You cannot believe your luck. You’re all set to celebrate your big day with your closest family and friends and then BAM! Pandemic. I mean, who could have predicted THIS? It stinks. Plain and simple. No one wants to reschedule a wedding, something they have looked forward to and have been planning for for months. Read on for some practical advice on navigating this ordeal with grace.
Feel Free to Wallow
Yes, you and your loved ones are healthy and you have a roof over your head and plenty of TP. But that doesn’t mean you’re petty for being disappointed a virus caused you to change your carefully orchestrated wedding plans.
A wedding is arguably one of the biggest occasions of our lives. Most people’s wedding days go off with just a few hitches but overall pretty swimmingly. Even rain can be turned into memorable stories and great pictures. But this is different. And you have a right to be sad, or mad, or angry. In a 2018 Brides Magazine article titled “What to Do When Natural Disaster (Like Hurricane Florence) Affects Your Wedding,” Mental Health Counselor Jody E. Smith, LPC, NCC, says, “The key is to not beat yourself up…for being upset or disappointed…it is 100 percent OK to mourn the loss of your wedding.”
Some things to do when you feel upset:
- Go to planning sites like theknot.com and commiserate with other brides who are going through the same thing. Sometimes you just need to talk to people who get it.
- Google any disaster (9/11, the Thailand Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina) and “weddings,” and you’ll eventually find stories of other brides who went through a similar experience as you are going through now. I recently read on a forum about a bride whose Caribbean wedding was scheduled for September 15, just four days after 9/11. No one was flying at that time and the couple had to scramble to plan a stateside ceremony instead. By hearing others’ stories, you may gain comfort knowing things like this have happened before.
- Remind yourself that just because your wedding is being postponed, you will still be getting married to the love of your life. It won’t be the same day, or maybe even the same venue, but you will get married.
If Invitations or Save the Dates Have Been Mailed
Email or mail out postponement notices. Let folks know that when the world is ready, you will be celebrating.
Example wording for a wedding postponement:
“In light of the current global pandemic and social distancing recommendations, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our wedding. We look forward to celebrating with you in the future. An invitation will follow with our new wedding date.
Review what the cancellation policies are for the different vendors you are under contract with and contact them as soon as possible. Be nice! These vendors have likely been canceled on left and right recently and your wedding may very well be one of several postponements they have experienced in a short time. Their livelihoods may have been decimated. Tread lightly and be sensitive.
Contact the travel agent who booked your honeymoon or contact the airline and hotel you have reservations with directly. See what you’ll need to do to reschedule your trip.
Make Online Updates
Update your wedding website with your wedding postponement announcement. Update your registries with a date that’s farther out in the future from your former wedding date.
You don’t necessarily need a firm date to get things done for your upcoming wedding. Many details like your color scheme, for example, will remain the same. You may have extra time on your hands right now that you didn’t plan on. Find one of the many wedding checklists online and start marking things off your list. Order supplies online so you can make centerpieces, card boxes, table numbers, and other items that you can store for awhile. Purchase parent gifts and bridal party gifts. Shop for favors. Plan your ceremony music and DJ list.
If your wedding was cancelled right before your wedding date, and you actually had most things completed, research what needs to be done in your state to change your name (if that’s something you plan to do), work on thank you notes for gifts received already, or look into excursions for your honeymoon destination.
There are a lot of uncertainties right now but one thing I do know is that life, eventually, will return to (somewhat) normal. It might look a little different, it might be a bit shaky, it might not be the life we knew, but we WILL get through this. And when we do, we will yearn to finally come together after weeks and maybe months of social distancing, and we will want to PARTY.
Remember, your wedding will be special no matter what day it is on and no pandemic can change that. It’s hard for everyone when joyous occasions have to be postponed, but how sweet those times will be when they finally arrive.