I am sure that there are many of you wondering if you should consider postponing your wedding. The thought of a postponement is completely devastating and I have seen first hand from my own wedding planning clients what a stressful time it has been over recent months. Knowing what steps to take to postpone your wedding is a confusing and upsetting time for so many couples. I’ve been planning weddings in the UK for a number of years and have spoken to many of my industry colleagues on what advice they can offer to couples faced with the decision to postpone their wedding. Together we have compiled a completely honest guide to postponing your wedding that we hope is helpful!
WORK WITH YOUR VENUE TO FIND A NEW DATE
The first step in postponing your wedding is to speak to your wedding venue, and I recommend doing this as soon as possible. Many couples have adopted a ‘wait and see’ policy and while that may feel like the sensible thing to do, you may find yourself in a situation where your venue and other suppliers are not available on the date that you want in 20201. Julia from The Grange Hampshire says ‘Accept your fate as early as possible. Make a decision and take back some control. Don’t fight against what you cannot change’.
I urge couples to be flexible when it comes to picking a new date for 2021. There are not enough weekends in the year to accommodate everyone. ‘With over 250,000 weddings postponed from 2020, couples are hurriedly trying to grab whatever date is available. Couples have already had the huge disappointment of not getting married when they planned but they need to get creative. There simply aren’t enough weekend dates in 2021 to cope with demand. Look at weekday weddings – there are deals to be done if you don’t get married on a Saturday – and this will give couples so much more choice. We are currently devising packages for small weddings as and when lock down measures ease. These will be all inclusive packages which we can dial up really quickly for those who want to get on and get married or have got engaged during lock down.’ says Julia.
The support from venues is echoed by Danielle, the owner of Penton Park, a luxury country house wedding venue in the South West. Danielle says ‘ For any couples having to postpone we think it is so important to remember that actually the delay itself will make the wedding day SO much more special, you will be the luckiest people to be hosting those first family get togethers where everyone completely values the chance to be in the same room as each other. Many of our couples have understood the challenges we are facing and have looked to move their wedding within this financial year to support us being able to sell later 2021 dates to new couples. Those couples moving to peak 2021 dates have been supportive of the issues facing our venue and we have worked together to have open and honest dialogue to reach a solution that works for both of us – I’ve almost been in tears at the support some of our couples have shown to us. Fundamentally we’ve been here constantly available, on the phone and having honest, open and constructive conversations to work to support our couples as much as we can’. What many people do not realise is that a lot of venues are only allowed to host a certain number of weddings each year and many owners are extremely concerned about the future of their businesses’.
READ THE SMALL PRINT
“Our hearts go out to anyone planning their wedding this year. We know changing the date was not what you had planned, but we hope you can use this extra time to plan an ever better day. If you are still holding out in the hope that your date will go ahead then we urge you not to bury your heads in the sand. Wedding venues and suppliers are getting incredibly booked up for 2021, so the longer you leave it the less chance you have of securing the same suppliers for next year. Contact all of your vendors and check their availability, starting with those that are most important to you’ James and Kerrie Photography, Somerset wedding photographers.
It is also incredibly important to understand the terms and conditions of your contracts with suppliers. Every wedding supplier is different and will be in a different financial position; Kerrie says ‘ we are certain that everyone involved in your wedding day will want to work with you the best they can, they want to see your day go ahead as much as you do’.
It might not feel like it at the moment, but there are a lot of positives to changing your wedding date. Embracing the change, instead of fighting it may bring many benefits. You will have more time to plan, more time to save and the party is going to be more than worth the wait. If it’s a different season altogether then there are a lot of brilliant things about a winter wedding that will make it special and memorable ‘twinkly lights, pine cones, flowing candles’ say James and Kerrie Photography. Don’t forget to do something special to celebrate your original wedding date.
If you are now planning a winter wedding, then of course there are some considerations you should make that you might not think about for the summer wedding you had planned. Aurora Grey, a norfolk wedding photographer says ‘The main one I would recommend for winter weddings is to make your ceremony time early! A 12pm ceremony would be much better than a 2pm one! The light fades fast at that time of year so to get all the key photos and couple shots done whilst it’s still light is great. I would also say for the evening…lights and candles and lot’s of them! They always look so beautiful in the photos. That way you get the best of both worlds, the stunning golden hour shots as well as the twinkly, romantic ones!’. For more advice on planning a winter wedding, take a look at this blog post I wrote all about weddings later in the year.
‘It is especially important to keep a good relationship with your photographer’, says David Jenkins a Cotswold wedding photographer. ‘It is tricky for all parties and understandably a super stressful time but taking time to compose emails when you’re in a calm place really helps. On the day of your wedding you’ll spend a lot of time in close proximity to your photographer, and the best photos are always created when you feel relaxed and the whole relationship feels collaborative’.
For more advice on what to do if your wedding is postponed, and how to navigate through a minefield of contracts, payments, suppliers and venues then I would like to help. Please contact me via email@example.com with whatever problem you are having and I shall do my best to help. If I can’t help, I will point you in the direction of someone that can. Whether it be that you feel a supplier isn’t being flexible, or your venue doesn’t have the availability you need, or you just feel completely overwhelmed by the whole thing – then please don’t carry the burden on your own.