Our hearts are going out to all of our amazing couples who have had to postpone their wedding days. But, know you’re not alone and there are many couples along with you that are re-making plans, choosing new dates and are left with slight uncertainties. Here’s advice from them on what to do if you’re postponing:
We spoke to more than 1900 couples about their experience and as it turns out, 22% of couples from March to May 2020 have opted to postpone. This is in contrast to just 2% of couples who were opting to cancel, 5% of couples who are downsizing their wedding, and 35% who hadn’t made up their mind yet and wanted to wait it out.
Postpone over cancelling
We’ve strongly suggested to all of our couples to postpone rather than cancel if faced with the difficult choice of changing your wedding day plans. Why? Because it greatly minimizes your financial risk as a client. From a contractual standpoint, less money is lost for a client when you retain the service – so it’s more responsible to yourselves and to the vendor to opt for this over a cancellation. Bride to be Kassy opened up to us about her experience postponing: “There were a number of heartbreaking discussions initially between myself and my partner. After we decided that this was the best option, we contacted all of our vendors. We started with the celebrant and venue as they were the most important to us. We were thankful that they had already reached out and let us know that postponing was an option. We then went ahead in contacting all vendors to let them know of the change of date and secured our new date. Our primary vendors had to be contacted first and then we could work around the rest. Part of me didn’t expect it to be that easy to move it. I think the longer duration of postponement definitely helped. It was amazing to see how understanding all of the vendors were. It really made it easy!”
Accept the situation
We spoke to Lauren, a bride-to-be who has postponed her wedding who reminded couples to accept the loss of control “firstly, things are out of our control.” It’s wise to accept that this is no one fault. Not the vendors, not the people with the virus, not yours. It’s just an unfortunate situation.
What Lauren opted to do to take back some control was to ” a FB messenger group so we could chat with everybody. Once NZ said 2 weeks mandatory isolation, that changed the dynamics. So I opened up on our FB messenger group and talked with everybody… And was honest, (and said we are) not sure what plan B would look like”.
Talking openly with your partner and guests is paramount right now. They may need to change flights, plans, accommodation, babysitting, depending on when your wedding day is. Just keep them in the loop. “Everybody understands”, Lauren said. Kassy said that she and her partner “spoke with our parents and my partners children directly. Where possible, we rang the members of our wedding party and then we sent the following message to the rest of our family and friends:
‘We wanted to reach out to you to let you know we’ve made a difficult decision to postpone our wedding May 23rd 2021. This was a heartbreaking decision, but we feel the best decision given the current circumstances. At this time, things are changing rapidly, and we want to make sure we get the opportunity to celebrate the day with the people we love. We hope you understand and will be able to attend next year.”
Here’s our advice on what to do now if your wedding is postponed.
Talking to vendors
In regards to your vendors, being empathetic is paramount. A lot of them have lost business and livelihood:” I think we did pretty well with our vendors and I’m thankful… Patience and understanding is needed at this time… Things are changing by the hour… It was heartbreaking as I have said.” Divide and conquer. Enlist your partner to tackle some of the vendor list. We suggest creating a list of possible dates as a poll to send to them. When doing this, remember that you may need to consider a weekday wedding to get all of your vendors available on the same date, and also remember that most vendors don’t allow you to change the date more than once, as this increases admin for them, and they’ve potentially lost business by accepting your date, so changing it again can incur fees.
Celebrate what would have been your wedding day
Laurens advice for how to spend what would have been your wedding: “Take some time pack a picnic grab a rug and bubbly… have a bubble bath together, snuggle on the couch… Whatever it is. Refocus on you both as a couple. You’re going to need each other and your families”. Kassy said that she and her partner “originally considered having a commitment ceremony on the day to commemorate the date and celebrate together but given the ongoing increase of the restrictions, we weren’t sure this was possible. Now we are hoping we will be able to go away for the weekend together but ideally, it will be about being with each other and present in our relationship.”
Messages for other couples going through the same thing
Kassy said: “Allow yourself to grieve, this is a massive part of your life and it is absolutely going to hurt postponing. A wedding is not just a party, it is a celebration of you and your relationship and the rest of your life. It is not cut and dry and it is not an easy decision. Please allow yourself to feel the emotions and don’t feel guilty for feeling them. Think about what you need in these moments and the support that will get you through. Thinking of you all”.
Milli said: “It’s postponed; not cancelled. It will happen eventually.
Each and every couple going through this knows exactly what it feels like – a whole bunch of mixed emotions. The 5 stages of grief. Ask yourself – What is it that’s most important to you as a couple? For us, it’s simply being married on our anniversary. That’s what we want to achieve. Whether that’s with 5 people or 100 people. We can party for our 1st anniversary instead. That’s why we haven’t given up yet. But for others, it’s something different, and that’s ok. At the end of the day, all your family and friends will applaud the selfless act of postponing your big day, as it shows that you truly care for them too. It’s too easy to look at all the bad things happening due to this, and we forget about the good – make a list of the good and focus on that in times of frustration.”
Whatever you do, know you are not alone, and look after yourself and your partner.
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