I’ve been struggling to find the perfect words for not only my own cherished couples, but all brides and grooms facing the reality of postponing your wedding during this tragic pandemic. While we all understand and appreciate the importance of social distancing during this time, it is still heartbreaking to face. I understand the time, heart, and investment you’ve put into bringing together all of your loved ones for the most wonderful day of your life. My prayers are with all of you during this time. More than anything, I want to help. Even if I can simply answer some questions or provide reassurance, I want to be there for you. I’ve pulled together all of my heartfelt advice into one place to hopefully provide some support during this time.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Your first priority should be taking care of yourself, and of course, your loved ones. I understand you are probably feeling overwhelmed and stressed at the prospect of postponing your wedding. You are likely being affected by the coronavirus in other ways as well. Take some time to breathe. It’s completely ok to let yourself feel disappointment, sadness, and anger at the situation. Don’t feel like you have to fix or decide everything right this second. There’s still a lot of uncertainty, so the best thing you can do right now is take care of yourself. Give yourself a break from all the bad news by stepping away from the screens and enjoying a walk in the fresh air, a favorite book, or a relaxing bath. My favorite relaxing ritual right now is meditating to Abide on YouTube to help me relax. Reach out to friends and family – especially any current or recent bride friends – and lean on them for support. Schedule a video coffee date with your bridesmaids or one-on-one calls with those closest to you. Find one thing each day you can feel gratitude for, whether it be your health, your fiance, or even something simple like a cuddle from your pet. And most importantly, prioritize your health and wellness during this troubled time.
DEVELOP A TIMELINE
Now that you’ve given yourself a chance to breathe, the first thing to understand is timing. The status of this pandemic is changing every day and each state is handling restrictions differently. However, it is safe to estimate that if your wedding is in the next ten weeks (happening between now and the end of May), you will likely need to postpone. If your wedding date is between 10-14 weeks out (in June), plan to begin reaching out to your venue over the next week to best understand your options. If your wedding is more than 15 weeks out, hold steady for now, as long as you feel comfortable doing so. No matter your date, the most important thing is the safety and wellbeing of you and your loved ones, so work within a timeline that you feel comfortable with.
REACH OUT TO EACH OF YOUR VENDORS
Next, reach out to your vendors, beginning with your venue. If your wedding is between now and the end of May, you’ve likely heard from at least your venue by now. Ask about your options for postponing, available dates, and any updates needed to your contract including payment terms. Once you have your venue options, make a list of the rest of your vendors in order of importance and include their contact info. Make sure you have each contract accessible as well. A spreadsheet will be your best friend right now. This is a difficult time for all of us working in the wedding industry and our hearts are absolutely with you. Your vendors will likely try to help as much as they can, but remember that some things may have to change for your special day.
I’m glad that I have been able to reach out and provide support to my spring couples and pray I can serve them well as they each face these unexpected challenges.
REACH OUT TO YOUR GUESTS
Don’t feel like you need a brand new date and details ready to go to begin reaching out to your guests. Everyone is together in this same time of uncertainty and will be understanding of the postponement. If possible, reach out to your guests as soon as you decide you will be postponing. This will allow your loved ones to take advantage of relaxed cancellation policies if they are traveling. Enlist help from your family and bridal party to spread the word, consider sending a postponement email, and add the announcement to your wedding website. When it comes time to reschedule, consider mailing out a “change the date” card or reaching out via phone and email and asking guests to update their RSVPs on your wedding website.
POSTPONING YOUR WEDDING
There will be many factors to consider when looking at a new date for your wedding. Consider listing out the 3-5 most important things to you and your fiance. This will help you prioritize as you make your decisions. Understand what you’re each willing to compromise on. Perhaps you both want to still have your wedding this year, and would consider an alternate venue or smaller wedding. Maybe you have your heart set on your current venue, and would consider postponing until next year. Try to keep your hearts open as you discuss possibilities with your vendors and loved ones.
SAVING YOUR DATE
I understand there is a lot of sentimentality and significance to your wedding date. If you postpone your wedding, find a way to celebrate this day with your fiance, even if it’s with a homemade dinner and bottle of champagne. If you’re able to do so safely and while complying with restrictions, you may also look into still getting married on your planned wedding date and saving your big celebration for later. If you can keep your ceremony safe and small (current recommendation is under 10 people total for limited gatherings), you may be able to still say your vows on your date at your home. You could even explore streaming your mini ceremony to family and friends. Of course, prioritize the health and safety of everyone involved and keep in mind that restrictions are constantly changing.
FIND HOPE TOGETHER
While the future may be uncertain, your love is not. Turn to your fiance for hope during this time. Find ways to make your time together special. Consider journaling together, find an audiobook or new show to share, or have game or movie nights. If you’ve gone through premarital counseling through your church, consider reaching out to see if phone or video sessions would be available during this stressful time. Lean on each other and see this time as a chapter in your beautiful love story.
CONNECT WITH FELLOW BRIDES IN THE SAME SHOES
No one knows what you’re going through better than other brides. If you don’t have any bride friends or family members, there are lots of Facebook groups just for brides! The New Jersey Bride Private Groupon Facebook is a wonderful community if you are getting married in the New Jersey area.
And of course, you can reach out to me anytime. Whether you are a current bride of mine or not – I am here for you! I’m more than happy to make time for a virtual coffee date to talk about your wedding plans and how I can help you navigate this season. Reach out to me anytime at email@example.com.
Myra Roman is a New Jersey wedding photographer and destination wedding photographer who loves capturing beautiful moments and turning them into lasting memories. Myra is now interviewing couples for weddings in 2020 and 2021! View her website for more information or follow her on Instagram!