Whether you've been planning your wedding for a matter of weeks or for a long time, having to cancel or postpone for any reason is heartbreaking as well as stressful. When those reasons are beyond your control it can be even more disappointing and our hearts go out to you. You have poured your heart and soul into your wedding planning, set the wedding date, made all the travel arrangements, organised your wedding suppliers, booked a wedding venue, bought your wedding dress or suit, formally announced the wedding day with your invitation after agonising over your guest list and, in many cases, created a wedding website.
A marriage is a joyous celebration, one all your loved ones, friends and family look forward to so it can feel incredibly daunting postponing a wedding. With the global outbreak of Coronavirus, it's a prospect many couples are currently facing. In this case, the decision to postpone or cancel may be out of your hands, for example, public gatherings are restricted, there are a host of travel restrictions and if these don't apply there may be other reasons such as self-isolation and the risk of exposing guests to the infection. It's a huge decision fraught with emotion.
At the time of writing the Church of England have announced that during the Coronavirus outbreak weddings should be limited to a maximum of five people, including the Bride and Groom. Many couples are opting to continue with the day and are looking for ways of including their guests such as live streaming through social media. It certainly would be a memorable day finding innovative ways to involve the guests with WhatsApp groups, dedicated Instagram accounts, Youtube videos and even take-outs for all the guests.
Whatever you decide to do as a couple, it's important to realise that it isn't your fault and you need to gather the support of those around you and your wedding suppliers. If you decide to postpone all the effort you have put into organising your big day can still be realised, just at a later date. If you opt for a smaller ceremony then you can still have one of the best days of your life, as you will be marrying the person you love.
Postponing your special day can be done with the help of your suppliers and if you're really finding it too stressful. try not to panic, you can use an appointed representative. This could be a family member or a member of the wedding party, such as a Bridesmaid, who can manage the decisions without the Bride and Groom having to get too involved in the nitty-gritty of the admin. Choose someone who is well organised, thoughtful and supportive. They can shield you from all the phone calls, manage your wedding gifts and questions from the guests.
If you decide to cancel completely then the support and love of your friends, family and loved ones will be crucial.
In both cases, it's important to make decisions and organise quickly as there can be greater penalties the closer you are to the date of the wedding.
- If you have wedding insurance check the policy and contact the insurer as soon as you can to check your level of cover. This may help in your discussions with the venue and other suppliers.
- Make a list of your wedding suppliers (if you don't already have this in place) include all suppliers such as the venue of the Ceremony and Wedding Reception. If someone is helping you make sure that they have full access.
- Check your wedding supplier contracts and bear in mind that most deposits are non-refundable. In most cases contact the venue first, especially if you are trying to organise a new date. Contact all suppliers negotiating timings and assessing their flexibility. It's important not to ignore this or 'bury your head' in the sand as some suppliers may take action if they're not informed.
- Where required put everything in writing.
- If formal invitations or 'Save the Dates' have been sent out then inform all your guests. A phone call or a printed card is best but if this really isn't feasible then emailing or a text will do the job. Do make sure they've responded to be sure they have the new arrangements.
- If you are cancelling completely it's polite to offer to return your wedding gifts.
- Check what your travel insurance covers if you have arranged a honeymoon and contact the insurer as soon as you are able. Contact your airline and hotel as most are being flexible as things stand.
Wedding Change of Date Postcard
Wedding Change of Plans Postcard
Wedding Change of Plans Card
To help with the changes in your arrangements you can use our DIY 'Change of Plans' postcards that are available as a download free of charge on our website. These cover most scenarios and help when you need advice on wedding cancellation or wedding postponement wording.
We also have a download for a wedding cancellation or postponement letter for when you need to put things in writing for the wedding vendor.
Sadly the spread of Coronavirus is disrupting weddings, hen and stag events, wedding showers and bachelor and bachelorette parties worldwide. As many couples are facing extremely difficult circumstances and agonising decisions keep in mind that 'Storms don't Last Forever' and you will still have the 'best day of your life'.
When your original wedding date comes around try to do something together, whether it's a 'date night', picnic, walk or a simple romantic evening celebrate being together. No matter when or where you marry your partner LOVE IS all you need. We wish you love, happiness, health and a wonderful wedding day.