Should I postpone my Summer/Fall wedding?
We have been receiving phone calls and emails from many deeply concerned couples. The most common question is that they have a late summer or fall wedding...should they continue with planning and booking their vendors or hold off until knowing the full scale of the virus. Should they book or should they wait it out?
If your wedding is in late Summer, Fall or Winter of 2020, I would definitely go ahead and book your vendors. Due to the virus, nearly all of the Spring and early Summer weddings have been moved to the latter part of 2020 and vendor availability has become scarce. If you are having an early Summer wedding, then we would recommend that you have your planner reach out to the vendors you are interested in to check on their availability and see how long they will hold a spot for you with regards to their rescheduling and cancellation policies and move forward from there. Communication with these vendors is key! If you love them and the world returns to normal (which we are all hoping will be soon! ) you don’t want to have missed out because of fear. If you communicate with them and have your planner sketch out plan with your vendors for all scenarios, everything will work out for the best.
Now, if your wedding is currently scheduled for June, July or August, we advise that you watch how things progress in the coming weeks and weigh your options wisely. Use this time to have conversations and check-ins with your planner, vendor team and venue as soon as possible. Don't loose sight of things, though, remember that your main goal right is to stay healthy while keeping yourselves and your guests safe. Right now it is all about minimizing risk.
When deciding whether to postpone, consider your planning timeline in addition to the date of your event. Though any wedding on the immediate horizon certainly requires a contingency plan and a new date in the future, we are still reaching out to every client and vendor to reassure them and review timelines. If you have a planner ask them to review what you've crossed off your checklist. This is not the time to procrastinate. You are not the only couple adjusting your timeline—other couples and all your vendors are too.
If you're considering postponing, speak with your planner, venue and vendors team right away...at the very least it will give you an overall picture of exactly who would be available on any of the new dates your venue has open. The ones to consider first and foremost are the vendors that can only be in one place at one time such as your band, photographer, officiant, etc. Run any new dates you're considering by your most important guests such as your immediate family and bridal party as well. Then, line up all things that have no penalties, like your hotel room block. Place temporary holds on anything you don't have to pay a deposit to secure as soon as possible. If you have everything lined up you can get first dibs on those new dates.
We saw a lot of engagements in 2018 and 2019 with many couples planning for the iconic 2020 wedding date. As a result, many of the late-summer and autumn dates this year are already booked, however, even if you now find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to postpone to opt for a new date this year, rather than look further ahead to 2021 if budgeting is a concern. And, of course, the best way to guarantee your dream wedding is to move away from a weekend date. Be flexible and consider a midweek event. If you're flexible and consider less popular dates on the calendar like a Wednesday or Thursday. Who knows? You could even be starting of a brand new trend, and there's certainly nothing wrong with that.
Ask any event planner worth their salt and they will tell you, it pays to keep your wedding date within the same year when rescheduling as long as you have a backup plan, which is Fridays, Sundays, and other weekdays. Unfortunately, for 2020 couples, this pandemic has shaken the event, hospitality and travel industries. It has the potential to leave them decimated. If you are looking to do something positive, postpone to a date this year. Choosing a weekend in 2021 could leave a venue or vendor's business unable to provide support for your event come the following year.
The last thing any of us want is for our couples to be monitoring a virus while we're planning your wedding. That's not what planning is about. The best part of planning is the final stages, when all the key components are in place and you're working on all the pretty details in place. Tracking this virus should have no part in that.
If there was ever a time to hire a planner, it's now. You don't pay a planner for when things get rosy, you pay a planner for when it hits the fan. It has, and I can promise you, we are ready and here to advocate for our clients and future couples. We can be your main point of connection to your vendors...your ears on the ground, so to speak. If a wedding planner is not in your budget either consider one of our event review sessions or select the the vendor you have the best personal relationship with and ask them what they're seeing from a professional point of view, as it may be very different. They can help alleviate stressful thoughts and give you some insight on how to move forward. From there, work your wedding postponements around your venue and that key vendor. The industry on the whole is banding together to help you reassess and will be fighting in your corner through this.
Wedding planners all across the board are reconfiguring, rescheduling, and renegotiating weekends of events, travel arrangements, and contracts. Our goal, one which seems to echo across the industry is to be as supportive, understanding, and as flexible as possible. With that said, keep in mind that planning a new wedding in place of your current event, whether it is in a new destination, new venue, or for a much smaller or larger guest count, will likely create additional work outside the scope of your existing event, which may result in additional fees. While wedding planning is emotional, individualized, and personal, please realize that it is unfortunately unrealistic to think that a business could support planning two events for the price of one.