Bride-to-be & Wedding Professionals Guide to Replanning a Wedding
Plus Free Download: Change-The-Date Checklist
Postponing a wedding can happen for many reasons: a major family crisis, pregnancy or an unforeseen circumstance such as a pandemic! As a Wedding Photographer and bride-to-be myself who had to postpone my own wedding due to the COVID-19 pandemic I can tell you there are many people that need to be considered and steps to be done when moving your wedding date. What do you do once you’ve made the hard decision to postpone your wedding? How do you begin to replan your dream wedding? I have designed this guide to help future brides through the process of postponing their wedding and start replanning.
Table of Contents:
- Things to consider prior to & while postponing your wedding
- Free Download – Change the Date Checklist
Guide to Postponing & Replanning Your Wedding
Things to consider prior to & while postponing your wedding:
- High priority items to consider prior to & while postponing your wedding:
1) Look at all of your vendor contracts as well as your wedding insurance policy. Read the fine print. Then re-read it.
a) If you have a wedding planner this is the first person you should speak to first as an industry professional they will likely have more answers than you and will be able to source answers quickly for the unknowns.
b) Depending on the situation you may be able to postpone your wedding with no extra expenses. However, this is not the case for all vendors so if you are not sure it’s best to contact your vendor.
c) If you know when you will be rebooking you can ask your vendors if they have the date available and start replanning immediately. My photography business is based in Brampton and I do my best to remain flexible so it’s worth communicating with your wedding vendor team to see what can be done.
2) You may lose some money.
a) If your deposits are non-refundable and your vendor is not available for the new date then you may lose your deposit.
b) There may be an extra fee to book your vendors on a “prime” day vrs the original day. This could be during a very busy wedding season or choosing a Saturday when you originally had a Friday or Sunday booked.
c) Most people are sympathetic to situations that may arise and will try to help accommodate your needs. So try to explain the situation and try to come to a mutual agreement.
3) Family, Friends & Wedding Guests
a) Try to give your wedding guests as much notice as possible. They have taken time off work or made special arrangements so do give them time to change their schedules. In some cases, it may be impossible – as in the case of a sudden family emergency – but do your best to let your guests know your decision once you have made the decision.
b) Out of town guests may have to cancel or postpone their airline tickets. Depending on the situation their airline may let them rebook their tickets or if they have cancellation insurance they will need to start the process of contacting their insurance company.
c) Let people know why you have had to postpone as no one wants to be in the dark especially if they’ve planned in advance to go to your wedding. If it is a reason that is highly personal then keep it brief. You could say something like this:
General notice: “Unfortunately, due to XYZ OR an unforeseen change/issue/situation we are having to postpone our wedding until further notice. We are still madly in love and can’t wait to celebrate with you when the time is right. We appreciate your support and understanding as this has been a difficult decision. Once a new date is available we will let you.”
Due to a pandemic or other crisis: “Your health and safety are the highest priority, so we’re postponing our wedding. As soon as we are able to celebrate we’ll let you know the new date, but for now, please join us in keeping our world safe.”
d) If you have children in your wedding party you’ll want to consider the sizes for their wedding attire depending on how far out your wedding will be postponed.
4) Having a destination wedding?
Check with your travel agent or airline immediately. If you have travel insurance that covers the cancellation you may not have any additional fees. Otherwise, you may have to pay a cancellation fee, transfer fee or get a future travel date voucher.
Check-in with your resort wedding planner. There may be stipulations at the hotel or resort so you want to check the details before pulling the plug on your original wedding date. They have reserved local vendors for your wedding so try to give them enough notice.
5) Did you book a honeymoon?
If you booked your honeymoon you will need to contact the travel agent or airline and see if you can rebook, take a future travel credit or get a partial refund.
6) It’s okay to grieve or have strong emotions about postponing your wedding
a) Know that it’s okay to be sad, angry, frustrated or disappointed. Let your partner know how you’re feeling to avoid feeling disconnected in your relationship. Your partner may feel the same way or may not mind that much! Don’t be alarmed if it does not phase them the same way. Oftentimes your partner already knows that whatever day they get married to you will be a special day!
b) Planning your wedding took time, energy and resources. You selected the perfect date and then started to order your save the date notices, wedding invitations and favours – all with the date you’ve now etched on your heart. If you’re the sentimental type it’s going to sting for a while – I know it did for me! But once you realize that marrying the love of your life will make any day special it will make the replanning process a bit more exciting!
c) You can celebrate the original wedding day anyways by doing something that is meaningful for both of you. Go on a date. Have that special dessert. Get dressed up. The date will likely always have a special place in your heart. So, why not?!
8) Try to have an open mind.
a) You may have to change venues, vendors, your wedding date. There are many people involved and the change in plans impacts them as well, be it a guest or vendor. A big company may be able to help accommodate immediately whereas a small business may have a harder time.
b) Consider getting married now and parting later. (See more about eloping in step 3). If your heart is set on your wedding date and you are able to make arrangements then you could get married now and postpone the reception until a later date.
- How to start replanning your dream wedding
Replanning your wedding could be exciting to have a ‘redo’ opportunity or a daunting task! Sometimes replanning may happen at the time of postponing when you have a future date in mind. On the other end you may not know when your wedding date will be. Either way, here are some points to help you navigate the process no matter what your situation.
a) Connect with your wedding coordinator: If you have a wedding coordinator then you’ve probably been in touch and they will be able to handle a lot of the replanning of your wedding day.
b) Consider getting a wedding planner: If you didn’t hire a wedding coordinator and are feeling stressed out about the planning process this might be a good time to invest in one! You can also hire a day-of coordinator who will help make sure your wedding day runs smoothly if you are concerned about anything being forgotten since the postponement.
c) If you are a do-it-yourselfer and you need to replan most of your wedding then consider using a one-stop-shop to get most of your planning out of the way such as the services offered at Best For Brides. This is especially helpful if you are busy or feeling overwhelmed.
d) Contact your vendors: If you’re ready to replan your big day on your own then prepare to contact all of your vendors starting with the venue and ceremony location. Check out a creative venue alternative in Toronto blog here.
Don’t forget about your:
– Makeup/Hair Technician
– DJ & MC
– Any special entertainment you may have planned
– Reorder any stationary (Time permitting)
e) If you didn’t use a wedding planning tool the first time to keep things organized consider using one like The Knot.
f) Rethink some of the details. They may not be seasonally fit to your new wedding date or do you really need to reorder all of the favours when maybe a sticker with the new date will do!
g) Get your dress resized! If a lot of time has passed you may need to have your dress taken in or out. What matters most is that it fits comfortably and looks great on your wedding day.
h) Let your guests know about the change in date. Send it out as soon as you know. If the date is soon then it’s best to just contact them directly. Even if you have time to order new invitations it’s best practice to let people know as soon as possible.
i) Eloping: Love conquers all things! If you want to elope – then elope! Go ahead and tie the knot and make it special in your own way. It may not be as big as you originally planned but it’s still special. Get the cake, the flowers and your photographer too!
j) Touch base with your Destination Wedding Planner if you are planning on going back to the same resort. Otherwise, you will need to restart the process again with the newly selected resort. If you are now planning a destination wedding as an alternative to your original wedding then a great travel agent experienced in destination weddings will be your best bet.
After all of that planning and replanning your date has arrived…finally! Let the anxiety, stress and frustrations of the past postponement melt away. This is the day. No matter what day! Time to create some beautiful memories with the people you love. Let your Wedding Photographer capture the details, the emotions and the day you have been waiting for!
Postponing a wedding has many steps outside of just deciding to change the date. It is imperative to take time to reach out to all of your vendors to ease the financial burdens that can happen when having to reschedule a wedding date. It’s equally as important to keep your guests informed so they know how important they are to you.
Sometimes postponing and rescheduling your wedding can happen at the same time. However, not all circumstances allow people to know when they may be able to get married which can be disheartening and frustrating. Talk to your partner about how you feel and know that your wedding date will be special on any day it lands on! If you were able to rebook all of your original vendors then you are lucky! If not, then try a one-stop solution such as Best for Brides or a planning app to help you with the process such as The Knot.
I hope that this Guide to Postponing & Replanning Your Wedding was informative and helpful. Below is a checklist you can download for free to help you with your planning.
My wedding wish for you is to have an easy replanning experience once you have made the decision to postpone your wedding. Remember to savour, enjoy and relax on your wedding day (whatever day that eventually will be!).
Wishing you beautiful, stress-free wedding day memories!
Free Download: Change-The-Date Checklist for Postponing & Replanning Your Wedding
Download this free Guide to Postponing & Replanning Your Wedding Change-The-Date Checklist to help you postpone and start replanning your wedding.
Are you postponing your wedding?
I’m so sorry if it’s happened to you but I’d really like to hear your story. Leave a comment here on this blog post or find me on Instagram or Facebook @rosannaradhaphotography and let me know why you had to reschedule and about your future wedding plans. Share any tips you have for other brides! If you need any help with postponing or rescheduling please reach out to me and I will try my best to help you in any way I can.
- “How to Postpone Your Wedding Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic.” The Knot, by The Knot, 2020, Retrieved from: https://www.theknot.com/content/postpone-wedding-guidelines Retrieved date: June 8, 2020
- “Wedding Postponed? Essential Announcement Guide.” Wedgwood Weddings, by Wedgewood Weddings, 2020, Retrieved from: https://www.wedgewoodweddings.com/blog/postponement-announcement Retrieved date: June 10, 2020
- Gamerman, Ellen and Seetharaman, Deepa. “Coronavirus crashes wedding plans: Should I Say “I-do” now or later?” The Wall Street Journal, 2020, Retrieved from: https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-crashes-wedding-plans-should-we-say-i-do-now-or-later-11584723172 Date Retrieved: June 10, 2020
- Borresen, Kelsey. “I postponed my wedding because of Coronavirus. Here is what I learned.” The Huffington Post. 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/postponed-wedding-coronavirus-what-i-learned_l_5e73fae1c5b6eab7794528ce Date Retrieved: June 12, 2020