Enlist A Wedding Planner – If you have a professional wedding planner, this is the first person you should get in contact with in regard to postponing a wedding. They will assist you in contacting your guests and vendors. If you don’t have a wedding planner yet, it’s not too late. Now more than ever, you will need one! Click here for a list of our preferred Heart of NC Wedding Planners.
Prioritize – Before rescheduling your wedding, prioritize your most important family members and vendors. Understand that it might not be possible to work around everyone’s schedule. Before calling vendors to pick a new wedding date, start a group chat with your immediate family members. Give them the month and a few flexible days that you’re hoping to choose between. When postponing a wedding make sure that the most important people in your life can still attend!
Alert Your Guests – The decision has already been made for you by the government – if your wedding is scheduled during the next 8 weeks and has more than 10 guests, you have to reschedule. Not only is it crucial that your guests know the original wedding is no longer happening on said date, but it is also proper etiquette. Guests need to be updated in order to cancel flights and arrange details with their personal and work schedules. Airlines are granting full dollar amount values on flights right now. A “Postponed Until Further Notice” announcement can be done quickly via email, social media, wedding website or over the phone.
Review Vendor Contracts – Before calling your vendors, re-read the contracts you signed to see if any mention postponing or cancellations. Doing this before contacting your vendors will save time and hopefully answer questions you have. Skim through the legal jargon and try to pick out keywords such as postponement, date change or “force majeure”. The last being french for “act of god”, which stands for an unforeseeable catastrophe or natural disaster. AKA the Coronavirus outbreak. At the end of the day, your vendors want to work with you. It is every vendor’s goal too keep working with you as they are counting on you for their annual income! They will want you to bring them along for your new wedding date. If that is not possible, you will likely have to forfeit the deposit, or expect a credit if it’s a service like a bakery.
Contact Your Vendors – Starting with your venue, pick up the phone and secure a new date. Don’t wait because the dates for summer and fall are limited. You will need to be flexible if you want to keep your venue – you might not get a prime Saturday, but venues are eager to find a solution! Once you’ve squared everything away with the venue, go down the line with each of your booked vendors and request their services on the new date. When it comes to postponing a wedding and rescheduling vendor bookings, our advice is this: reschedule in the same order that you planned your wedding. If you called the caterer second in your original planning process, reschedule with them second. Do the same for rescheduling the wedding rehearsal dinner, all wedding weekend festivities and room blocks.
Keep Booking – Once you’ve contacted all of your original vendors, continue booking new vendors as you normally would! The weddings and events industry needs your support now more than ever. Continuing to book local vendors will help them prepare for a busy summer and fall. The top vendors in NC will likely be booked up, so act now. Click here to find a list of our preferred Heart of NC Wedding Vendors.
Send Out Change the Date Notes – Once you’ve got your new date set, have fun with your invitations! Already ordered invitations and don’t want to scrap ‘em? Consider adding a paper insert or vellum overlay that highlights the new date and any other updated details. Order save the date cards with a slight alteration in wording. Instead of “Save the Dates” you’ll be sending “Change the Dates”!
Tweak Your Color Palette and Theme – Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, your dream spring or summer wedding might be taking place in a different season. Work with what you’ve got and make slight adjustments. Try taking your turquoise one shade deeper and turn it into a deep teal for a fall wedding. Tone down the blush by making it a romantic mauve. Talk with your florist and party rental supplier to discuss altering the color and style of key decor items.
Find the Silver Lining – Postponing a wedding is never ideal. But try to focus on the positives: you don’t have to cancel the wedding entirely! By postponing, you’re keeping the most important people in your life healthy and safe. Think of it this way, you’ll have even more time to plan and style intricate wedding details. Every wedding is unique, yours will have the story of a lifetime.
Don’t Delay – Our main advice is this, don’t wait. Start the process of postponing a wedding and rescheduling now! At this time vendors, friends and family will be the most gracious and understanding.