How to reschedule your wedding
Tips for pandemics and other unforeseen circumstances
So, you need to change your wedding date. It’s much easier said than done, but don’t worry too much: weddings get rescheduled at the best of times (my grandmother ended up needing to reschedule her wedding and the only day available was December 25th. Festive!) It’s tiresome, but you’ll still get married. It’ll still be brilliant.
Finding your new date
• Talk to your venue first: they'll probably offer you another date with no change fee – they'll be losing tons of work and will want to keep your booking.
• Pick your new date: if you have a choice, go for one a bit further out to lessen the chance of needing to reschedule again.
• Next talk to your favourite vendors: if any of them are a must-have for your wedding, make sure they're available on your new date.
• You might need to go back and forth between venue and vendors a few times to find a date that works for everyone, but take a deep breath and don't let that get you down: everyone in the wedding industry will be pretty motivated to help you reschedule rather than cancel.
Guiding your guests
• Don't worry about telling your guests you're rescheduling: they should understand. If anyone gives you a hard time about postponing your wedding instead of somehow pressing ahead with a gathering right now, please remind them that most people are contagious before they get symptoms and that you don't want your wedding to, like, kill anyone. (Also maybe uninvite them, because they're dicks.)
• Don't feel guilty about your guests' costs: if they'd made bookings for hotels, flights and so on, that's not your responsibility (I know you'll feel responsible, and that's because you're lovely, but you don't need to coordinate every single guest's travel plans as well as your own wedding). It's their own job to sort their refunds and insurance claims, and anyone reasonable will understand that.
• But how to tell your guests? An un-save the date is a good idea, whether printed or digital – perhaps a bit of both, to cover your extremely online friends and your tech-averse aunties (Papier have some nice ones). And for your new-date stationery, some designers and printers are offering discounts: ask yours if there's anything they can do for you.
Managing the money
• First things first, check your insurance. There might be a way to claim for any additional expenses caused by rescheduling… but possibly not, because most insurers are keen to avoid covid-19-related payouts. Either way, you'll want to find out for sure.
• Once you have your date, many (probably most) suppliers will be willing to reschedule for no fee. If they do charge, don't take it personally: they're running a business and those just happen to be their terms.
• If you need to actually cancel any bookings (like, your saxophonist isn't available on any of your new potential dates) then it's likely that your deposit will be non-refundable. It sucks to lose a deposit, but that vendor's probably losing dozens of bookings. Working in any event-related industry right now is financially devastating. I promise your vendors aren't trying to rip you off.
• It might not seem like there's much of a silver lining to rescheduling, but we've heard from a few couples who've actually found it pretty handy – it gave them an unexpected longer time to spread out their wedding spending.