It’s happened. For atleast 3 weeks, the country is on lockdown. That means all weddings, celebrations or social gatherings of any kind must now be cancelled. So, what do you do now?
As society works together (ironically by staying apart) to curb the spread of Coronavirus, for anyone whose wedding was due to take place in the next couple of weeks, this sadly means it’s officially time to postpone your day. It’s a heartbreaking outcome, but if you’ve been unsure what to do as the situation has unfolded over the last 14 days, at least you can now make a final decision.
If in the last few weeks you’d decided to postpone the big celebration, but go ahead with an intimate ceremony or an at home blessing, including just a few key people, on your original date anyway, this is sadly no longer an option either. No social gatherings of more than two people are allowed to go ahead and the Government has asked us all to distance ourselves from anyone who we don’t live with.
We understand how disappointed you must feel, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to commemorate the date. Spend the day you were supposed to get married at home, doing something low key but lovely just the two of you. Whether that’s as simple as a homecooked meal, or something a little more symbolic- like writing and reading your own set of Vows to each other.
Your biggest task now is, of course, rescheduling your plans.
How do I Postpone My Wedding?
First things first, the current Government guidelines suggest that there will be continued measures in place to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus for at least 3 months. So, when picking a new wedding date, opt for anytime from July onwards, at the earliest. To be extra safe, look at dates towards the end of the year, in the Autumn or first few weeks of Winter.
When organising your vendors, begin by speaking with your venue, the linchpin for your wedding. From there, liaise with all of your other vendors in order of how important they are to you and your wedding day. This will help you nail down a date that works for your favourite ones. If the vendors who you care a little less about aren’t available on your new date, you can find alternative options without too much heartbreak. Contacting people in order of financial impact might be helpful, too.
This can be a fiddly task, so ask your vendors how flexible they can be. If you start to see a date that might work, ask your vendors if they can hold it for a day or two, whilst you try to nail everyone else down.
Once you have decided on your new date, make sure all of your vendors confirm that this works for them, in writing. An email will do! It’s also a good idea to ask your suppliers what contingency plans they can put in place, should the Coronavirus situation continue to be an issue as we move towards your new wedding date. Make sure anything they can promise is included in your new agreement.
Once you’ve finalised your new date, let your bridal party and any key guests know as soon as possible. It’s time to start getting excited about things again! Read our post on creating your own ‘Change the Date’ cards here.
Remember, this is also a stressful time for your suppliers. They are worried for their livilihoods and, just like you, are concerned about whether Coronavirus will continue to impact us, later into the year. When liaising with them, be as kind and patient as you can. This will effect you both, both financially and emotionally. Negotiate to see what solutions you can come to, that suit the both of you. Additionally, you might want to consider creating new contracts for your new dates, to ensure that you both feel comfortable moving forward.
What should I be asking my vendors?
Trying to strike a balance between what works for you and what works for your vendors. Here are some areas you can chat with them about, to see if you can come to any kind of mutual agreement.
- Ask them what flexibility they might have on rebooking things again in the future, if things continue to be difficult.
- See if they might consider waiving or reducing any cancellation terms. You can make it clear in your new agreement that these new terms will only apply if any further changes are a direct impact of Coronavirus.
- Find out if your supplier can provide you with a contingency plan, should they not be able to provide services for your wedding. For example, they may know other suppliers who offer the same or a very similar service to theirs who may be able to jump, in the case of sickness or any other reasons why they might be unable to meet their obligations.
- Ask what refund options they can offer, should they not be able to meet their obligations later down the line.
- Enquire to see if they might waive any ‘force majeure’ clauses in their contract. Or, alternatively, include this but state that funds will be returned, minus any costs incurred.
Once you’ve got a new date, your vendors are secured and your loved ones have popped it in their diary- the rest should start falling into place.