Covid: The Uninvited Wedding Guest

Wedding Ideas and Planning Tips from Industry Professionals here at Ybarra Events

Wedding planners are more than just event planners. We're designers, problem-solvers, coordinators, budgeteers, part-time therapists, and friends to the couples and families who are entrusting us to help them with their events. Since we're on friendly terms now, here are some tips and tricks to the trade of navigating wedding planning! 

Getting married during Covid? Here are some tips on the steps to know if you should postpone. If you're looking for a bright and coloful color scheme that is romantic, whimsical, and beautiful you should consider blue and orange! This Orange and Blue Bridal Bouquet from Beijaflor Botanicals is stunning. Photo credit: Maria Villano Photography

How to Postpone your Wedding During the COVID-19 Pandemic


There are a lot of new event questions popping up surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic. Should we postpone? Should we lower our guest count? Should we elope and celebrate later? In reality, there is no one correct answer. As much as I would love to be able to tell you there is, this just isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. The important thing to remember is, Love isn’t cancelled. We will be able to celebrate you and your love in some way, and there are many different solutions. Love is love and it only gets stronger!

updated: 01/15/2021

Steps to Consider Amid the COVID-19 Uncertainty


Where do I even Start?

I highly recommend reading through the advice from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The quicker we react, the quicker we can contain the pandemic and work on solutions.

The factors you should be focusing on for your event are: the size and duration of your event (Is it a 3 day event with a guest count exceeding 100-200?), demographics of the participants (Do you have any guests that would be at a higher risk such as they’re pregnant or immune deficient? Do you have guests traveling from out-of country?), complexity of your event (Apart from guests, how many Event staff Members/Vendors do you have? ) and type of on-site services and activities (How will food be handled? Were you planning on a Family Style Dinner?)


Is your Event at Risk?

Not all weddings need to be postponed. Currently, the wedding couples I am encouraging to think it over are all Spring 2021 Weddings. Weddings later in the 2021 Wedding Season, at this time, there is no reason to postpone. It is just something we will need to keep our eyes open for and keep updated on the requirements/restrictions for hosting an event. This is just referencing the information on which events are needing to be altered based on Government Mandates to ensure a safe event for you and your guests. Ultimately you and your partner should make your decision together and know what is best for you and your loved ones. When making this decision, I would really take into consideration, is your wedding date at risk? Do we have enough information yet on whether it will affect events in the late summer months and beyond? There is a realistic probablility all events, even later than September will be regulated on size, whether masks will be mandatory, number of sanitizing stations per guest count, and other safety measures minimizing exposure. The mandates are always changing. We are constantly researching to expand our knowledge of the event size recommendations/requirements, and will stay as up-to-date as we can. 

Contact Vendors for availability ASAP

The very first thing you’ll want to do, should you and your partner decide to postpone your wedding/event, is to contact your vendors and check on their availability. The 1st vendors to connect with: the wedding venue, and wedding planner. They will happily help you find a date that works for them and offer advice on how they handle the process. Once you have a confirmed new date, you’ll want to connect with your other vendors to update them. Though I do recommend reaching out to the venue 1st to make sure they have your new desired date available, I highly recommend reaching out to your other contracted vendors quickly following. A lot of events are being moved into the late Summer and early Fall 2021 months and even into 2022. Dates, if they weren’t booked before, are filling up quickly. Keep in mind that some (if not all) your vendors are small businesses and probably dealing with an influx of calls and emails just like yours, so try to be patient. You are definitely a priority to them, and they will be in contact as soon as they can be.

Perfectly pink vintage style photo of gorgeous wedding invitations by Minted. I will forever love the blush and burgundy combo! Photo credit: Come Plum Photography

Check your Vendor Contracts

In the meantime, you’ll want to look over the vendor contracts to review their policies on postponements or cancellations. In all honesty, this situation never occurred to many of the wedding vendors, so there may not be anything referencing a situation like this. It’s a new hurdle for many of vendors and clients alike. Together we will work through this, and all of the vendors should do their very best within their capabilities to accommodate your event.

Review your Wedding Insurance

If you chose to get wedding insurance, which I always recommend securing, review your policy to see if it covers cancellations or postponements. In most cases, you’ll find it does not, unless you specifically added it to your policy. But it doesn’t hurt to check, since every insurance company is different.

Keeping your Guests Informed

It is important, once you have your new date in place, to inform your wedding guests so they can update their plans accordingly. Please keep in mind, with your new date, their RSVP may change. Everyone’s schedules are a bit willy-nilly right now, and it’s important to be understanding of that fact. Luckily, your vendors only need the final guest count numbers in the last few weeks leading up to your new wedding date. (Every vendor has a different requirement for when the final guest count is due, so reference your vendor contracts, but it typically ranges from 1 month-10 days before your event.) There are a lot of cute ways to inform guests of your new date, including something as simple as an email, but one of my favorites is mailing a “postponement notice”, which is similar to a Save-the-Date. It’s just a Save-the-New-Date. 

Making it as Painless as Possible

There is definitely stress involved for the guests as well as for yourself and your vendors while postponing or cancelling an event, but there are little ways you can help to make it a painless as possible.

  1. Be as understanding as possible, just as your guests and vendors will be as understanding as possible too. Everyone is in a different situation and guests that have RSVP’d “yes” may need to change their RSVP. They might not be able to get the time off from work for your new event date, or they may have been affected financially and cannot afford to fly out.
  2. If you have a Hotel Block, make those date adjustments for your guests. It would be one less thing for them to have on their plates, and I am sure they would appreciate it. In the event you are cancelling, or the hotel requires you to cancel and rebook, reach out to the hotel block and see if you can get a full or partial refund.
  3. Update your wedding website. Most 2021 couples have created a wedding website, and if you keep it current with the goings-on, your guests will always be in the loop.
  4. Be flexible. Try to be openminded to new dates when you are rescheduling. You may have originally had a Saturday booked, but securing another Saturday later in the year may not be possible. Consider other days of the week like a Monday, Thursday, Friday or Sunday. You'll have a better chance of securing all your vendors, and, yes, your guests will still attend! In all likelihood they were planning on taking time off surrounding your wedding date to enjoy a mini vacation. Now your wedding would just be the start or send-off of their mini vacation!

Don’t feel silly for Grieving

Seriously though, this is a really rough situation. Don’t feel like it’s ridiculous to grieve for your wedding day. You will likely feel disappointed or upset, and that’s ok. There are bigger things happening all over the world, but it does not mean your feelings are not valid. It’s important to talk through your feelings. Chat about it with your partner, a close friend or family member. It’s an important step to recognize your feelings and start the coping process. It will allow you to fully enjoy your wedding day when it arrives. Also, celebrate your old wedding date! It will still hold emotional significance. Enjoy a nice dinner together... pop some champagne. You deserve it! 


Humans really are amazing. Anything that is thrown at us, we adapt, and this is no different. Love will continue to be celebrated! I’m wishing everyone a safe and healthy 2021 & 2022 Wedding Season!


More Wedding Articles

Questions to ask a DJ or Band before Booking

Overwhelmed at the thought of interviewing another wedding vendor? We've got your back! We have compiled a list of our top questions to ask a Wedding DJ to see if they're right for you.  

Learn More!

More Weddings by Ybarra Events

Can't get enough? If you want to check out more Wedding Photos from our events, click the link below! 

Learn More!

Advice for your Backyard Wedding

Getting married at home sounds like a great option if you have beautiful property, but there are a lot of logistics you should think about before making the decision. Is it right for you? 

Learn More!

Wedding Flowers Checklist

It's hard to know what you should be asking for in Floral quotes if you've never planned a wedding. Here is a checklist of Flowers you should consider for your wedding day. 

Learn More!

What exactly is Eloping?

If you're like most wedding couples, you may not have much experience planning weddings. The terminology can be confusing. Tiny Wedding, Eloping, is there a difference? There is! Find out which is right for you. 

Learn More!

Indian Wedding Traditions

Are you attending a Hindu Wedding Ceremony and not sure of what to expect? We're here to help, from what to wear, to what traditions take place. 

Learn More!

About the Author: 

Tara Ybarra, Co-Owner and Event Planner for Ybarra Events, has been in the Wedding Industry for over 20 years. From Photographer, to Wedding Cake Artist, to Florist, to Officiant, and now Wedding Planner, her accumilated experience, paired with her College Courses in Event Planning, have given her the experience she has today. Blogging gives her an opportunity to share that knowledge with her readers. 

Ybarra Events is located in California’s spectacular Napa Valley. Ybarra Events are the pièce de résistance of wedding planners. Run by the dynamic duo of Tara and James Ybarra, they help couples organize, design, and plan their nuptials at some of the most fabulous and luxurious wedding venues in Napa, Sonoma, San Francisco, and Beyond. Chat with them today to start planning the wine-country wedding of your dreams.

How are the Vaccinations going to effect my Wedding?

There are still a lot of unknowns and uncertainty out there, but things are definitely looking up! The vaccinations are being distributed and we are inching closer to herd immunity. There are many things to consider while planning a gathering. 

Learn More! 

60 Questions to ask while interviewing a Wedding Photographer 

Hiring wedding vendors can be a daunting task. We have complied a list of our favorite questions to ask photographers when we are vetting them for your wedding. Not only is it important for them to be available for your date, you want their personalities to flow with yours too! 

Learn More!

Is Tiny where the future of Weddings is headed? 

As the pandemic circulates the globe, more and more events are lowering their guestcounts. Are weddings any different? With the gathering size limitations, we will have to adapt, but the good news is, initmate weddings come with wonderful side effects. 

Learn more!

110 Must Take Wedding Photos

There are so many lovely wedding photo ideas out there, and Pinterest just adds to the wish list! If you'd like a quick and easy list of all of the photos you don't want to miss, we are happy oblige!

Learn More!

What does a Wedding Planner do?

It's a common and fair question. You should always know what the tasks are for a vendor you're hiring, and it's probably the more common questions I am asked. What is it that a wedding planner handles throughout the day? Well, quite a lot! Every event is different, even between weddings, but I have decided to address this question on a more public level. Read more to see a breakdown of the tasks of a wedding planner on your wedding day. 

Learn More!

Is a 1st Look Right for You?

Weighing the option of doing away with the tradition of not seeing each other until walking down the aisle? Read about the pros and cons of a First Look from a wedding professional's persective 

Learn More!

Wedding Blog: Tales of a Planner