It is easy to succumb to fear in the face of uncertainty and unpredictability. I'm so sorry for how overwhelmed you must feel if you're having to postpone your big day. But I hope to put your mind at ease by sharing with you my knowledge and experience. I've assembled some resources you can use when being faced with the decision of having to postpone or even cancel your wedding.
The first step I recommend is reaching out to your venue. Ask them to give you 5 possible dates that are available. If you are considering dates in 2020 I suggest considering Fridays or Sundays as many of the Saturdays will be taken.
Because there is much uncertainty about when things will ease up I recommend looking at dates from August on. Although you might have had your heart set on a 2020 wedding you might also consider some 2021 dates.
When you start reaching out to your vendors I recommend starting with the vendors that can only do one wedding a day. This is usually your wedding planner, photographer, DJ, and hair/makeup. Vendors like baker, florist, rentals and linens can often do more than one wedding a day and their schedules are likely to be more flexible.
If you have one vendor you really love and you cannot imagine your wedding without them then you might want to get their availability first.
When you start reaching out to vendors I recommend calling or texting (if you have that ability). You are going to need quick answers and if you have one vendor that isn't responding then you will leave all of the other vendors in limbo. Email is fine if you have no other option.
When you reach out to your vendors, let them know the possible dates IN THE ORDER YOU PREFER. They may not be available for all of the dates but it is best that you give options and that they know your first choice, second choice, etc.
Hopefully you can find one date that works for everyone. If there is a vendor that you cannot get for your new date then you might be faced with the decision of whether to cancel that contract. It is important you read your contracts carefully and fully understand that vendor's cancellation policy.
Once you have your date it is IMPERATIVE that you sign new contracts with each vendor reflecting the new date. This is an important step that you cannot overlook.
Once you have your new wedding date, start reaching out to your guests. If your wedding was in the next few weeks, a phone call, email or text is best. If you have time, consider getting a replacement invitation printed. Paperie providers are already starting to come up with some fun designs for these postponements. And don't forget to update your wedding website!
Assure your guests that if they don't feel comfortable coming to the wedding that you understand. There are some guests that might feel uncomfortable traveling or being in a large crowd for some time. Consider a live stream for these guests.
Planning a wedding is stressful enough without a global pandemic changing your plans. Please know that it is okay to grieve your original wedding plans in the event that you must postpone or even cancel your wedding.
So many hours, emails, decisions, and dreams went into the day you thought would be happening in the next couple of months. Feeling disappointed or frustrated by the lack of control you have in the situation is normal. This is a great time to lean on your family, wedding party, and your partner as you make difficult decisions.
If you think you might want a planner to help you navigate your postponement or if your original planner is unavailable on your new date, please reach out. I have many summer and fall dates still open and I am offering discounts on all of my packages to those affected by COVID-19.