Not all 2020 weddings need to be postponed. Currently, the wedding couples I am encouraging to think it over are all 2020 Weddings through August. September and later, there is no reason to postpone at this point. 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. 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 summer months? There is a realistic probablility all events, even later than Septmember 2020 will be regulated on size. We currently do not have knowledge of the event size recommendations/requirements, but will definitely be researching as much as possible to stay up-to-date.
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!
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?), 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?)
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 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 2020 months. 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. I am sure you are definitely a priority to them, and they will be in contact as soon as they can be.
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 us, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Happily Planning Weddings in Sonoma County, Napa Valley, SF Bay Area, and Beyond