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Wedding Postponement Announcements & Etiquette

Updated: May 25

We found the following information from Minted very helpful and extremely informative to all couples going through wedding postponement due to the worldwide pandemic we are all experiencing right now. Please read through for their etiquette tips during this time:



We know how much time and love you and your partner have put into planning your wedding day and understand that the global coronavirus outbreak is causing a great deal of uncertainty and stress. We want to share some tips that could help you. We realize that you may need to postpone or adapt your wedding plans due to COVID-19, and we are here to help as you think about your upcoming wedding.



UNDERSTANDING THE CORONAVIRUS AND HOW IT CAN AFFECT YOUR WEDDING


What does this mean for your wedding plans?


The simplest answer is that it will mean something different for everyone. Deciding to postpone or change your wedding will be a different decision for each couple and their families.


We recommend staying informed during this time through trusted governmental organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO)and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC has official guidance for people planning and hosting events. The guidance from the CDC is changing frequently, so be sure to check their website and your local health department on a regular basis.

SHARE A DATE-CHANGE VIA OUR POSTPONE WEDDING ANNOUNCEMENTS

Wedding postponements are unfortunate but inevitable. Whether your reason for a wedding delay is a personal emergency or a completely unforeseen macro-event, coordinating a change of date can be a stressful and emotional experience. With the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent government guidance about appropriate group gatherings, we’ve been hearing from more brides than ever that they need ways to explain a wedding postponement or cancellation to their guests. Here at Minted, we have curated an assortment of event change or “change the date” cards for couples to help keep their guests apprised of the news, no matter what your current status is: fully canceled, slightly delayed, or postponed with a complete venue change. There are, of course, many different styles and tones for our change the dates cards that will help you effectively relay information to your guests.

WEDDING POSTPONEMENT ETIQUETTE

Changing your wedding date with a postponement card is generally a lighter touch than the original invitation suite that you sent your guests. The goal here is to provide essential information so that guests can quickly reconfirm their availability and rebook travel should it be necessary. In general, a change-the-date card should include the couple’s name, an acknowledgment of the postponement, and a new date and/or location if it is available. We also recommend featuring your wedding website address prominently and directing guests there for more detailed information and updates, which is particularly important for those who may have lost your web address or are not checking it as regularly as you are! Here are a few samples of our favorite wedding postponement messages for differing levels of formality:

Classic and Simple:

We regret to announce that the wedding of

[Couple’s Names]

has been postponed to

[New Date]

[Location]

For further details and updates, please visit

[Wedding Website]

Formal:

It is with the deepest regret that

[Parents’ Names]

announce that the marriage of

[Couple’s Names]

has been postponed due to the current global health crisis

Please join us to celebrate their love

On [New Date]

at [Location]

Familiar:

Save our New Date

For the wedding of

[Couple’s Names]

[New Date]

[Location]

Thank you for your love and patience

Fun and Casual:

Let’s Try This Again

[Couple’s Names]

Are still getting married!

[New Date]

[Location]



SUGGESTED WORDING FOR TIMING UPDATES TO YOUR GUESTS


If your wedding date has not changed: As we all adapt to an uncertain time with COVID-19 (coronavirus), we are monitoring the news carefully. We are prepared to take every precaution necessary to make our wedding safe for our guests, even if that means postponing it. Our wedding is happening as planned, and we look forward to celebrating with you all on [date]!

At this point, we've been advised that a [month] wedding should be safe. Please RSVP and book your accommodations as you normally would, but check first for a lenient cancellation policy, which most hotels and airlines are happy to provide in light of current events. That being said, the safety of our guests is our utmost priority. Please check our website and national and local public health websites regularly for updates. Please contact us directly with any questions – our contact information is below. Thank you for your love, patience, and concern.


If you have a new, postponed wedding date: As we all adapt to an uncertain time with COVID-19 (coronavirus), we are monitoring the news carefully and prepared to take every precaution necessary to make our wedding safe for our guests. We have decided, out of abundance of caution, to postpone our wedding until [date]. We cannot wait to celebrate with you!

At this point, we've been advised that a [month] wedding should be safe. Please RSVP and book your accommodations as you normally would, but check first for a lenient cancellation policy, which most hotels and airlines are happy to provide in light of current events. That being said, the safety of our guests is our utmost priority. Please check our website and national and local public health websites regularly for updates. Please contact us directly with any questions – our contact information is below. Thank you for your love, patience, and concern.


If you have postponed your wedding, but do not have a new date yet: As we all adapt to an uncertain time with COVID-19 (coronavirus), we are monitoring the news carefully and prepared to take every precaution necessary to make our wedding safe for our guests. We have decided, out of abundance of caution, to postpone our wedding. We are working to figure out our new date and will keep you informed as soon as we have our updated plan finalized.

For those of you who booked hotel accommodations, [state your hotel’s change policy or direct guests to contact the hotel]. Many airlines are offering lenient ticket change policies, so we suggest you reach out to them directly.

While we are very sorry to delay our celebration and cause changes to your plans, the safety of our guests is our utmost priority. We will post updates to our website and also send out updates via email. Please contact us directly with any questions – our contact information is below. Thank you for your love, patience, and concern.



FOR COUPLES READY TO MAKE RESERVATIONS & DEPOSITS:


  • Pay close attention to cancellation policies in your contracts. Ask what cancellation policies apply to your event venue, hotel rooms (for your block’s room guarantee as well as individual guest cancellations), and even airlines, particularly in regards to the coronavirus. If certain hotels and airlines appear more lenient with their policy, consider including their information on your wedding website as recommended travel options. Most airlines and major hospitality chains have their coronavirus-specific cancellation policies featured on their homepage. Some contracts might have a “Force Majeure” (“act of God”) section that spells out under which unusual conditions you can cancel (or “terminate”) your contract. You can explicitly add the coronavirus to your contract as a reason that you can cancel. The contract should also clearly outline which expenses are refundable and whether there are any deadlines by which you need to cancel in order to get a full or partial refund.

  • Plan bridal showers and bachelorette parties with similar considerations. Make sure the host understands cancellation policies for the venue and any booked activities. Talk with your bridal party about any unease they might feel about flying somewhere and consider less exposed alternatives like reserving a fun vacation rental within driving distance.

  • Has your wedding dress already been made? Materials and fabrics that need to be shipped from abroad may take much longer to arrive than they normally would. Understand what timeline you’ll be working with if your dress is being custom made, and prepare yourself for the possibility of having a prefabricated gown tailored to your exact specifications. Some gown makers can expedite overseas shipping by using air freight (planes) instead of sea freight (boats). This can speed up delivery times by weeks, although air freight is much more expensive and expediting fees might apply.

  • As you work with your caterer, think about whether or not guests will be comfortable sharing food. Think about skipping a buffet or passed appetizers, and opt for individually served meals. Remember to take into account how individual meals may affect your budget and the type of food you want to offer.

  • For dessert, entertain the idea of having a small cake made for the cake cutting, and serve individual desserts alongside for your guests. Single-serve treats like cupcakes or donuts will allow guests to feel more at ease and in control of how they are being served.

  • Think about what you are planning for entertainment. Will guests feel comfortable being in close proximity to one another on a dance floor? Consider alternatives like a live band or soloist, a friendly trivia competition with questions about the newlyweds, or a professional performance emphasizing your cultural heritage, such as a dragon dance or hula.


FOR THOSE WITH THEIR WEDDING DAY FAST APPROACHING:


  • Read the CDC’s latest recommendations for people hosting events and consult the local public health authority in the location of your event.

  • Think about your guests and how the coronavirus is known to affect the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions more severely. Will you be okay having your wedding if key elderly or immune-compromised guests can’t attend? Should you postpone or re-arrange dates if those guests need to be in attendance?

  • If dates can’t be changed or postponed, consider alternatives for attending the wedding. If you’ve hired a videographer, ask if they’d be willing to work with you to stream the ceremony. Guests could stream the ceremony at home and a more formal celebration can be held in the future. You could also help guests who can’t travel arrange a watch-party where favors and food similar to that at the wedding are delivered to the party host.

  • If you’re required to cancel shuttle buses that you’ve arranged, explore whether the company will provide a credit toward a rental or taxi service, or generate a discount code for ride-share applications.

As noted above, in addition to sending a wedding date change card, you should also update your guests in a few other places to make sure nobody misses the news. You don’t want a wedding guest traveling to attend a wedding ceremony that has been postponed! We recommend (if you already haven’t) that you first call, text, or email your immediate family and members of the wedding party to confirm that the new reschedule date works for them. This has the added benefit of being able to field questions directly from your guests or proactively spread the postponement details, so you aren’t inundated with more requests down the line.


In the current climate, guests are more likely to anticipate a wedding cancellation or postponement due to country- and state-level guidelines for the containment of coronavirus. Having you or your wedding party continuously affirm that a card with information is in the mail and the wedding website will be updated regularly is particularly helpful with stemming additional undue stress stemming from guest’s well-intentioned questions and concerns. For many brides, we’ve seen them doubling up on both an email to the full guest list and a paper event-change card to their guests to ensure that everyone has been made aware of the change as quickly as possible, while still preserving some of the joy and style of the event.


Many couples have also been asking if it’s possible to send a wedding postponement card if a new wedding date is not yet set. This is particularly relevant if the cancellation is within the next 4-5 weeks and you want to give yourself the time and space to re-plan the perfect big day. This is absolutely acceptable. All you need to do in this scenario is, like above, confirm where new details about the wedding will be made available to guests, usually on your wedding website. This can be a bit trickier because guests may not be actively checking the site, so you should think in advance whether you plan on sending a new batch of invitations or a follow-up change-the-date for guests who may not be as tech-savvy or who may be expecting a paper invitation to keep all details organized.


Given the lead time associated with travel cancellations, it is advisable to send out your news of a postponement as soon as possible. There are no “X months before” rule of thumb like there are for wedding invitations or save the dates, but, if you are expecting guests to rebook and confirm new travel arrangements, you will likely get the best response from your guests if you send at least six to eight weeks before the new date, just like an invitation. In the event you’re a little tighter on time with your wedding postponement cards, we also recommend that you direct guests to your website to digitally RSVP as opposed to sending paper RSVP cards, so that you can keep management simple and increase the speed with which you are able to collect responses for your new wedding plans.


Resource: https://www.minted.com/postpone-wedding-announcement



X O X O

Maryssa Souza

Owner | Lead Planner

Save the Date! Weddings & Events

www.savethedatesonoma.com



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