So now what?! You have spent over a year, or even your whole life planning and dreaming of your wedding. From the color of the table cloths to the style of your wedding attire. Every detail was so close and then it was taken away. What do you do? How do you handle this experience and turn lemons into lemonade.
First step is to always breathe. This is temporary. You will be married. You will get to cherish your significant other for the rest of your life. You will get your big day. It may just take a slight detour. But hey, life is full of detours and I can promise this is not the first detour you and your fiancé will experience. You will encounter more ups and downs then you could have planned for, however, how you handle them can make a world of a difference on the stress of your relationship.
So after you have taken a breath. You have faced the reality that a change of plans is inevitable and you must make the best out of the situation, it is time to take the next step.
You have three options.
1. Reschedule to another beautiful day.
Many wedding professionals are allowing date changes free of charge. Many are going way out for their way to hire additional staff to accommodate more weddings than they originally could handle. For example, beauty professionals are bringing in more team members to do multiple weddings a day than originally planned, photographers are joining together and bring in additional shooters. Wedding venues with full schedules are opening up holiday weekends and sacrificing vacations to host rescheduled weddings. Us wedding professionals want to give you that beautiful day and we are going to do everything we can to make it happen.
Some have chosen to elope on their original wedding dates and have a larger reception in the future. If the date has a significant meaning and is important, you might want to consider eloping. However, be careful as the clerks offices may not remain open and you may not be able to obtain a marriage license.
I have a hard time relating to this option. Its personal for me. Having a set date is important to your relationship and cancelling may cause fear and doubt. Having an option for a rescheduled date to look forward to and continue to plan your big day will allow you to still get that moment. This option is a rough one and depends on your own relationship and personal needs. Sometimes the fear of the unknown, and where this country and pandemic will be in 6 to 8 months is too much to handle, and to some this option may be the only option until there is more certainty.
Let say you want to reschedule you wedding. What should you do?
1. IF YOU HAVE A PLANNER. CALL THEM!
THEY SHOULD HAVE ALREADY CONTACTED YOU FIRST.
I am a venue manager and I still will tell everyone to call their planner first. That is your planners’ job. If you have a planner that is providing full service it is their job to handle the following and to give you options. Don’t take the matter into your own hands if you have paid a planner to help you with the details of your wedding.
2. Contact your venue and/or church
Contacting your venue should be the first vendor you contact if you don’t already have a planner. Many times, they have the least availability and are able to steer you in a direction to reschedule your other vendors.
Ask your venue for a full view of their open dates that you can reschedule to. Pick three dates that you are interested in and start calling your other vendors listed below. Be versitle on your dates you choose. A Friday or off season date might give you more scheduling flexibility. If your church isn’t available ask if your pastor/priest will marry onsite at your venue. If not, ask if they have a suggestion on someone who could.
Reread your contract. It is important to understand each detail of your venues contract. Venues have been gracious during this time and have waived any date exchange fees as long as you schedule within a certain time period. For example, you may only schedule within a year of your original wedding date.
Understand you may loose your deposit if you walk away from your venue due to a lack of your “favorite” date. You may have to be flexible and forgo the Saturday wedding and have a less traditional Friday evening ceremony and late reception.
3. Contact your Photographer
I strongly believe next to the venue the photographer is the most important vendor. You will look at those picture for a LIFE TIME! You will hang them in your home and your grandchildren will look at them and admire your probably outdated wedding dress by that time… lets admit puffy sleeves used to be the fashion trend.
Make sure they are available on one of the 3 dates the venue is open. Mark it down.
4. Contact your caterer and bar service
You might be able to knock this bird out with one stone if your venue provides these services. If not, you need to make sure they are available on one of the three dates.
5. Contact your DJ or Entertainment
The music is important and your party is important. Contact your DJ and secure that they are available one of the three dates. Mark it down which dates they have open.
6. Contact your bakery
Many are able to reschedule, but you want to make sure before locking in a new date.
7. Contact your beauty professional
Many beauty professional might be adding to their staff in order to accommodate date changes. Call and see if yours has any of the three dates available.
8. Florist and Decorator
Call and see if they have availability for any of the 3 dates. If not DIY might have to be an option.
9. Dress and Attire
Hopefully, if you have to reschedule you received your attire before January when shipments from China were delayed. However, if not the reschedule might help in allowing more time to receive your dress and/or tux.
Work with your bridal shop to ensure your attire will be available by one of the three dates. If not, you may have to look into cancelling your order, or purchasing off the rack.
TIP: Designate a few hours to call your vendors all at once and give them time to get back to you. Do not space them days apart. Many couples have to reschedule and you want to snag a date asap.
TIP: Chose a less traditional day. Fridays and Sundays are great alternatives and are beautiful days for weddings. You will be able to reschedule your vendors with a little more ease.
TIP: Choose and off-season date, and adjust your décor if needed. Many times, January – March are slow seasons and vendors have more availability than the other months we consider wedding season.
TIP: Try to stay with all your vendors. As a business manager it is important that we keep our current clients. Your business is how we keep our doors open and our business operational. The loss of business because of a cancellation is tragic and has major effects on small businesses.
Please know that we wedding professionals are trying our hardest to be accommodating with all our couples. Our heart is aching, we are dreading breaking the news that a wedding has to be rescheduled. However, it is important that we all stand together during this time and show strength and unity as we maneuver the rough waters ahead of us. We will make it through together and us professionals are going to do all that we can to make your day as beautiful as you imagined. Relax, breath, slow down, and spend time with your fiance. As they all say. YOU GOT THIS!