As the shocking reality of the COVID-19 pandemic is now all too apparent and with the government announcement extending the lockdown in the UK for a further three weeks, weddings scheduled for the coming months have sadly become a predicament to manage, rather than a reason to celebrate.
As a society we are learning how to unite by keeping our distances from our families and friends, yet couples planning their weddings are facing the social, financial and logistical challenges of postponing, and rearranging their weddings for later dates. It truly is a worrying time, with around 150,000 weddings being postponed!
With almost every couple wanting to get married within 12 months of their original date and 50% of those preferring a Saturday celebration. Many are competing for prime dates with those couples that are already planning weddings for 2021.
Any wedding on the immediate horizon certainly requires an urgent contingency plan and a new date set sometime in the future. If you are in this scenario, then you're probably wondering how and when to postpone your wedding, and what to expect in that process.
The key is to remember you are merely rescheduling, rather than risking losing your deposit by cancelling; and maybe even your venue. The industry experts are insisting that weddings planned for April, May and June be postponed. Prime dates have quickly filled and it became clear that May weddings would need to be postponed…and now June weddings.
The majority of couples planning to marry in the next three to four months are choosing new dates in September through to November, and some are heading to spring 2021 to keep in line with their original plans.
As for events in July through to August, most are advising to watch how things progress in the coming weeks and consider your options carefully. Use this time proactively to have conversations with your venue and suppliers as soon as possible.
1. Firstly, speak with your venue to discuss alternative dates later in the year and find out their availability.
2. Then contact your suppliers to check who would be available on any of the new dates your venue has available. I would start with the suppliers that can only be in one place at any one time, in order of importance; so, your registrar or officiant, then your photographer, and perhaps the band whoever you have absolutely set your heart on.
3. The majority of couples may be lucky and remain with all their suppliers from their original date. However, the harsh reality is you should prepare yourself to lose a few who may not be available. The majority of suppliers may be able to refer you to another trusted supplier that they regularly work with, or they might be happy to transfer your booking to a different event.
4. Run any new dates you're considering by all your key guests as well. Imagine if the bride’s parents are away on their long awaited cruise, or the best man decides he needs a well-earned skiing trip after surviving months of lock-down, and misses his opportunity to ridicule the groom!
Your main goal right now is to stay healthy, keep yourselves and your guests safe, and minimize risk and ultimately loss. I wholeheartedly recommend acting fast and please bear in mind that you are not the only nearly-weds adjusting your timeline, the majority of other couples and all their suppliers are too.
Your wedding will happen, perhaps not as originally planned, but with the right approach and a willingness to find a solution that works for you, your venue and suppliers, you can look forward to a day that will be even more special after the wait, even if it is a Tuesday in November.
You've got this!