If you’re considering postponing your wedding due to the current guidelines around the Coronavirus and social distancing, then take note! Nina Beer, wedding coordinator and owner of Occasion Queens, shares her expert advice here…
“Firstly, don’t be too hasty. The current climate is changing quickly so take some time and give yourself the space to make educated decisions. If your wedding is in the next couple of months then you may feel the pressure is on to change your date and plans. If your wedding is towards the end of the summer into the autumn, then carry on enjoying wedding planning with one eye on the current situation.
If your wedding is fairly soon, the below action plan is the best way to decide if you need to postpone;
Work out from your guest list the ‘must have’ VIP’s, whose attendance is essential to you on your big day and whose absence would be desperately noticed.
Out of those, how many are over 70, fall into the vulnerable categories or are having to travel from afar?
Would you need to postpone the wedding to have everyone there? Are one of your bridesmaids pregnant or does your Grandad have lung or heart trouble? If these people need to be there when you get married, you are best to look at postponing.
Contact your venue, what is their current policy on postponement and how much time do you have to make that decision. And what other dates do they have available?
Contact your wedding insurance company and see what the situation is if either you or your immediate family get ill or if the Government bans social gatherings.
Check all the terms and conditions and contracts that you have with all your suppliers and write a summary of each of their postponement and/or cancellation policies.
Now you are armed with all the facts, you can make an informed and educated decision on whether or not you should postpone your wedding.
If you do feel that postponing everything is the next step then let your venue and your suppliers know this is your intention and that you will come back to them with a new or chosen date as soon as you can. (You may feel that you would like to get legally married on the same day still and then have a big party to celebrate next year on your 1st anniversary.)
Firstly, work with your venue on finding a new date.
We strongly recommend that you look at a date later this year in the autumn or winter and midweek. By doing this you are increasing your chances of all your suppliers being available and therefore no money is lost on either side.
All venues are working to different policies set by the powers that be! You may find that a family run venue is more lenient than a large chain or a venue that is used to dealing with corporate bookings may not change their stance for weddings even though the mental and financial cost has larger implications. They also have much larger overheads so they need to make sure this is still covered with all their weddings postponing. Everyone is learning as they go and policies are changing each day, hour by hour!
If you are struggling to reach a compromise at all, reach out for extra support from a mediator or seek legal advice.
Look at your minimum numbers with your venue (or caterer) and make sure that is inline with your new guestlist if you have had to change that all.
Once you do have a potential new date with your venue, go back to your suppliers and start to look at which of those are available and happy to change the date. Wedding suppliers are all coming together to support each other and you, they are invested in your day and will be as fair as they can be to accommodate this forever changing and uncertain situation.
Don’t forget, once you have a new date to inform your wedding insurance company and check when you gave legal notice to get married as you may need to do it again.
Check back on any orders you have made online – has everyone got the materials they need to deliver your product and on time? Have they needed materials from China or are they self isolating and can’t get to the post office. Find out what the alternatives are!
In the meantime you have to manage your guests, go back to your stationer and ask them to design (or do it yourself) a picture that you blast out to everyone on WhatsApp/social media/email with regular updates so maybe one to say ‘We are looking to postpone our wedding, bear with us while we work with our suppliers to see when that will be’ or ‘Our wedding will now be on 14th October 2020, more information to come soon’. Also get a wedding website if you don’t have one already to make it easy to answer all the questions and keep everyone updated.
Look at ways to involve guests that can’t be there – live stream your ceremony or ask you photographer and/or videographer to do a very quick edit on a small part of your day that you can send to them super quick.
But whatever happens, remember that this is all temporary. You will marry the person you are in love with. It may not be on the day, month or even year you thought, but it will happen – and that is what is truly important.”
Our thanks to Nina for these top tips.