This is a very unusual and difficult time that many bride and grooms are currently facing. You have been planning your dream wedding for months and now due to the COVID-19 outbreak you’re being forced to postpone your big day. I realize this is an incredibly stressful, frustrating, and confusing time for couples but I am here to help and give you a simple 7 step guide on how move forward with postponing your wedding.
1: BE FLEXIBLE
It’s important to keep keep an open mind when choosing a new wedding date. With so many weddings being rescheduled finding another Saturday later in the year may not be possible. I suggest that you seriously consider other days of the week such as a Thursday, Friday or Sunday. If you’re open to a non Saturday wedding you will more than likely have an easier chance of securing all of your vendors for your new wedding date.
2: PRIORITIZE YOUR VENDORS
When you have a new date in mind, reach out to your vendors. I suggest starting with venue and wedding planner first informing them of any changes you plan to make and they will be able to help with re-arranging your wedding day. Next reach out to your photographer because most bride and grooms have already established a relationship with their photographer because of previously shot engagement session or bridal portrait session with your photographer. Also most Tampa wedding photographers only shoot one wedding a day and we tend to book very quickly and months in advance. Especially during the busiest times of year to get married. (here in the St. Pete / Sarasota areas the spring and fall are our peak wedding seasons). Also contact your florist as soon as possible because they place their floral orders a couple weeks before the wedding day. So if you wait too long to inform them of your wedding changes they (and you) will be out $1000’s of dollars and many flowers will go to waste. Some of your other St Petersburg wedding vendors can accommodate more than one wedding a day. For example, rental companies (tables, chairs, linens, decor, etc) bakeries, catering companies, hair and makeup, often have teams that work for their company and can sometimes handle multiple events on the same day and should be able to accommodate you with your new wedding date. However, if there's any one vendor that is a non negotiable and you must have them as apart of your wedding vendor team call them as soon as you have your new wedding date set.
Other vendors that can only only take one event per day like your band / DJ and venue contact them and ask them if they are available on your new wedding day, if they are not available then ask if they have any recommendations of other related vendors you that you could reach out to.
3: BE OPEN TO A CHANGE OF VENUE
I know this one will be really hard for some couples to adjust to but there is a high possibility that your original venue is no longer an option due to so many weddings having to be rescheduled. If you have another venue that you were considering having your wedding at contact them to see about their availability. If your venue was one of your must have wedding vendors, again consider a non Saturday wedding or scaling down your wedding and moving your timeline up to see if you could still have your wedding there. ( if they are a venue that can accommodate more than one wedding a day) Again be flexible and roll with the changes.
4: LET YOUR GUESTS KNOW ASAP
You might not have a definitive new date set in stone, but you could share with your friends and family of what your tentative plans are so they stay in the loop! After all most people are in quarantine right now, so not only will this brighten their day and give them something to look forward to, but it will also allow them time to make the needed arrangements (hotel or flight) to attend your wedding.
5: BE PREPARED FOR A SMALLER WEDDING
I know this might be really disappointing for many bride and grooms. But just remember that at the end of the day the wedding is about you and your spouse. Yes, it is sad to think that all the time and money you have put into your wedding because it might feel like a huge loss. But marriage is about two people pledging their love to each other not to 200+ guests. Stop worrying about disappointing your friends and family because they love you and understand that this is something completely out of your control! They will still love even if they can’t attend your new wedding date.
6: BE KIND
I know this is such a stressful time and we sometime lash out at people when we are under extreme situations. But please, please, please, be kind to your wedding vendors! We want you to have the best wedding possible, we are there to help and roll with the punches just like you. Remember that we aren’t trying to be difficult or “cheat you out of money” but we depend on this money to pay our bills, put food on the table, and keep a roof over our heads. This is why our deposits / retainers non refundable, we have to take are of our families too. Your vendors are not trying to create more stress, they are trying to do their jobs. So when you postpone your wedding the money that you have already invested will roll over to your new wedding date.
7: CELEBRATE THE ORIGINAL DATE
This might sound silly but if you feel like it do something just for just the two of you on the day your wedding was originally suppose to take place. You could cook a meal together, watch your favorite movie, get some exercise by going for a long walk, or revisit the spot you got engaged or had your first date. Just remember that whenever and wherever your wedding takes place, it will be special and your guests will be there to celebrate with you and support you. Until then enjoy being engaged and remind yourself “this to shall pass”!