With all the recent events in the world, surrounding COVID 19, there are countless couples faced with changing their wedding plans - and you may be one of them! Knowing what to do and how to handle the crisis in the world, let alone adjusting wedding plans, can be daunting. You are not alone in feeling discouraged, overwhelmed, frustrated or anxious. But do keep in mind that there are many people who are here to support you during this time!
The resources I've put together here are intended to make things a little more straight forward, when couples need to make changes to their wedding plans. This is applicable not only during COVID 19, but also any other time something unexpected happens and the original wedding plans cannot be carried out. So take a deep breath, relax your shoulders (or wherever else you feel tension) and let's dive in.
You Can Do This
It seems daunting to look at the change as a whole, so let's break it down into smaller tasks. You've planned a wedding once, and you can make these changes too. Just take it a piece at a time, and remember to be patient and stay as flexible as possible during these changes.
You can still have your dream wedding! But being patient makes your job easier and allowing some flexibility makes your ideals possible with the changes that are happening.
Contact Your Planner
If you are using a wedding planner, inform them of your intention to change your date. Part of their job is to help guide you through this process.
If you aren't using a planner, inform your closest family or friends (i.e. maid of honor/best man). They can also provide support as you make changes. Delegate certain tasks to them and breathe a little deeper.
Planners are the best place to start, but other wedding vendors can also be great help during changes like this! They are industry experts, who can walk you through your adjustments. You aren't back at square 1!
Brainstorm New Dates
Rather than choosing one date and expecting everyone to bend, pick 3 or 4 dates that would be best for you, just in case your vendors are booked on one or two of those dates. Again, the more flexible you can be as you select new dates, the easier this will be moving forward with your vendors.
I recommend at least one of your dates be an off-session or week day option. It may not be your ideal, but it is better to give all the possibilities to your vendors and see what day you can have the most people available.
Check with Vendors
By presenting several date options to your vendors, you do a couple things. You show them you are willing to be flexible and hopefully they will do the same. But it also allows you to see which day will work for the majority of your vendors - or at least the key players.
You can expect that some of your vendors may be unavailable. But if one of your dates works with your favorite vendors and you lose a vendor that isn't as significant to you, I'd still call that a win!
Be aware that some vendors have unavoidable cutoff dates for rescheduling. For example, caterers and florists order perishable products before your wedding date. Find our what their cutoff dates are, so that you aren't left paying for products you aren't ready to use.
With any sort of change, you'll want to know what is accounted for in your contract. Will there be a fee for rescheduling or cancelling? Has your new date been added to the contract? Are there contingencies in place, in case that vendor becomes ill and can no longer assist you?
Ideally these are things you should know before signing the contract. But you'll definitely want to review them when adjusting wedding plans, so you don't have any unpleasant surprises.
With my own clients, I do my very best to accommodate them, especially when unexpected changes arise. I have no fee for rescheduled weddings, and final balances are not due until the week before the new wedding date.
So you've found a date, and still have your favorite vendors! This is a good start! If some of the other vendors were unavailable, you don't have to start at ground zero. Ask those vendors for referrals - they are connected in the industry and know of people who can provide similar quality, customer service, or style. So don't hesitate to ask for a recommendation if your original choice is no longer available.
Even if you've lost one of your vendors and they don't want to provide you with referrals, some of your other vendors may have a list of professionals they recommend! I have my own list of Preferred Vendors I recommend to brides based on their incredible skill, style and friendliness!
Save the Date
You're all set with your vendors, so it is time to send out your Save the Date cards and let everyone else know the new wedding plan! Don't be discouraged if some people will be unable to attend your new date. There will always be a percentage of guests who are unable to attend, regardless of what date you chose (even if you hadn't rescheduled your wedding!)
There are many many designers offering beautiful Save the Date cards. Some of my favorites comes from Paper Plum Co., Sugared Fig Paperie, and Polka Dot Paper.
Don't Look Back
I am a big believer that things happen for a reason. But if you don't agree, you can at least keep in mind that the past cannot be changed. You are here now, and wishing for the past does no good. Just keep moving forward, making plans for the future, and everything else will work itself out.
We can't change what has happened, and the future hasn't arrived. So focus on what you do have - and that is a beautiful relationship with the person who is most important in your life. Putting emphasis on that person is ultimately where your efforts will have the most impact. Love need never be cancelled or rescheduled.