You’ve spent a year planning. Maybe a decade or more dreaming about the perfect wedding in the Berkshires. You’re counting down the days to that once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon trip. And the idea of all of the most important people in your life all in one room? Goosebumps! But all of that planning and dreaming left out one thing: a worldwide pandemic. COVID-19 has put your wedding on ice.
The Olympic Committee, the producers of the latest installments of The Fast and The Furious and Jurassic Park, and hundreds of other brides are in the same boat; so you aren’t alone in deciding whether to postpone your event.
There are some pretty heavy emotional, financial and health factors on the table right now. Do you feel overwhelmed, exhausted or just plain frustrated? You’ve got every right to feel that way. Take a moment. Be bridezilla. Have a good cry. Hey, maybe punch a pillow or two.
Sigh. Okay. Are we good? Now let’s sort this out and take your wedding back!
There’s really only one question: Cancel, postpone or wed?
Wed: Should you thumb your nose (without touching your face of course) at Corona and get married anyway?
Postpone: Should you postpone your wedding to a future time when we are no longer social distancing?
Cancel: Or, should you take this a sign and call the whole thing off indefinitely?
Let’s taker a deeper dive into each option:
Wed. Honestly, this will be a challenge and likely many friends and family will not participate. It’s likely your venue is closed through May (Saint James Place is too). If you’re determined, your day will be scaled back and the wedding small. For guests that can attend, have a groomsman encourage the 6-foot distance guideline. Skype or Zoom in remaining guests who want to see the ceremony. Your caterer, florist and musician will likely be grateful for the business right now. They can do their jobs at a distance (even the musician can play through technology). Perhaps do one group toast and then send the guests off with a delicious and beautifully packaged catered meal.
Wed and Postpone. Wed privately, just the two of you plus witnesses at City Hall or in your backyard.
Postpone the reception and honeymoon for later, when life gets back to “normal.” Allow vendors to keep your deposit if you can, which will help keep their business afloat and you’ll get your pick of future dates.
Postpone. People are afraid right now and most can’t or won’t travel. So, if your wedding is scheduled in the 4 – 8 weeks, alleviate your guest’s fears, calm your own nerves and cancel. Postponing lets your guests off the hook without having to choose between celebrating your marriage and risking their health.
Cancel. Well, no. Unless four black cats just walked across your backyard or you’ve broken 3 mirrors in the last week, don’t call the whole thing off.
I’ve decided to postpone my wedding, what do I do now?
Once you’ve made the decision to postpone, cancel or go ahead as planned, there are two groups to communicate with now, as soon as you can: vendors and guests.
Vendors: Pull out your vendor contracts. And review CDC guidelines. You want to be armed with the most current information about how your state is permitting businesses to operate as well as what the CDC is recommending for “safe” gatherings. Bear in mind most vendors really want you to be happy and safe, they will probably work with you to postpone everything at no cost to you. That’s how we are operating here at Saint James Place.
Try to find a few common dates in the future that work.
Guests: If your invitations have already been sent out, text or call each person on your guest list to let them know about the change in plans. Enlist the help of your mother, soon to be mother-in-law as well as friends and bridesmaids to make the calls so you can reach out to everyone around the same time. Avoid posting on social media until you’ve reached your closest friends and family by phone. This will avoid hurt feelings.
Update your wedding website too to reflect the changes. And once your closest peeps have been alerted, post on social media as well.
There will be more to do, but once you’ve decided whether to go forward or reschedule and you’ve alerted vendors and guests, take a breath. You’ve earned a little Netflix time before you have to move on to the other items on the list. Maybe a Hallmark wedding movie?