Being faced with the decision to postpone your wedding comes second only to actually needing to postpone it until further notice. And, if you just had to make that decision, you’re understandably feeling sad and maybe even angry. After all, you’ve already spent months or even years planning for the event. We really get it.
First things first: It’s perfectly OK to spend some time grieving for the day you envisioned that’s now on hold. Now is the time to practice all the self-care you need—whether that’s with some relaxation and deep breathing, indulging in your favorite foods, venting to anyone who will listen, or all of the above.
Once you’re ready to face your inbox and voicemails, you can start to let your vendors, wedding party, and guests know your plan moving forward.
Remember, Zola is here to support you as you navigate this difficult time. We know how difficult a decision like this must be, no matter the reason why. To help you navigate, here is some general guidance for postponing a wedding. Take in what helps, depending on your personal situation, and be sure to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if there’s anything else we can help you with.
Contact your venue, vendors, and suppliers.
You’ll need to reach out to your venue, vendors, and any suppliers who are involved with the wedding and let them know what’s up. This team of people is unique to you and is going to help you the most when it comes to basic logistics. Together, you can work out a plan for rescheduling and discuss the financial implications.
If you’re using a wedding planner, they may be able to help with some of these calls and emails or provide a list of everyone you need to talk to. They can also help you read through and navigate the vendor contracts you had in place.
As you reach out, keep in mind that your vendors are, oftentimes, business owners. A postponement will impact them, as well. Understand that everyone will work together to find the best possible solution for all parties. Be polite and professional as you explain your situation, concerns, and request for guidance. It’s fine to email the vendor initially but plan to set up a time to discuss on the phone, in person or via video chat, if possible.
You can use the following template as an initial email:
Dear [Vendor Name],
We are reaching out because we have made the difficult decision to postpone our wedding, set to take place on [date]. We recognize we had a contract in place with your team to provide [service]. We’d like to set up a time to discuss next steps and alternative dates you may have available. Thank you for working with us during this challenging time, and we hope to speak soon.
Sincerely, [Couples Names]
Other Vendor Things To Know:
Again, most vendors are familiar with postponements and other situational wedding hiccups. They will likely do their best to support you however they can. Keep in mind, though, that if they’re unavailable on your new date, they probably will not be able to refund your deposit. If they are able to accommodate your new date, there may be a change fee.
Read the fine print on your contract and try to negotiate when you can—just be polite and fair about it. Before you change your date, be sure to clear the new date with all of your vendors—just because your venue can make it work does not mean that your photographer, florist, or caterer will be available. You may need to make some tough choices and find a new vendor or two, which may result in a lost deposit.
Talk to your close family and wedding party.
If you haven’t already, talk to your inner circle first to let them know you’re postponing. This includes both your immediate families and wedding party. You can use these important people in your life as a “working group” to come up with a new date, depending on when works best for everyone’s schedules.
If your parents or others are financially involved in your wedding, you can also use this time to discuss the numbers and how the change in date may impact the budget. Be understanding if they don’t have additional funds to help cover all the changes. Continue to express your gratitude for whatever assistance they can offer.
Let your guests know.
Next on your checklist is notifying your guest list. You can notify guests in a few different ways. An individual phone call to everyone might not be practical, but you can send a mass email or text. (This is probably the easiest and safest bet for reaching everyone if your wedding is soon.) You can also bulk notify guests via your Zola app and/or wedding website.
To do this via the Zola app:
- Open your app and navigate to Guest List
- Select the envelope icon on the top right
- Choose how you’d like to send your message
To do this via your Zola wedding website:
- Open Guest List on a desktop
- Check ‘Select All’ (the box next to the headers for your Guest List)
- Select ‘Bulk Actions’ and then ‘Send Message’
You can use the following template for your guests:
Dear Friends and Family:
We have made the difficult decision to postpone our wedding [due to ... if you are giving a reason.] We will keep you updated regarding our wedding details. We are looking forward to celebrating together.
Love, [Couple Names]
Help your guests.
Your guests may have already made travel or other arrangements they will now need to cancel or reschedule. In addition to simply letting them know the wedding is postponed, offer support where you can.
If you are able to negotiate any cancellation or reimbursements for hotel room blocks, let your guests know how they can go about getting their money back. Pro Tip: Send them a contact if you have one so they can reach out directly instead of calling a hotel chain’s general number.
Not all your original guests may be able to attend your new wedding date and that’s OK. Try to be as understanding as possible of your guest’s concerns and schedules without stressing yourself out more.
Postponed weddings are more common than you’d think—lean on your fiancé and friends for extra support if anyone gives you a hard time.
Consult your wedding insurance policy
Did you take out a wedding insurance policy when you first started planning? Now is the time to take it out and review the terms.
Some items to look out for include:
- How much of the total wedding cost does your policy cover, and does it cover postponement or cancellation costs or change fees?
- What circumstances are covered in the event your need to postpone or cancel—natural disasters, travel cancellations due to weather, personal circumstances like sickness or injury, global health crises, etc.?
- What if the honeymoon needs to be canceled or postponed—will the insurance costs cover this?
Once you have a better idea of what may or may not be covered, you can reach out to the insurance company and ask to speak to your agent there. Explain the circumstances and inquire what (if anything) will be covered.
Celebrate your day regardless.
If you are up for it, do something just for you and your fiancé on the day your wedding was to take place. Some options include picking up cupcakes in your wedding cake flavor, spending the day relaxing together with your favorite movies, or taking a walk or drive to the spot you got engaged or had your first date.
Remember that whenever or wherever your wedding ultimately takes place, it will be beautiful—and your loved ones will be there to support you. Until then, try to soak up being engaged to the love of your life for just a little longer.