Given the current situation, there is no doubt the question on many couples’ minds is “should I consider postponing my wedding to next year?” We’ve covered how brides have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, so we thought it would be good to get perspectives on the situation from the experts. We turned to event planners Mallory Cheung, Alexandra McNamara of Blush + Bowties, and Evelyn Clark to get their perspective on how the situation is currently unfolding, which couples should consider postponing their wedding and how to start the process of postponing your event to a later date, when you can celebrate rightfully so with the people you love.
“My best advice right now is to stay informed,” Cheung advises. “Be patient, as many existing clients are currently postponing their wedding and we are doing everything we can to accommodate their needs and dates. That being said, dates are filling up quickly for the next year due to these postponements and you should still inquire with your desired venues and vendors and be patient with the timing of their responses.”
When it comes to postponing, Cheung says she’s had to postpone weddings happening within the next couple of months. “I had a March wedding postponing to October, and we’re currently working on postponing a May wedding as the couple will be coming in front London, England and they were expecting many international guests. I have a June wedding sitting tight and keeping informed for their date decision.”
Clark agrees that couples getting married in the next three months should wait it out for now, but start reaching out to vendors to talk about what rescheduling looks like. However, couples getting married in the next 2 months should look at postponing their weddings to a Fall or Winter date if possible. “Try and keep it in 2020, even if it means your wedding is on a Tuesday,” she advises. “Depending on your venue or vendor contract, shifting to 2021 might be considered a cancellation, not a postponement, which mean you could lose your deposit. Since things are changing by the hour though, venues and vendors may be waiving that clause, but it’s best to ask about that now and get it in writing.”
McNamara says she is focusing on rescheduling on her clients’ April and early May weddings for later in 2020. She agrees that couples should try to rebook within the 2020 year if there are dates available. “This is to avoid transfer fees from venues or vendors,” she says.”Dates are limited and this is a challenging time, but there is always a solution. Couples will need to be flexible and work with their wedding vendors to figure out the best date option.”
When it comes to starting the process of choosing a 2021 date, Clark advises it’s best to ask for available dates from your venues first. “Then you can talk to your family and closest loved ones to see if any of those dates work,” she shares. “Then, go to your vendors and see if any of those dates work for them, making sure that a 2021 postponement is not considered a cancellation.” She says the best way to keep organized is starting a spreadsheet, and choosing the date that is most available for everyone.
Clark emphasizes that couples should consider postponement and not cancellation and asking for full refunds. “While couples are undoubtedly worried about finances, getting full refunds from vendors, who are likely very small businesses, affects their and their families’ livelihoods as well as their staff—it’s a massive ripple effect. Vendors are doing everything they can to be flexible and empathetic!”
“Everyone is working together to make the best of a hard situation,” McNamara says. “I think right now it’s about leading with kindness and taking the situation day by day.”
“Postponing your date given the current affairs is trickier, but not impossible,” Clark says. “You and everyone will have to be open and flexible to your wedding looking a bit different. You may be getting married on a Tuesday, or have 60 people versus 150. At the end of the day though, you will still get married, and during a time where people can be safe.”
“Do your part, even if it means postponing your wedding—every decision counts right now and impacts you and your loved ones. Be aware of your guest list as you don’t want to put any age groups and loved ones that are more susceptible to the virus at risk from partaking in your day of celebration,” Cheung says. “We will get through this and we can’t wait to celebrate when the time comes.”