This might be the most painful decision of your life, but with the Coronavirus pandemic, it could be the best one for the health and safety of your loved ones.
The world has changed. Possibly forever. Hopefully for the better. But without being able to read the future, all we can say for certain is everything is uncertain. The Coronavirus pandemic has left everyone feeling strange and lost and little bit scared -- especially all those couples planning for a 2020 wedding.
As it stands right now, the Prime Minister has advised against all mass gatherings, told numerous establishments to close their doors and recommended we all avoid “non-essential” contact until the end of June which we believe to be absolutely the correct decision. A heartbreaking one, but the right one. Of course, this guidance has had serious implications for all you gorgeous couples hoping to tie the knot, and you will have no doubt discussed the possibility of postponing your wedding, trying to figure out an alternative option for celebrating your special day or, depending on when you'd planned to get married, decided you wait a bit longer until making any definite decision.
The truth is, the idea of postponing your wedding day is as hard as they come. Not only is there the financial side of things, or the amount of weeks your spent planning, but just the fact you're having to delay the chance to celebrate your love with all your loved ones. It's so horrible, and we're so sorry for what's going on. The Government and NHS’s advice is pretty clear though: we’ve reached a point where so many people's health and lives are at risk, including your families and friends, and that must come first, which is why anyone who had planned to get married now and the end of June should seriously consider postponing their wedding.
It sucks. Of course it sucks. But to help you as much as you can through this awful, emotional and tearful time, we've pulled together a step-by-step guide on how to postpone your wedding due to the coronavirus.
1. Tell Your Venue and Your Suppliers ASAP
One thing us, and so many other venues, are working hard to do is contact you to discuss our plans for the coming months. That said, it is hard to give any 100% definite information with the Government's daily briefings meaning our previous information could be made irrelevant. However, if you have decided to postpone your wedding, please contact your venue and your suppliers, and keep in touch with them as things progress and change.
This will hurt them as well (as we all got into the wedding business for one reason: to spread love and good vibes) but your wedding venue and suppliers should be more than understanding and will able to give you some super helpful guidance on what will happen next. At the top of your list will be the matter of securing a future date, but could also include everything from creating a payment plan to getting your invites reprinted.
Please be kind with them. Most suppliers are small, independent businesses who will have seen their livelihoods stripped from them, and they'll have loads of other couples to think about too. So give them some time, let them figure out their own insurance policies and be nothing but caring and kind. They will know just how devastated you are about postponing your big day,
2. Keep Your Current Venue & Suppliers If Possible
As if planning one wedding wasn't tricky enough, postponing your wedding will feel like you've got to plan the whole thing over again, which is why we recommend keeping your current venue and suppliers. Sure, this may not be possible for some, but trying to will be the smoothest option moving forward as you will have already built a relationship with them and, like us, they'll do all they can to respect the commitment they made to you. The other thing worth thinking about is whether other suppliers and venues are prioritising their couples that are having to postpone.
3. Read Through All Your Contracts
Whether you've put own a deposit for this or paid the full amount for that, it's super-important that you pull out the paperwork and read through the terms and conditions of your contracts so that you can fully understand what your options are financially should you be thinking about cancelling your wedding -- and, on that front, don't hesitate to chat with a lawyer should you have any doubts.
The main thing you want to be looking for is a a force majeure clause, which can mean that your venue or your suppliers aren't legally required to fulfil their contractual obligations in the event of unforeseeable circumstances that are beyond their control.
If you’re postponing, however, your main focus should be seeing if there’s any clause about you having to pay a fee to rearrange your dates. As far as we can tell, both venues and suppliers are doing all they can to be flexible and make your dream day happen as soon as possible. So, if you can, try and be flexible for them as well. Consider getting hitched on a Friday or a Sunday or even during the week, and remember to consider the seasons too because you probably won't want an outdoor venue come November.
4. Speak To Your Wedding Insurer
Insurance is always a good idea, and wedding insurance is up there with the best of them because, as we've seen, anything can happen. Hopefully, you insured your wedding, in which case you'll want to dig out those papers and contact your insurer to find out if your covered for a pandemic. We wish we could give you a definitive answer here, but every insurance plan is different.
However, there are certain trends that are worth knowing. For example, if your wedding venue is/was forced to close it's doors by a Government-ordered lockdown, then you will probably find you're covered for any lost money or unexpected costs.
Fingers crossed the major wedding insurers will be releasing guidelines on their position regarding the Coronavirus, but it all depends on each Government update. So, the best thing you can do in the mean time is read through your contract and then try to get hold of them on the phone. Oh and remember to request a follow-up email detailing everything you discussed in the phone so that you have it in writing.
5. Starting Letting Your Guests Know
With your venue and suppliers in the know, now is the time to tell your guests that you've decided to postpone your wedding. Our advice: save yourself more heartbreak and let them know via an email or a WhatsApp message, as well as a message on your wedding website. It just needs to be a simple, to-the-point message letting your loved ones know that their safety is the number one priority and that's why you’ve decided to postpone your wedding until a later date, when all this blows over, and that hopefully they will still be able to attend. you hope everyone will be able to attend. Another good idea is to add some information about refunds and whatnot.
Of course, it will mean a lot more to your elderly guests if you were to give them a phone call, not just because that's what they're probably used to, but because they might be feeling lonely during this period of self-isolation and social distancing, and a call could be all it takes to cheer them up, even if your news is as sad as this.
6. Try and Help Your Guests Where Possible
One thing that will be on your friends and family's' minds is their hotel bookings and travel plans, especially if you took it upon yourself to negotiate the rooms in order to bag a discount. So instead of your guests each trying to speak to the manager, see if you can speak to them about a full or partial refund on behalf of your guests.
And then try and figure out how else you can help your guests, and whether there is a way to plonk a bit of positivity into this sad situation. For example, if your wedding wasn't far away, see if your caterer has already ordered the food for your wedding and isn't able to cancel it. It could be that they can donate that food to a homeless shelter, a food bank or a soup kitchen. We're all in the fight against Covid-19 together, so let's see if we can find ways to go above and beyond.
7. Have A Good Old Cry
You might think it's silly to be grieving the wedding you were meant to be having with everything else that's going on, but it's absolutely not. This is your big day, so you are more than allowed to shut yourself in your room and cry as you watch all 10 series of FRIENDS. You have every reason to feel sad and disappointed, and so, even with the world in the place it is, your sadness is 100% valid too. So cry, sob, call your BFF, chat to your mum, lean on your fiancé or anyone else that will help you feel better and focus on the positives, like the safety and health of those you love.
8. Celebrate the Day
With things as they are, you probably won't be able to have the wedding you dreamed of and planned, but that date can still be a gorgeously important one to you, so make sure you still celebrate it in some amazing and meaningful way. A bottle of champagne on your lawn, with your bridal party on FaceTime, an extra nice bottle of wine with a Indian and your favourite RomCom on the tele. Anything you like.
9. Kickstart Planning the New Day
We all have a little more time than we did before, so now's all about using that time as much as you can -- and what better way is there to spend the time than planning your wedding 2.0. Set a new date with your venues and suppliers. Find ways to tweak your big day to match the completely different season you've decided to enjoy. Find ways to adapt what you already have. Make a million more Pinterest boards. Start stitching the words 'Mr & Mrs' into the back of a leather jacket. Shop for a seriously cool cover-up to wear with your sleeveless gown. Head to your venues website and look for real weddings held during the different seasons. Yes, this is a sad time, but there is so much to get yourself excited about too.