How to Postpone Your Wedding

With the ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19, here's what our spring brides need to know about postponing their weddings.

Stressed bride
Photo: IStockphoto

If your wedding is quickly approaching, we know you're undoubtedly concerned about how the threat of COVID-19 will impact your plans. As new regulations are set each day, it increasingly becomes less of a question of whether and more of a question of how to delay. We understand how heartbreaking it is to change the day you’ve been planning for months (if not years!), so here’s a step-by-step process to make it a little bit easier.

Start with your venue

Your venue is likely your largest investment and is paramount for setting your date. Considering the latest restrictions and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as federal and local governments, some venues may find themselves forced to close their doors for a period of time. For example, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut mandated for all bars and restaurants to close for in-person dining as of March 16. Some areas are also restricting non-essential travel at night.

Contact your venue as soon as possible to discuss rescheduling your wedding, as they may soon be inundated with these requests. To avoid having to reschedule a second time if restrictions continue longer than expected, we recommend pushing it at least a few months. One bride we spoke with changed her March 28 wedding to September, while another changed her March 20 wedding to July. 

Once you have a new potential date, run it by your VIPs to make sure the new date works for them. 

Contact your other vendors

While most vendors will be understanding given the circumstances, it’s always a good idea to review your contracts first. There may be a clause that covers cancelations or rescheduling due to an “act of God,” which means something beyond your control.

Rescheduling, rather than canceling, often protects your deposits. If any of your vendors are unavailable on your new date, it never hurts to ask if they’ll consider refunding your deposit given the situation. 

Notify your guests

Delegate this task; you have enough on your plate. Let each set of parents handle spreading the news to their family members, and designate a few friends to tell the rest. Follow up with a printed card in the mail to be absolutely sure everyone receives the information, and ask them to contact you if they’re unable to attend on the new date. Avoid mass texts or emails for your own sanity; you don't want to end up in a never-ending reply chain. 

Handle your honeymoon

Even if you booked a non-refundable rate, most airlines and resorts are allowing customers to cancel or reschedule without penalty. Check their websites for more specific information, as each company has its own policy. One bonus: many airlines have significantly lowered their rates due to reduced demand, so you may be able to score a great deal on your new honeymoon. Consider opting for travel insurance with your new trip in case you need to change your plans again.

Cancel your hotel block

If you reserved hotel rooms for your guests, call the hotel to cancel the block. This should automatically cancel your guests’ reservations for them. Then you can set up a new block around your new wedding date.

Consider the alternative

Don't want to wait to get married? Consider eloping! You can still host a reception later, when the situation has settled, to celebrate your nuptials with your loved ones.