How to Reschedule Your Wedding Due to the Coronavirus
Apr 19, 2020 | By: Fusion Photography
We are in unprecedented times. Truly, if ever a word fits the bill that is just it. So much information, disinformation and subterfuge floating around the digital web it’s hard to make sense of what is actually happening. Please bear in mind, a lot of what we are reading is fear based journalism, we encourage you to stay vigilant, respect the virus, and do your part to stay connected and communal while we ride out this pandemic paranoia.
All that being said, you had a wedding planned in the next few weeks and months, maybe even at the end of this year and due to all this corona craziness you are forced to reschedule. What needs to be done? I've have compiled my best tips to manage your own wedding crisis below.
1 - Stay Calm, Do Not Panic
You have options. You and every other vendor - literally have been affected. With a little diligence, planning and deep breaths, you can safely navigate your way through this. If you absolutely HAVE to get married, you may still have virtual options. Check in with your local state and district governance policies and review their virtual online marriage options. You can click here to check: https://www.dccourts.gov/services/marriage-matters
2 - Utilize Your Wedding Planner
Contact your wedding planner if you have one and establish some ground rules and parameters using our checklist as your guide and make sure they are involved in the adjustment plan.
3 - Review Your Contracts
Now is the time - you have plenty of it, to break out all your vendors contracts (assuming you did this correctly and got contracts from all your vendors in the first place) and thoroughly review them together with your fiance. Use this as an opportunity to work together on something wedding related. Clearly understand all their policies and agreements and consider making a spreadsheet, outlining refund policies, reschedule policies, deposit policies, etc. You need to understand the financial implications for each vendor - don't stress on the language just yet, if it implies you are financially responsible - like we said, we are all in this together and all suffering the fallout, so regardless the language, we encourage you to work with each vendor and come up with a solution that works for everyone's best interests. Personally, I love the idea of scheduling a ZOOM conference with EVERYBODY on your wedding DREAM TEAM and having a group conference call together. Remember - you are likely not their ONLY client pivoting, so be respectful of that with each vendor, stay calm, breathe and work through this TOGETHER.
4 - Figure Out a Backup Plan
Be prepared to have a few dates in mind before you go to your vendors. What is the best case scenario? What is the path of least resistance? How can you pull off your original plan? How can you scrap the original and revise it so some of it is still intact? What options are you prepared to sacrifice? These are some of the questions you should be considering as you plan the backup plan. Once you have compiled the plan(s) then schedule the conference call with the vendor. If you can’t get the group together, call each vendor and discuss. We also suggest writing everything down and sharing the document with all vendors. Maybe set up a google shared folder so that you don't have to rewrite it every time someone adds or adjusts the master document.
5 - Notify Your Guest of the New Plan
You don't have the luxury of time, well maybe you do if your wedding isn't until later in the year, but we recommend sending an email to EVERYONE first. A. this saves money, and B. it’s quick and simple and you have a written record of everything. If you do have a new date for the wedding, consider breaking your email up into several parts, the notification of the reschedule, the love note to tell them how much you appreciate them, yada yada yada and the NEW SAVE THE DATE.
6 - Update Your Website
If you have one of those cute wedding websites - UPDATE IT! Include this update BEFORE You send out the guest update and include the website with the updates in the email. Make sense?
7 - Try to Keep Your Vendor Team Together
You call them your dream team for a reason. If you refer to bullet #3 and bring them all together not only will you be fostering collaboration, you will be showing all vendors how much you care about retaining them and you know how far vanity goes with a wedding vendor? REALLY FAR!
8 - Consider Eloping :)
9 - This is Your Wedding - Do it YOUR Way!
Don’t worry about disappointing people, the majority of your guests will likely be relieved that they don’t have to make the decision of whether or not to cancel their RSVP themselves. Once you’ve made your new plans, roll with it, do not look back and second guess yourself and have fun with it. Who knows, maybe view this time around to fix some of the items you may not have liked on the first go. Consider this a second chance to get it even more PERFECT!
So, those are my tips based on what I’ve seen/experienced being a wedding photographer for several years. I also spoke to a wedding vendor that I know and got their tips this based on the way they operate their business. Check them out below!
Please do not panic! Do not become Chicken Little and think your wedding is doomed because the world is coming to an end. This is all going to pass and you need to concentrate on the fact that you are safe and healthy. “Look at the donut and not the hole!”
Talk to Venue’s first about alternative dates then contact your florist and give them the new date(s). Let them figure out from their schedules what will work for them too. Please be open minded to postponement and not just trash the idea of a different date. Anytime to marry the love of your life is the perfect time!!!
Reread your whole contract then have an open discussion about the previous contract that was signed and how to go about getting an amended contract that will need to be resigned. If you put a deposit down it should carry to the new date (every florist is different). Also remember keeping your cool and not turning this part into an even more stressful situation than it already is. Money is a serious matter but remember your florist has a family to feed too and you will get more when you are respectful and courteous.
You will need to be flexible on your flower choices especially if you are going from spring to fall or winter with your new date. What’s available in the spring is not always what is available at a later date. Give your florist the free reign to do their job the right way. Colors should not be an issue but types of flowers are always a constant problem even when the flower farms are in full production. Our flower farmers have been hit hard by this pandemic and have lost a ton of their crops so sometimes designer choice is the best alternative than tying your florist hands.
If a date can not be agreed upon and you have exhausted all avenues to postpone your wedding maybe still have a small backyard wedding with your 10 closest family members. Get a gorgeous bouquet, corsages for Moms, boutonnieres for groom and fathers maybe a pretty backdrop. Do something with the money you have put down to save your date. It helps the florist and makes amazing pictures and memories for you talk about the rest of your lives. You can have a big party later for celebrating with your friends and what’s left over from the deposit that didn’t get used for the wedding day it can be applied there. (Again this is dependent on the florist’s contract).
It’s a crazy time and what we need to do is support each other and have compassion for everyone in this situation. We are all struggling, we are all beyond fed up with the quarantine but ALWAYS chose to be kind.