You thought nothing could overshadow your big day. In a normal world, nothing would. Unfortunately, since the arrival of the COVID-19 virus, normal is a word you’re probably not using much. The CDC has suggested gatherings like weddings be postponed and depending on your state there are outright mandates regarding gatherings. So, now you’re stuck wondering what to do. While it can be frustrating and scary and downright disappointing to have the biggest day of your life affected, you STILL do have control of many things. Let us help you with a step-by-step guide to rescheduling your wedding day.
Step 1: Check Official Guidelines and Mandates
Obviously, you want to adhere to state and federal guidelines when it comes to group gatherings. Even if you were just planning an intimate affair with just a few friends and family members, you still might be taking chances during this time of social distancing. This situation is fluid, so before you start weighing your options check what is being mandates by state and local officials. This will help guide your options.
Step 2: Review Your Contracts
Review all your signed contracts so you know where you stand legally. Make sure you are clear what will happen to your deposits and monies paid if you reschedule or cancel. It may be necessary to run these contracts by an attorney if you are having trouble figuring it out. The main goal is to be crystal clear on where you stand and what your options are before you start having conversations with your vendors about canceling or rescheduling.
Step 3: Talk With Your Venue and Vendors
Now that you’ve reviewed all your contracts and can have informed conversations with your vendors, it’s time to make the calls. Odds are, you’re not the first they’re discussing cancellations and postponements and they are likely going to work with you as much as they are able. They may have suggestions and options you didn’t even dream exist, and this may go a long way for your sanity. Remember that this is impacting them in tremendous ways too, and everyone’s going to need to have a little extra grace.
Step 4: Communicate with Your Guests
Obviously, your family knows what’s going on and after they’re in the loop, it’s time to communicate with your guests. If you had a wedding website, here’s where you can let them know that you’re rescheduling. Be honest, be brief and even think about answering questions they may have: “No, we don’t have a new date.” “Yes, we’re working on rescheduling.” “Yes, we’ve talked to the hotels and here’s the information.” Communication is key, so if you don’t have a wedding website, make sure you use email/texts/social media, the works. You can also enlist your parents/siblings/bridal party to help make calls.
Step 5: Make Things As Easy For Your Guests As Possible
If your wedding date was close, your out-of-town guests might already have rooms reserved and/or paid for. Talk to the hotels / Air B&Bs directly and let them know what’s happening. Again, you’re most likely not the first one to call and ask about this, so just be sure to read up on cancellation policies before you call. If you’re able to get refunds or cancel reservations for your guests? Do so. This may take the burden off of them in a stressful time, and they won’t forget your efforts.
Step 6: Take Care Of Yourself
This is HARD. We know. It’s hard for everyone, but you’ve been dreaming about this day for what seems like forever. It’s important you give YOURSELF some grace and let yourself have all the emotions you’re feeling. This is a time where you and your intended can really bond and come together, and we promise you’ll be stronger for it. Share openly and honestly and know your grief is real.
Step 7: Make It A Day To Remember
The reality is, your original wedding date will never escape your memory, so make it a day to remember no matter what. Do something special, just the two of you, and honor and celebrate the day anyway. It may look different, but it can still be yours. As long as you’re together, you’ve got everything anyway, right?
Please note that this post was written in April 2020, in this everchanging situation new guidelines may be in place. Please check all local and national rules and mandates in terms of holding your wedding.