Weddings In The Time Of COVID-19

Lifestyle

Weddings In The Time Of COVID-19

The Postponements & Its Processes

Planning your happily ever after
with Shikima Hinds

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

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You've asked and we've answered! Welcome to your weekly column with wedding consultant Shikima Hinds.

Hinds will each week spotlight all the questions you've been asking since COVID-19 was added to the guest list!

Dear Shikima,

I've accepted the fact that I have to postpone my wedding. With things constantly changing, how do you recommend couples go about picking a new wedding date? I have some dates in mind but I can't get all my vendors together for availability on the same date. This is such an emotional process and stressing me out.

Jane

Dear Jane:

After having your heart set on a wedding date, it's hard not to get emotional thinking about all the changes. Now you have to wait to say I do, wait to walk up the aisle, and you don't even know when to do it.

So now there's the mad scramble to postpone upcoming wedding dates, which then leads to the competition to secure the limited availability for venues, vendors and dates.

The first thing to do is to reach out to your key vendors. The first on your list should be your wedding planner, if you have one. If you don't have a wedding planner or a coordinator, the most important call you should make is to your venue to check available dates.

When you have a new date in mind, prioritise your vendors! What are the most important elements of the wedding to you? If there's any one vendor you can't imagine getting married without, call them early.

The process

• You or your planner should e-mail all of your vendors. Make sure you receive written confirmation that the vendor is aware of the pending date change. After this is done, I recommend a spreadsheet with the potential dates that will work for you and your venue.

• Once you've received a response from most or all of your vendors, look at what date most of them are available based on how you prioritised your vendors.

• The faster you get the process started the better it will be for you. Dates will be offered to clients on a first-come, first-served basis.

Get it in writing

As soon as you've decided on your new date, ensure you have the confirmation in writing. Have an e-mail detailing the change of date and request a new or amended contract from your vendors.

Stay flexible

If your wedding is within the next eight-12 weeks you should probably be discussing postponement. If your wedding is beyond three months, just keep a keen eye on the ever-changing scenarios. Don't jump to changes too early.

For the best result from your suppliers and especially your venue, be prepared to be very flexible on dates. Do avoid premium dates, which could mean considering dates that aren't Saturdays — look at Fridays and Sundays.

If you planned to have your ceremony and reception at two different locations, finding a date that both locations have availability may not happen. Don't rule out having your ceremony at your reception venue… combine both options.

When and how to inform your guests...

Once you've decided to postpone, tell your guests as soon as possible, even if you haven't finalised the new date.

• If you have already sent out invitations, the best way to do this is to send a postponement notification.

• If you have a wedding website, you can share your postponement announcement and update them on any other changes as they happen.

• For couples who have printed their invitations but haven't sent them out yet, you can ask your stationer for an insert with the new details to accompany the original invitation. I'm sure your guests will understand the reasoning behind it.

• You can collect the e-mail addresses of your guests send a note via this method. This is the most cost-effective route.

Ensure you give your guests lots of time to replan and reschedule for your new wedding date, especially if you are getting married out of town.

Some advice for impacted couples

Be prepared to put some energy into starting to plan a new wedding. Your not-so-new wedding can be the same as you originally planned, or it can be completely different! You can use this time to potentially even improve your old wedding plans and get new inspiration! You never know, you might even prefer your new wedding plan.

Try to make the most of it: find the silver lining. It will work out for the best, remember that we're going to marry the love of our life.

Stay safe, stay well… remember love conquers all.


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