You've spent 12-18 months planning what could potentially be the biggest life event for most people, to then be told someone ate a Bat in China, and now you can't get married! If you had told me at midnight on New Years Eve that this was going to be how the Wedding season was going to be for 2020 and now into 2021, I would have strongly advised that you step away from the Prosecco, as the bubbles were affecting you!!!
And yet here we are, almost 1 year on, and still in a lockdown with very minimal weddings going ahead!
You've spent on average 350 hours planning and coordinating approximately 15-20 suppliers, to now be told, through no fault of your own, that you need to find a whole new date which suits both you, the venue, the suppliers, and your guests - But where on earth do you start? And how can you keep planning from home?
If this is your reality, my key advice is
Don't Stop Planning!!!
With 80% of weddings taking place between April and September, postponement dates are filling up fast for Autumn into Summer. If you need to begin the postponement process, here is some guidance to help you through:
Put your suppliers into priority order
As a couple you need to sit down and find 3 possible new wedding dates which suit you. Your venue then needs to be your first port of call to see if any of these are even possible. This will usually coincide with caterers and bar hire, however, for weddings on private land such as a marquee, then these are your next focus group of suppliers, as they are probably additional vendors.
Next, list all of your booked suppliers in priority order of importance to you on a spreadsheet. Maybe your photographer took 12 months to find, and you have connected with them over an engagement shoot already, so they become number 1. Continue this process right the way through to your hairdresser.
As you contact each supplier with the proposed new date, create a traffic light system of responses; red if they can't attend, green if they can, and amber if they can pencil you in but can't confirm right away.
Whatever you do, make sure this is all done via email so that you have a paper trail of evidence for your new date. Many companies are not re sending their T&C's, so the old contract still stands.
Be flexible in your postponement plans
I understand how much you have your heart set on all the details from your planned wedding, however, a certain degree of flexibility from you and your suppliers will have to be discussed:
. Can you take a mid week new date as opposed to a summer date? If you have lost an April 2020 Friday wedding, don't then try and push for an August Saturday 2021 date, as that is not a realistic postponement.
. Your catering choices may need altering due to seasonal produce and availability - alternatively, there may be increased cost implications if you're set on your previous menu.
. The home grown British summer flowers you wanted for your June wedding are possibly not going to be available for a November postponement. You will need styling talks with your florist as your colour scheme may need altering accordingly.
. Your guest list attendance numbers may be altered with the new date. Some guests will decide they are not healthy enough to rejoin large gatherings, or lack in confidence to be around large groups. Some guests will now be able to attend your new date where they couldn't attend before.
These are all possibilities that you need to have an open mind about in order to create as little additional planning work as possible.
How to continue planning from home
The wedding industry is full of creative minds, so they are doing anything they can to help you with this uncertain time for us all.
01. Arrange a Skype meeting with your suppliers. Maybe they have a unit where they store their prop and styling hire - can they create a virtual display for you?
02. Do you need to change your venue? Or were you about to book a venue but now can't make the commitment as you haven't seen it? Many venues are booking virtual tours for you to get a feel for the venue.
03. Use this time to write your speeches and vows. You may not use any of it when your wedding day comes, but on the other hand, it may just save you a lot of time.
04. Can your Cake baker do a doorstep drop off of your cake sample flavours?
05. Do you or your partner have 2 left feet? Could you organise a virtual dance lesson and wow your guests with something other than a quarantine Tik Tok routine about 'Tiger King' when your day comes around?
06. Spend 20 minutes each day adding to your playlist. Maybe this is for the drinks reception, the wedding breakfast, or even the evening entertainment. Now is the perfect time to collate those hours worth of floor fillers.
07. Write your Thank you notes! You won't be able to add in the specifics just yet, but this task is a mammoth one following your big day, so a head start is surely worth the lockdown time.
08. This is a great opportunity to get your skin glowing! With all the money saved by not wearing make up as it gathers dust in a lockdown drawer, why not treat yourself to an online order of cleansing and self care products.
09. Work on that Bridal body you have been meaning to start for the last 6 months. There is so much access to online workout platforms right now, it's a great way to spend a few hours a week, and even better for the mental health.
10. Take on a friendly and calming Wedding Planner such as Wedding Care to get you through this level of postponement detail over the next few weeks. We are here to help and would love to help relieve some of your worries.
If you're feeling over whelmed just remember, you are absolutely not alone!
These postponement details are happening world wide. We may not be all in the same boat, but we are absolutely riding the same storm. You will have your wedding day, it's just a change to the original plan.
Stay Home, Stay Safe, Protect the NHS, and look forward to your extended chapter together.