Not the easiest Blog to write Dear Hearts, but the current circumstances are clearly unprecedented and
desperate times call for the most desperate of measures.
I know if you have been planning and looking forward to your special day for weeks and months, postponing your wedding will be one of the most difficult and heart-breaking decisions you might have to make. Feeling anxious, overwhelmed and emotional is totally normal when you are dealing with daily news updates in an ever-changing frightening situation, alongside coming to terms with letting go of your original plans for your dream wedding.
Be kind to yourself. Your day will come and although it might be different, I promise it will be just as special and wonderful. Now however is the time to be practical, positive and to stay focused as much as you can.
For lots of you, the choice to postpone or cancel will simply have been taken out of your hands – venues, suppliers and wedding officiants may have already made that decision for you; and of course loved ones and friends may be self-isolating and it is critical we all safe-guard and take care of each other at this time.
For other lovely bride and grooms-to-be with a wedding date beyond June, you may be waiting to see what happens, following Government guidelines and new legislation, hoping things will change over the next few weeks. However, many wedding professionals are recommending that if your wedding is scheduled within the next eight weeks you postpone now to minimise any financial impact.
If you wait you may incur additional costs from suppliers who have begun work on your wedding services, such as florists and cake makers. Also if you choose to postpone now, although not guaranteed, many venues and suppliers will work with you, transferring your deposit to secure a new date. I, like many of my colleagues will do this for you (subject to availability), as we all desperately want to make your special day happen for you. So my advice here is to act sooner rather than later to minimise costs and to maximise your chances of finding a new date that works for as many of your suppliers as possible.
Delaying now may also mean you risk not being able to postpone and have no option other than to cancel. To be clear cancellation is not something I would recommend. If you choose to cancel your wedding rather than postponing, you will almost certainly lose any deposits you have paid.
So, now the decision has been made…just where do you start on a practical level?
What you will find below is a simple step by step guide to postponing your wedding. I really hope this will make a difficult task a little less daunting.
1. WEDDING INSURANCE: If you have wedding insurance, now is definitely the time to check it, reading all terms relating to your venue and suppliers carefully. Contact your wedding insurance company to advise them that you intend to postpone the date. They will then confirm what elements will be covered, what documentation you need to submit in order to claim and any excesses you may need to pay against your policy.
2. THINK ABOUT A NEW DATE: Think very, very carefully about when you would like to set a new date for your wedding. Current government guidelines for the CORVID-19 Pandemic, project that the crisis is likely to be extended for several months. Waiting may feel hugely disappointing, but delaying for an extended period will offer you some peace of mind and reassurance that enough time will have passed for you to be able to feel secure planning for your new date. Be prepared to be flexible and open-minded here. Rescheduling is not always easy. You may have had your heart set on a weekend wedding in June for example, only to find that your venue cannot offer you a weekend in June 2021. I absolutely promise you however that if you have to choose a different season or a mid-week date, you really can make it every bit as special and meaningful. Marriage is marriage – love is L O V E whenever and wherever you choose to tie the knot!
3. SUPPLIER’S LIST: Draw up a list of all your wedding suppliers and their contact details including your venue, caterers, florist, cake maker, hair stylist and make-up artist, wedding dress boutique, venue stylist, wedding décor supplier, entertainment, photographer etc.
Now divide your suppliers into two groups – Those you definitely want to keep in Group 1 (particularly any that are retaining a larger non-refundable deposit) and those who you could replace if they cannot work with your preferred new date, in Group 2.
4. CONTACT YOUR VENUE(S): Contact your venue to discuss your postponement. If you’re getting married in a separate venue, you will need to liaise with both the reception and ceremony venues (also remember, a change of date will mean changing the date on your Notice of Marriage). Try and resolve a new provisional date, asking for a period of 48 hours before you formally confirm. This will allow you time for steps 5 & 6.
5. CONTACT YOUR LOVED ONES: Phone, message and email- whatever is the fastest way to make sure your revised date works for the people you absolutely must have with you on your special day. Think immediate family, close friends, bridesmaids, groomsmen etc.
6. CONTACT YOUR SUPPLIERS IN GROUP 1: Now approach your key suppliers to see if they can accommodate your new date. Be prepared for a little to-ing and fro-ing here to find a date that works for your venue, loved ones and the majority of your Group 1 suppliers.
Realistically it may not be possible for every supplier to accommodate your preferred date – please bear in mind that many will already have bookings for later this year and for the most popular weekend dates in 2021. You may lose some deposits if these were non-refundable when you booked and it can be very frustrating if your insurance company will not provide cover in some instances. I think it’s really important to remember however that many of your suppliers will be small self-employed businesses and are likely to be facing months potentially without income. Please be kind and understanding because it really is a very difficult process all round.
7. FORMALLY CONFIRM YOUR DATE: Once you have resolved points 5 & 6, you can now go back to your venue and formally confirm your new date. Always obtain a revised contract with your new date in writing. As soon as you have this, you can then formally confirm with your Suppliers in Group 1, key friends and family.
8. CONTACT YOUR SUPPLIERS IN GROUP 2: Next, contact your Group 2 suppliers to advise them of your revised date. Again, you may lose some non-refundable deposits here, but hopefully, they will be much smaller and more manageable than costly Group 1 deposits for your venue or catering etc. If a supplier can’t help you, do ask if they can recommend someone else to assist. In difficult times I can assure you that small wedding suppliers in particular all pull together to make sure that you really do have the wedding of your dreams.
9. CONTACT YOUR GUESTS: Now that you have resolved the logistics, it’s time to contact your guests. I have already seen some beautiful ‘postponement cards’ springing up online from entrepreneurial suppliers – these might be ideal if your wedding is still a little way off and you have time to write to everyone. For those with an imminent date however, I recommend you personally telephone or message (asking for confirmation that they have received your email etc.). Everyone will understand your reasons for postponing and you can guarantee that when your wedding day finally dawns, it really will be a celebration worth waiting for!
Try not to let the current situation overwhelm you and bring you down because the most important thing is that you stay safe and have each other. The whole point of love and marriage is to travel the journey together through the good times and the bad. Keep looking forward and if you can, make a point of celebrating and acknowledging your original wedding date. If you can't physically be with your friends and family, maybe set up an online party on the day so that everyone can sign in and toast the 'bride & groom-to be'!
Be creative - do something silly and romantic together at home! When I met my husband, before we said ‘I do’, we spent one very stormy (and memorable!) Valentine’s evening without electricity, warming pasties over a gas stove and drinking fizz in a pop up tent in my living room decorated with fairy-lights – indoor glamping at its finest! Making memories doesn't have to cost the earth, so treasure the time you have together.
Here at The Wedding Library, we will be using this time to work on our beautiful bespoke stock-list, adding lots of lovely new pieces and designs, so that in brighter times to come, when we can all celebrate again, we will be right here to help make your wedding day picture-perfect.
So, hold on tight and always remember...