Everything You NEED to Know About Postponing a Wedding

Postponing a wedding

Photo: Kevin Chin

There are all sorts of reasons why couples have to postpone their weddings. Sometimes there’s a family emergency. Sometimes there’s the threat of a hurricane. Sometimes there’s a pandemic and the entire world shuts down.

From time to time, weddings get postponed due to unforeseen events. As it turns out, there are some things that are just beyond our control.

But you know what you can control? 

Your perspective, your temperament, and your love for one another! Remember, life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it. Who knew that could apply to wedding planning too?

If you’re faced with having to push your wedding back to a later date, we’ve got you covered. 

Here’s everything you need to know about postponing a wedding.

Notify Your Guests

Notifying your guests of a postponed weddingPhoto: Sara Lázaro

You know those save-the-dates you were so excited to send out? 

Now it’s time to send an update. The only difference is that this time, they’ll be change-the-dates.

Postponement announcement cards are a must!

You need to let your guests know that your big day is temporarily on hold. As soon as you know that your wedding date is changing, tell your guests, especially if they were planning to travel for your big day.

If your guests made flight or hotel arrangements, try to be as accommodating as possible.

If you blocked out rooms in a certain hotel, contact the hotel yourself. Ask the manager to designate a specific person as your point of contact. Then, let your guests know they should speak to that specific person regarding cancellations or refunds on their trip.

Check Your Wedding Insurance Policy

Hopefully, you had the wherewithal to take out a wedding insurance policy. If you did, now is the time to pull it out and reread it.

Know what it covers — and what it doesn’t. A good insurance policy can help you recoup more money than you thought.

Contact Your Vendors

Most couples sign contracts with a variety of different wedding vendors: florists, caterers, videographers, DJs, etc.

Take the time to read through every contract you signed with every vendor. Some vendors may allow you to simply choose a new wedding date and apply your deposits towards that new date.

In the event of an act of God or a natural disaster, there’s a good chance that your vendors are losing business from all their couples. So, before canceling contracts completely, see if you can simply shift to a future date and keep your original plans intact.

Vendors would rather reschedule and receive your entire payment than cancel the contract and only get your initial deposit.

Wedding cakePhoto: Stephanie Brazzle

Keep in mind that it may be difficult to have all your vendors shift to the same date. Some venues and caterers fill their calendars years in advance, so you’ll need to be flexible when rescheduling.

The best way to approach it is to decide which vendors are the most important to you. If your venue is the most important thing, go with their available dates and be willing to select new florists, caterers, and entertainment if need be.

No one wants to postpone a wedding. Trust us, we feel your pain! But, it's important to know that if you are postponing for circumstances beyond your control, you're probably not the only couple doing so. It will still be a wonderful celebration.

And your wedding professionals want you to have the wedding of your dreams when the time is right, so they'll probably support you in every way. Remember why you chose each one and lean on their professionalism and partnership to guide you through the rescheduling process.

When you’re ready, head to Bella Bridesmaids for your bridesmaid dresses!

Ask Your Wedding Planner for Help

Did your wedding planner help you find the perfect chairs, lights, and decorations for your reception? Of course they did (that’s what they do). 

They may also be able to do some of the legwork when it comes to postponing your celebration.

Wedding planners may not be able to get you out of your vendor contracts, but they should certainly be able to help you navigate the process.

Ask your wedding planner if they’re willing or able to contact some of your vendors to start postponement.

Most wedding planners are in the business because they love weddings and they love love! If there’s any way they can help you, they probably will. You just have to ask.

You Can Still Get Married on Your Wedding Day

Couple getting married on a mountain cliffPhoto: Rebecca Yale

Our hearts go out to all the incredible couples whose wedding plans have been derailed by the coronavirus pandemic. And while these difficult circumstances might force you to postpone your original wedding plan, they can’t force you to postpone your love!

All you really need to get married is yourself, your fiancé, and an officiant to sign your marriage license. If you refuse to let Mother Nature, God, or anyone else delay your wedding, ask your officiant if they’re still willing to marry you on your scheduled day.

If you do decide to have a tiny ceremony with only an officiant present, you won’t be the first or last couple to do so. Make your marriage legal and say your nuptials on the original date, then have your reception later on.

Can’t imagine tying the knot without your loved ones present? If the people that really matter can be there, go for it!

The other folks on your guest list will understand, and they’ll still want to celebrate with champagne toasts, dinner, and dancing when you're ready to do so.

Related: Wedding Planning Around COVID: Wedding Masks and More


Planning a wedding is exciting. Postponing one probably isn't what you had in mind, but it can happen. And when it does, you’ve got to roll with it.

Chances are if you and your beloved can plan a wedding and endure having to postpone it, you’ll be that much stronger for it.

If you and your significant other are faced with having to postpone a wedding, try to look at it in a positive light. If you can get through this together, you can get through anything!

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