There are many reasons why couples find themselves needing to postpone their wedding, for example, money or health issues, work and family issues. In fact, sometimes wedding dates are brought forward to enable poorly family members to be present.
Sadly, in the current situation we find ourselves in, with a pandemic across the whole world, this is becoming reality for a lot of couples. So today I thought I would share some tips for anyone needing to re-arrange their wedding date, no matter what the reason for that is.
I’m not going to talk much about the virus as there’s so much noise everywhere and the picture is changing rapidly. However, these tips should be relevant to all couples who need to postpone their wedding no matter what the reason is.
Your wedding is so special and is a very emotive time for everyone. So if you do find yourself needing to postpone your wedding, I want you to remember that it’s a delay, it’s not a cancellation. You will still be married and that’s all that matters.
So before you do anything, check your wedding insurance policy to find out what you are covered for in the event of needing to move your wedding date. All policies vary so it’s important to understand for example, if you would be covered for any additional costs you incur – for new invitations for example – or any deposits you might lose if a supplier can’t make your new date.
The reason you are postponing may also change what your policy will cover you for so make sure you check this with them.
Think about the new timeframe that you want to move your wedding to, whether you’re pulling your wedding forward or moving it back.
Don’t rush in to find a new date without speaking to family and checking your calendars. Consider things like any other weddings in the family, any pregnancies, any other key events or work plans you have.
You may find there are less choice of dates available than when you first booked so you should be prepared for this, especially if you’re looking for a new date in peak wedding season.
Your venue is one of your key suppliers, potentially your biggest spend and one of the key decisions you will have made so far. So if you desperately want to keep the same venue, then you ned to speak to them first to understand their availability.
You also need to understand their policy for changing your date.
Will they charge you extra? Will they honour your deposit and transfer this to your new date? All this should be detailed in your contract with them but it’s good to talk to them about it as well. In some circumstances, they may be more lenient than others.
But remember, they can’t charge you anything which wasn’t detailed in the contract you originally entered into with them. So if they didn’t include details of a rebooking fee in your contract, then they can’t just introduce one.
Other key suppliers
Once you understand your options for new dates you need to understand availability from the rest of your suppliers. Hopefully, your venue will give you some options to choose from which you can share with your suppliers. Then you can assess which date has the best availability across them all.
Sadly, there is a real risk that one or more of your current suppliers won’t be available for your new date. So you may need to consider which ones you are most passionate about when choosing your new date.
Different suppliers will have a different approach to postponements so make sure you ask them about this. Some will be happy to honour your deposit and move it to a new date. Some may ask that you still pay your balance on its original due date to help with their cash flow.
Remember they can’t apply additional or different charges to what is in your contract but they may ask for some flexibility in your payment plan as a gesture of goodwill. Many suppliers are small businesses and cashflow can be a real issue for them when weddings are delayed.
The New Date
Once you’ve agreed on a new date, get it confirmed in writing straight away by your venue and notify all your suppliers in writing too. You should receive confirmation of any changes to their service or payment schedule too.
If any of your suppliers couldn’t make the new date, then start sourcing replacement ones as soon as you can. Sometimes suppliers can and will happily, recommend other suppliers for you to try and may even help you to find a replacement supplier.
If your wedding date changes and you’re having a civil ceremony, then you may need to give notice again at your local register office. Contact them as soon as you can to find out what they need you to do. This will vary depending on how far away your new wedding date is.
You must also contact the register office which covers your venue (if it’s different to your local one) to check that they have a registrar available for your new date and time.
Notifying Your Guests
Notify your bridal party and immediate family first. And then notify your guests as soon as you can. You might want to issue new invitations or something simpler like a change of date card.
Get some help!!??
As this is a challenging time for any couple, don’t be afraid to ask for some help. Ask friends and family to help where they can.
But if it’s all feeling like it’s too much it may be worth getting some professional help from a planner. This doesn’t necessarily mean hiring a planner to do the full thing for you, although that’s obviously an option.
I offer a range of services from a few hours consultancy to full planning so you can get as much or as little help as you need. Please get in touch if you’re struggling and lets have a chat about how I can help. Planning your wedding should be an exciting time – I can take the stress out if it for you so you can enjoy it.
And finally, remember that whilst postponing your wedding isn’t ideal, you will still get married. It’s not a cancellation, it’s a delay. It doesn’t change how you feel about each other so focus on that love and why you’re doing this in the first place.