Rescheduling your wedding day is a heartbreaking thing to do. You’ve been looking forward to it for so long and put so much effort and love into planning a wonderful day for you and your guests. Sometimes – such as in the current climate of Coronavirus – it’s completely the right thing to do for the health and safety of your loved ones. Other times it might be for unforeseen reasons like your venue has been flooded or there’s a family emergency.
If you’ve made the difficult decision of postponing your wedding, one of the most important things to do is keep your guests informed of what’s happening. They might have booked travel and accommodation, time off work and childcare, so it’s vital they know exactly what’s going on as soon as you can tell them.
We’ve got a step-by-step guide on how to postpone your wedding that you should read first to make sure everything there is covered. Then you can work out exactly how to approach telling your guests in a way that is clear, but also keeps the excitement up for your new date.
1. Email Your Guests
With such a fluid situation as the current COVID-19 pandemic and government advice changing daily, your guests won’t be sure whether the wedding is going ahead or not. You need to inform them as soon as you can that the wedding is postponed – the quickest way to do this is a group email and a message on your wedding website at the same time. At this point, you don’t need to have settled on a new date, just let them know the current one has been postponed.
In normal circumstances, you don’t need to go into much detail about the reasons for the postponement if you don’t want to. A simple “Due to circumstances beyond our control” will suffice. These who need to know will already know.
In the case of Coronavirus, it’s worth mentioning the background and explaining what a hard decision this has been for you.
Here’s some wording you can adapt:
“Due to what’s happening in the world at the moment, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone our wedding. The health of all our loved ones is most important to us and we want to wait until we’re happy it’s safe for everyone to attend.
“Our wedding will still be going ahead at a later date, which we will inform you of as soon as it’s been decided. We hope everyone will be able to celebrate with us on that future date. Until then, please stay safe and know we’re thinking of you all in this uncertain time.”
2. Call Elderly Relatives
A blanket, ASAP email is essential for all your guests. Some elderly guests may not have access to email or may prefer to hear the news in person, so set some time aside to tell them in a phone call. Split this between you and your partner as it could be a sad and disappointing thing for them to hear (and you to tell), which can be emotionally draining during this already worrying time.
If they have been looking forward to this for a while, the important thing is for you to stay positive. Emphasise that the wedding will still be going ahead and you can’t wait for them to be there to celebrate with you. You love them and their health is most important.
3. Send Out a Postponement Card (Optional)
You can follow your postponement announcement up with a postponement card to keep things official, if you’d like to. Either keep this elegant and minimal, or in the same style as all your other stationery. That might mean a postponement announcement on tropical print stationery theme, but so be it, it’s still your wedding and you still want to keep the message of your theme the same.
You can do this digitally or mailing out paper postponement cards. Some informal and upbeat ways of heading these announcements are: Change the Date, Resave the Date, New Plan or We Still Do and We Still Will!
Our Favourite Change the Date Cards:
If you’d like the card to do all the talking, this elegant digital postponement card from Beautifully Lost Studios is perfect. You’ll get sent a personalised digital download that you can then print or send via email to your guests.
This personalised announcement is designed to be sent as a text, email, WhatsApp or Instagram Story and is cut to the right size for a phone screen. You can edit the text to say what you like – in this one the couple are announcing that they plan to elope and hold their wedding reception at a later – and safer – date.
This silver foiled Etsy card is a fab printed postponement announcement for those who know their new wedding date. It’s to-the-point and reminds guests of a really fun night to come. Each card starts from £1 so assess whether a printed card fits into your budget.
This digital download from Etsy costs £4.20 and comes in a choice of five colours. We love the simplicity, but it still feels very personal. You can either send this to a printers for hard copies or send in an email.
This cheeky ‘Netflix and Chill’ card might not be one for your Granny, but it’s a great way to keep the excitement up for the new date (whether you know it or not) and give guests a laugh.
You’ll get the template for this delivered with a link to an easy-to-use web app, so this design is completely personalisable to you and your situation.
This is a much more formal postponement card design. It’s up to you which direction you decide to go in, but the overall vibe should be that this is just a hiccup and nothing to worry your guests about.
4. Speak to Your Family
Get in touch with your wedding party VIPs – family, bridesmaids, ushers etc. – and find out if there are any future dates they definitely can’t do. If someone’s presence is a priority, you’ll need to include them in the new date decision-making.
By this point you’ll have already told your venue and suppliers of your plan to postpone. If you don’t already, get a list from them of their available dates for either later in the year or the following year. Acknowledge that it may be a compromise at this point – you might have to pick a date that one bridesmaid can’t make or that the band you wanted can’t do; you might need to do a Friday rather than a Saturday. It’s unfortunate and upsetting, but out of your hands.
Once the new date is settled – and prepare for this to take a while as you’ve got lots of suppliers that each need to check their calendars – then inform your guests of this.
5. Update Your Wedding Website
Make sure your wedding website is always up-to-date. Hopefully at the same time as the email you added a note about the change of plans. Now it’s time to put up some more FAQs to help your guests as much as possible. Answer some basic questions such as what they can do about getting a refund for travel or accommodation.
6. Don’t Panic
Naturally both you and your guests will feel disappointment, but remain positive. Embrace the change and try to not let it cloud the entire wedding experience. It’s out of your control and not worth upsetting yourself over.
To make the whole process of postponing easier, it’s best to stick to your original supplier and venue team, but you will now be using them at a completely different time of year. Keep yourself occupied by making Pinterest boards of inspiration and ideas for your new wedding month. What flowers does your florist now recommend? Will you want to add to the table centrepieces? Are there beautifully seasonal ways of decorating your venue? Focus on the good.
Remember that this is a bump in the road, not a dead end. The wedding is still happening, and you will marry your partner surrounded by all your friends and family. Celebrate the small things.