Changing your wedding date is never an easy decision. There are countless reasons you might consider making this decision, and it’s always an emotional one. One of your first steps will be to send out wedding change-the-date cards to inform friends and family.
It can be difficult to decipher between the various paper elements that prelude a walk down the aisle. From engagement party invitations to post-wedding thank you notes, wedding planning certainly hones your calligraphy skills. To help you become a wedding stationery virtuoso, we’ll look at the four most essential types:
You may be focused on change-the-date cards now, but the time will come for these other types of stationery.
Much like change-the-date cards, save-the-dates are a courtesy to guests to help ensure they will be present at your big day. They can be casual or formal, depending on the scope of your wedding guest list. To keep it formal, include both you and your partner’s first and last names.
Couples usually send save-the-dates six to eight months before the wedding. For a destination wedding, a year in advance is even better. These cards should include:
If you chose to send out save-the-dates, it can be a lovely choice to model your change-the-date cards after them. Since these two types of wedding cards are so similar, many of the same rules and courtesies apply. Still, make sure they are visually different enough that guests don’t become confused.
After you send out your wedding change-the-date cards, you’ll eventually have to send out wedding invitations again. You can choose to do an individual invitation or an invitation suite—this refers to the totality of the stationery, which can include much more than just a simple card. Possible components include:
Outer Envelope: A traditional invitation suite begins with an outer envelope that lists the recipient’s address and includes postage stamps. You can ask the post office to “hand-cancel” the postage, rather than sending it through a machine, to ensure your beautiful envelopes are not torn.
Inner Envelope: The inner envelope of a traditional invitation suite has the title and last name of the invitees. Couples choose to use this second envelope in case of damage to the outer envelope or if they have a special envelope liner.
Belly Band: The belly band is optional, but it’s a lovely touch to hold all of the components of the invitation suite together. These can be crafted from paper, fabric, ribbon, or whatever other material you’d like.
Invitation Card: The star of the show: your invitation card is the most essential component of the wedding invitation suite. It should list who is hosting the wedding, who is getting married, the attire, the date and time, the wedding venue name, and the city and state.
Reception Card: If you choose to host your reception at a separate venue, you can add an additional reception card that will list the address and time for the reception.
Directions and Map Card: Directions and map cards are often forgotten, made superfluous by technology. Some couples still use them, however, for their charm or if the wedding location might be difficult to find.
Hotel Accommodations Card: For guests traveling for your big day, an optional hotel accommodation card suggests hotels and any other relevant accommodation information.
Response Card: The response card is another essential component to ensure your guest can easily return their RSVPs. It should include a reply by date and checkboxes for guests to either accept or deny your invitation. Accompanying online RSVPs can streamline the process.
Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope: A stamped and self-addressed envelope makes it easy for guests to promptly respond, which in turn, makes it easier for you as you plan.
As you likely know by now, change-the-date cards inform your guests that you will be rescheduling your wedding. Sending these cards can be a dreaded task, but you can still make them stylish and sleek. Consider mimicking your original save-the-dates and invitations or using this wedding postponement as an opportunity to introduce a new wedding style and theme.
As soon as you know that you will be postponing your wedding, you should start planning your change-the-date cards to send out as soon as possible. The cards are a courtesy to your guests, especially if they were planning to travel to your wedding. You should include the new time and date to ensure all of your loved ones can make your big day.
It’s ideal to include the new date of your wedding. However, if your original date is within two months and you don’t have a new date yet, you should go ahead and send out the change-the-date cards. You can send out an informal email or text before formally mailing change-the-date cards to prevent potential miscommunication and confusion.
Designing your wedding change-the-date cards can be an opportunity to reconnect with the joy of wedding planning. With your wedding rescheduled, a lot will change. Everything from the:
Maybe you can book a venue you loved that was originally unavailable or embrace the natural beauty of the new season in which your wedding will take place. If you have enough time, consider the aesthetic of your new wedding before you design your change-the-dates.
A shift in the visual style of your change-the-dates will make the switch clear. On the other hand, completely reusing the style of your original save-the-dates or invitations could confuse guests who might just skim the new date card.
After your special day, you’ll send out thank you cards to guests. These should be sent within three weeks of receiving their gift and should include:
It can be a nice touch to add photos from your wedding day along with your note of appreciation.
If you haven’t created a wedding website yet, now is a great time. A wedding website can easily keep your guests up to date with all of the details and changes regarding your wedding. Build a cohesive wedding theme by matching the design of your wedding website with the design of the change-the-date cards.
Not everything about postponing your wedding is as fun as designing change-the-date cards or a wedding website. However, the process does not need to be overly stressful. We’ve built this step-by-step guide for everything you need to know to reschedule your wedding:
Contact Your Insurer (If Applicable): Not every couple purchases insurance for their big day, but in times of uncertainty, it can be a useful expenditure. Review the terms of your policy and contact your insurer to determine what they will or will not cover.
Reach Out to a Wedding Planner: If you’ve been using a wedding planner, they’ll be an invaluable resource to help you navigate the process of rescheduling your wedding. If you don’t have a wedding planner, consider temporarily consulting one who can offer guidance.
Review Your Contracts: You will need to establish the financial consequences of postponing your wedding. Consult your original contracts with your vendors to determine their cancellation policy and any nonrefundable costs.
Contact Your Vendors: Regardless of your contract or cancellation policy, you will need to contact your wedding vendors to officially cancel. As you do so, try to negotiate. Vendors may be flexible, especially if you’re still planning to use their services at your rescheduled wedding.
Rebuild Your Budget: Return to your original budget for your wedding and begin to adapt it. Start by accounting for all losses, including pre-paid fees such as retainers and final payments and non-refundable goods and services. Then, add in any new costs associated with rescheduling. You may have to make sacrifices as you plan your new day to account for whatever losses you incurred due to the postponement.
Contact the Guests: Now is the time to contact your guests. Sending them an informal email or text as soon as possible will be much appreciated. Then, you can get to work on ordering change-the-date cards and choosing a new wedding date.
Now that your wedding day is officially postponed, you can begin the process of wedding planning anew. Think of your original wedding planning as a foundation from which to construct an even more wonderful wedding day.
As you plan, here are the steps you need to follow:
Choose a New Wedding Date: Selecting a new wedding date is a delicate process. If you want to keep the same venue and vendors, you’ll have to plan around their schedule. If you have to plan around your own schedule or your families, then you may have to find new vendors. Weigh the pros and cons of each. It may be possible to keep some vendors for your new chosen date while replacing others.
Reimagine Your Wedding Theme: You can certainly stay true to your original wedding theme, but this is also a great opportunity to get creative and embrace the change. Think of the new factors that might affect your wedding theme. Do you have a new venue? Is your wedding date in a different season? These changes offer tantalizing possibilities to reimagine your wedding theme if you’d like.
Confirm Your Wedding Vendors: Now is the time to confirm your wedding vendors and resign new contracts, whether you’ve chosen new vendors or are working with the same ones. To make the process of finding new vendors easier, access our free wedding vendor search tool, which allows you to input your wedding date and details to find the perfect venue or vendors.
Send Wedding Invitations: Now that you’ve confirmed essential details including the new wedding date and location, it’s time to send new wedding invitations for all your guests. Recall our wedding stationery 101 lesson. You can craft a full wedding suite or choose to send just a simple card.
Reschedule Your Honeymoon: You’ve likely already postponed your honeymoon, so now you can get to work on your new plans. As with your wedding, you’ll have to review your budget and determine if your original honeymoon hopes are still feasible.
Plan Day-Of Vendors: With the date and your other vendors confirmed, you can begin to confirm the day-of details, including hotel blocks, transportation, and welcome bags. When you have these details confirmed, you can update your wedding website to keep your guests in the know.
Send Thank You Notes: Your guests aren’t the only ones who might appreciate thank you notes. As you’ve worked tirelessly to reschedule your wedding, you likely haven’t done it alone. Think of all the people who have helped you—family, friends, and vendors. Sending them a thank you note for their flexibility and assistance will mean a lot to them. When it comes time to send post-wedding thank you notes, our wedding registry includes a free thank you note manager.
Even as you’ve made the most out of a tough situation, you undoubtedly don’t want to deal with this process again. Provide yourself future security by creating a backup plan. This can be anything from:
Whatever happens, you and your beloved will face the changing circumstances and stand strong together.
Don’t worry: You can master this chaotic wedding planning and postponement process with ease when you have Zola at your side. Easily reschedule your big day and explore new vendors with the help of our vendor search function.
Then, explore our gorgeous stationery designs, whether you’re crafting wedding change-the-date cards or sending updated wedding invitations. Create a free, matching wedding website, so guests can stay abreast of future changes. Finally, build your wedding registry and choose from 100,000 gifts from 1,000 top brands.
It’s time to say “I Do” to all-inclusive wedding assistance—with Zola.