everything has been considered and confirmed.
Update your existing paperwork
I’m so sorry, I promise I’m not a broken paperwork record! But if you’re on an admin role, you might as well update your existing paperwork at the same time.
- Do you need to revise your budget spreadsheet, payment amounts, terms and dates?
- Does your planning timeline need to change?
- Is there anything else you need to consider, do or add to your planning timeline i.e. notify your wedding insurance company of your new date?
It’s not the most exciting of things to do but it needs to be done and it WILL keep you on track.
Thank your team
As a wedding supplier myself I cannot tell you how much it’s meant to me to have received thanks from my couples for supporting them with their postponements, and I know my fellow suppliers will concur.
Yes, I’m aware that this is technically my job (as a planner), but at the same time coronavirus was never part of anyone’s plans or job descriptions, and it has had (and will continue to have) a devastating effect on our wonderful industry that is run mostly by small businesses and exceptionally talented and passionate individuals. This is not a sob story, more of a request – if your suppliers have been understanding, have supported you, have been generous, committed and caring, and have helped you to get to your new date then please consider supporting and helping them in return… leave positive reviews, send emails of thanks, share the love and recommend them to others.
Inform your guests
Are you ready for some positive and exciting plans? Yes? Me too! Once you have a new date confirmed (and your suppliers are on board too), then formally inform your guests about your postponement plans.
How you do this is up to you – talk to your stationery provider, get digital, pick up the phone, organise a mass gathering on Zoom (ok, now I’m just spitballing ideas!)… and whilst you’re at it remember to update your wedding website, if you have one.
Do your research
Unfortunately for some of my clients not all of their suppliers have been in the position to be able to postpone with them. If you too have lost suppliers (due to availability, personal circumstances etc.) then try to fill these gaps as soon as possible, especially as availability in 2021 is going to be limited. And whilst we’re on the subject of limited availability, if you still have suppliers left to book, then now is the time to reach out to as many new suppliers as you can and get the enquiry ball rolling.
For further advice on this topic, I’d thorough recommend reading Finding + Booking Your Wedding Suppliers During Covid-19, written by the wonderful Penny, owner of The Little Lending Co.
Revisit your plans and rethink your details
If you’ve had to postpone your wedding to a different day of the week, month, season etc. than you’d previously intended, then you may need to revisit your plans and rethink your details.
As a starting point talk to your suppliers to get their advice.
- Do you need to consider changing the timings of your day to allow for longer or shorter daylight hours?
- Do you need to reconsider the use of spaces if, for example, you can no longer have parts of your wedding outdoors?
- Do you need to revisit your design concept, especially if you’re changing seasons?
- Do you need to tweak your menu or attend another food tasting?
These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself but hopefully your incredible team of suppliers will be there to support you and guide you moving forwards.
Put plans in place to acknowledge your original wedding date
A postponement is just that, a postponement. Love is most certainly not cancelled, and your wedding day WILL arrive. So, when your original wedding date rolls around think about how you, as a couple/team, can acknowledge the date and in turn celebrate your love and commitment to each other. Whether that’s a dinner party for two, sharing your vows, having a duvet day, organising various Zoom calls, or drinking copious amount of bubbles – what you do and what’s right for you is up to you, but acknowledge it if you can.
Relish the extra time but also take some time off
Now that you’ve postponed your wedding, you’ll have a little more time and breathing space to plan… huzzah! If you can (and you want to), then make the most of the extra time – update your paperwork, research and book new suppliers, tick things off your planning timeline, get yourself back on track and ahead of the game. But if it’s all too much, you’re not feeling it or you were already well ahead of schedule then take some time for you, step away from the wedmin and relish the breathing space now at your disposal.
Finally, and most importantly, look forward.
Look forward to all the plans, adventures, love, friendship, laughter, and celebrations to come. Yes, your wedding has been postponed but it WILL happen, and it will be the most magnificent of occasions.