Few people, if any, got through 2020 without being forced to change any plans they had made prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. But engaged couples planning their big day nuptials faced a particularly difficult decision: reduce the size of their wedding to a more intimate affair or postpone it to a later date.
Case in point: Last year, 21 percent of couples postponed their wedding date until later in 2020, according to The Wedding Report, Inc. Some 30 percent decided to still hold their wedding, likely with fewer attendees, while 7 percent canceled their original plans, with many opting to elope or hold a micro wedding. And of the couples surveyed, 40 percent decided to wait until 2021 to tie the knot.
Pushing back a wedding date, due to the ongoing pandemic or for other reasons, can be tricky, especially if save-the-dates or invitations have already been sent out. If you need to alter the date of your big day, here are a few tips to make the change as smooth as possible.
1. Start by Reaching Out to Your Venue and Vendors
Unless your wedding is just days away and you need to alert family and friends traveling in from out of town, the first thing you should do is reach out to your venue.
While horror stories did circulate last year of venues and vendors refusing to refund couples who were forced to change their plans, many tried their best to be flexible. Indeed, talking with venue officials first when trying to select a new date will save you time when it comes to contacting your friends and family. This way, you can let them know your original plans have been canceled and when the new wedding day is scheduled.
Once you’ve made arrangements with your venue, don’t forget to speak with your vendors as well to see if they’re available on your new date. With so many couples having to change plans, you may need to find a few new vendors if yours are already booked.
2. Give Your Guests Plenty of Notice
If you’re able to move your wedding to another date right away, you can skip to the next step. But even if you can’t set a date right away, you should reach out to your guests.
For friends and family traveling in from out of town, it’s best to give them as much notice as possible so that they can change or cancel their travel plans. Some guests may be able to work on the days they previously had scheduled off so that they’ll still have vacation time to take for your new date.
For smaller weddings and couples who know their guests are on social media, a Facebook blast is a great first step in letting your guests know about the change. Still, you’ll want to follow up with additional messages as well to make sure everyone is aware.
3. Send Out New Save-the-Dates
Alongside your announcement on social media or in place of it, sending out a new save-the-date is a great way to keep your guests informed. These pithy cards should include the date of your new wedding day, as well as a note about having to postpone your old one. More than anything, this gives guests a physical reminder of the change that they can hold onto and reference as they change their travel plans or vacation time.
Changing the Date of Your Big Day
Changing the date of your big day can be stressful, not to mention confusing for guests. But by working with your venue and vendors first, giving guests plenty of notice, and utilizing save-the-dates, you can make the transition as smooth as possible for you and your guests.