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Bride and Groom Angry About CoronavirusIn the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, nearlywed couples contend with everything from venue closures and missing apparel to bans on large gatherings and worries about contracting the virus themselves. With these serious issues, many opt or have been forced to postpone their nuptials. If you’re in the same boat, developing and following a prudent plan can ensure that you’re able to successfully reschedule.

Don’t Cancel: Postpone and Reschedule

Harper’s Bazaar’s Carrie Goldberg advises rescheduling your wedding as opposed to canceling. You’ll avoid losing any deposits you’ve paid, as your vendors may be able to reallocate those funds. Stay flexible and be open to weekdays as alternative dates. The Atlantic’s Ashley Fetters mentions Thursday and Friday as popular alternatives, but Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays may be easier to snag. Try rescheduling your wedding within the same year if possible, as your vendors may be better able to accommodate you. Experts currently suggest selecting a weekday later in 2020 rather than a weekend date in 2021.

Consult Your Family and Wedding Party

Changing your wedding arrangements will also impact your wedding party and immediate family, so they need to be in on the conversation. You must ultimately do what’s best for you, but be sure to consult those closely involved. Collaborate with them to select a date when they’ll all be available to help you celebrate.

Read Your Contracts Thoroughly

Brides senior editor Anna Price Olson suggests reviewing your vendor contracts for cancellation and refund policies. Most also contain force majeure or “acts of God” clauses that address what happens if they can’t be fulfilled due to circumstances beyond your or your vendors’ control. Wedding Wire’s Kim Forrest explains that force majeure clauses should ideally protect both parties, but COVID-19 presents new challenges to their interpretation. Read through these provisions, pay attention to their language, and consult an attorney if anything is unclear.

Talk to Your Vendors Immediately

After checking your contracts and considering how to reschedule, contact your vendors right away. You can do this easily through email, and Zola offers an email template for your initial message. When speaking to your venue, ask for three to four next available dates. If nothing’s available until 2021, ask if there’s another property in their network that could host your wedding. After presenting your ideas, your vendors will let you know what they can do to accommodate. Don’t forget to confirm whether any money you’ve paid will be applied to your new chosen date.

Consider the Costs Carefully

Coronavirus has caused financial impacts. But even if you’re postponing a wedding under normal circumstances, you may pay extra. Besides any fees stipulated in your vendor contracts, Price Olson explains that you may be charged for perishable items such as food or flowers that were already ordered when you postponed your event. You could incur additional fees when rebooking travel and lodging, but some companies are waving these fees due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Travel, wedding, and credit card insurance may cover some of these costs, so review your policies and confirm with your providers.

Inform Your Guests Right Away

Whether or not you’ve nailed down a new date, you must notify your guests about your change of plans as soon as possible. Email is probably the fastest and most effective way to do this, but don’t forget to follow up by phone if necessary. Samantha Iacia offers wording suggestions for your announcement in a March 2020 Wedding Wire piece.

It doesn’t always take a global pandemic to force wedding plans to change, but a thoughtful approach is essential when rescheduling your big day. A well-organized plan can help you pick a new date, make arrangements, keep friends and family in the loop, and bring your wedding vision to life.

Category: Wedding Planning

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