How to pick up the pieces and get back on track, if your wedding is postponed due to COVID-19
You most likely have everything planned to the very last detail, you are bubbling with excitement and in one phone call its shattered, your wedding has been postponed.
Most couples getting married within the next few months are being contacted by their venue, church, registrar or travel agent to explain that the wedding cannot go ahead. This is very much in a prioritised date order, the closer your wedding the sooner you will be contacted. The government guidelines on all aspects of the lockdown are being updated every 3 weeks, so everyone is looking for the advice before moving forward.
Understandably you are devastated. Everyone in the wedding industry is devastated for you. It will take some time but once you have consoled yourselves and set your minds right it's time to take some action.
Consider your options.
If you have been asked to postpone your wedding you will be offered alternative dates. Discuss the possibility of moving your Spring wedding to the Autumn or the wedding abroad to a holiday in the future and a wedding here in the UK. There will be a lot to consider and talking as a couple along with those that are nearest and dearest to you will help you make the decision that is right for you.
So right now you have a new wedding task, one that will take a lot of jigsaw pieces to slot together to complete the picture.
Our biggest most important piece of advice is to communicate. We are all in this together, Couples, Venues, Photographers, Videographers, Caterers, Venue Dressers, Florists, the list goes on, everyone who is involved in your wedding will all want to help you, so whilst you are reeling from the shock, the sooner you can start talking and making new plans the better.
Prioritise your actions
First things first you will need to inform your service providers, these are the people who are most vital to the plan coming together.
Service providers are your venues, registrars, caterers, photographer, videographer, venue dressers and hair/make up artist.This is going to be the most difficult of all the replanning jobs you have to do, as these services get booked in advance, communication is key so that you can pull the plan together. It may not always be possible to sync everyone and a compromise may need to be made. Some things you may be willing to change other are more important and you will not want to change.
The key is, be flexible, everyone will want to help you, it's just that sometimes its not possible for them to do so, if they already have a booking on a date that you are considering, then they may be able to refer you to another provider that may be able to help.
Once the service providers are all in place your ready to move onto the next stage.
Attention to detail, confirm and update your suppliers
It is now time to inform your suppliers, these are the people that are going to be able to be a little more accomodating.
Suppliers are your florist, cake maker, suit hire, bridal gown company etc. Your suppliers are the ones who will be able to cope with several weddings at once, so they will be a little more willing to move things around for you, however you must communicate, let them know your new date, check that they are OK to move their services to that date and that they have your new date firmly fixed in their calendar. Each supplier is different and it's only through communication that you will be able to pull your plan together.
That's all the service providers and suppliers back on track and working towards your new date.
Communicate with your guests
Finally you will need to let your guest know, make calls, send emails or letters and inform them all of your change of date. There may be some that are not sure if they will be available for your new date and some that will need to make new plans particularly if they are travelling to you, so if you can, give them as much notice as possible then it will help everyone. Consider handwriting letters to your guests as many of them will have made travel plans and over night accommodation, bought outfits, taken days off to attend your wedding and a hand written letter is a special way to thank them and ask for them to join you on your new date.
For those couples who have taken the decision to postpone their wedding themselves then again communication is our best advice. Depending on what is already booked follow the plan above and speak with everyone involved in your wedding plans, be transparent, express your concerns but most of all work with the people that you have chosen and paid deposits too, they are under immense pressure at the moment to create a solution for everyone whos wedding day is affected. You may be asked to wait until the most imminent dates are sorted but this will depend on each individuals case and understanding between each party is paramount.
You may be considering cancelling the wedding all together. But please think long and hard before making this decision.
As everyone in the wedding industry cope with the fact that they have written off almost a years worth of trading and the possibility that this may continue for a while to come, they are all geared up to work with couples and most are willing to go above and beyond their basic requirements to help.
If you are willing, then discuss postponing to a date to be decided rather than a straight forward cancellation this may be an option. In many cases the need for businesses to survive will see most from the biggest venue to the smallest family business not want, but need to stick to their cancellation terms which will leave you the couple, out of pocket.
Ultimately it pays to remember why you are getting married.
There is one thing for sure, if the love that you share with each other can get you through this time to come out the other side, stronger and more in love then your relationship will have survived a truly testing experience and it will make the love between you even more special, knowing that you have overcome it together, and when the time arrives for your big day, you can celebrate like never before.
I hope that you have found this helpful. I understand that every wedding is different and that there are so many factors that may make things unique to you, but communicate, communicate, communicate and if we all stick together we can help each other through this most challenging time.