How We Postponed Our Wedding

Photography: Maaike Bernstrom Photography

As soon as we got engaged, we knew exactly where we wanted to get married. One our our favorite places in one of our favorite towns – Newport, Rhode Island has the most special place in our hearts. We did our tour in November 2018 and booked our date that same day! We picked a beautiful Saturday at the end of summer – right at the beginning of Virgo season. If you’re into astrology, you know that there’s something so romantic and magical during that time of year. We’ve been excitedly awaiting August of 2020 for the past two years.

As it turns out, the Universe had other plans in store, and we recently made the decision to postpone our wedding date to 2021. Yep, that’s right! We are one of the many couples who had to change their date due to COVID.

We put so much thought and consideration into this choice. We prayed over it. We talked endlessly about it to our family and friends. There were even a few tears (on my end, no surprise there). Ultimately, the health and safety of our loved ones mean everything to us, and we could not confidently move forward with a celebration this year given the current climate. Once the decision was final, we were 100% confident we did the right thing. It felt like a huge weight was being lifted off of our shoulders. 

We planned our entire wedding by ourselves. We didn’t hire a planner, so when it came to rescheduling, we just threw paint at the wall and prayed it would stick. It stuck, alright! If you’re considering postponing your wedding and looking for some advice, here’s how we went about doing it:

STEP ONE: CONTACT YOUR VENUE

We reached out to our venue right away to see about securing a backup date with right of first refusal. This is basically just a fancy way of asking for them to hold second date for you until either 1. you decide to postpone or 2. another party inquires about it. If another party is interested in booking this date, the venue will reach out to you first and you can decide then if you’d like to postpone or stick with the original date.

Our venue was SO accommodating, and sent over a list of the only eight dates that were available for 2021. We narrowed it down to two that caught our eye, and then moved on to step two.

STEP TWO: SHARE POTENTIAL BACKUP DATES WITH KEY VENDORS, FAMILY MEMBERS, AND THE BRIDAL PARTY/GROOMSMEN

We immediately sent an email to our key vendors (photographer, videographer, band, florist, makeup artist, etc.) to see if they could also hold a backup date with right of first refusal for us on either of the new dates. Again, we were BEYOND fortunate that they were so understanding, accommodating, and compassionate towards us. We also reached out to our closest friends and family members to make sure they didn’t have prior obligations. The availability was there, and once we decided on the backup date, we contacted the venue, as well as the vendors again to confirm. This all happened within 24 hours.

STEP THREE: KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED AND TRY TO STAY POSITIVE

This is something I struggled with, but it’s so important! You may end up putting a backup date on hold and not needed it (that would be amazing, right)?! Focus on the bright side and lean on your loved ones and future husband/wife for support. Go for a run, bake something new, or FaceTime with friends. I’m not going to lie, when I was feeling down I would BINGE WATCH TikTok videos like it was my job. Seeing the creative, inspiring, and sometimes, hilarious content, would take my mind off of everything. Whatever works for YOU is what you need to do. Don’t let this situation steal your sparkle.

STEP FOUR: COMMIT TO THE NEW DATE

We ended up making the decision to commit fully to our new date less than 48 hours after putting the official hold on the calendar. Again, while we did our best to stay positive, we struggled with not knowing what August 2020 would truly look like. No one can predict the future, and the stress of the unknown was weighing on us. Moving to 2021 ensured the safety of our guests and also allows us to (ideally) celebrate without restrictions.

When you do decide to change the date, it’s important to let everyone know ASAP.

STEP FIVE: ANNOUNCE YOUR POSTPONEMENT AND SHARE THE NEW DATE WITH GUESTS

There are a few different ways to get the word out. The easiest, in my opinion, is to send a mass email out, or new “save the date” cards. We worked with Minted to design beautiful postponement cards and sent them to our guests. Our custom invitation stamps (and invitations) were already sitting in our living room, so we decided to toss the invites – yes, that one hurt – but repurpose the stamps to mail the new cards out. I am so grateful for my best friends & bridesmaids who were there for me throughout the whole process – I’d be lost without them. The response from friends & family was also INCREDIBLE and we felt the love and support coming from all over the country.

STEP SIX: GET EXCITED AGAIN

This one is hard, but I promise it will happen. Something that helped me was redesigning our wedding website. I included a new tab that highlighted some of our favorite places in the town we’re getting married in. We also worked with both of our parents to turn the wedding into a weekend event (not just one day), which we’re so excited for!

Finally, I am grateful this process allowed me to connect with so many other #COVIDBrides through social media. I’ve met some of the kindest and supportive women who are also in the same boat. Join the Betches Brides Facebook group or follow along with Wedding Wire forums to share experiences.

If you have any questions (or just want someone to chat with) feel free to email or DM me! I’m happy to help however I can, and I’m praying for all you babes who haven’t had to postpone yet. FINGERS CROSSED!

2 Comments

  1. Grace Diaz June 3, 2020 / 11:48 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. It give strength and hope. I was supposed to get married on November but my fiancé and I decided that the best thing to do right now is to postponed our big celebration so we can keep everyone safe. I’m not going to lie, it was a very hard decision because like you, we have been planning our big day for almost three years now.

    At the end we decided to celebrate our love and for now we are going to have a very small civil ceremony!!!

    • nextbynicole
      Author
      June 4, 2020 / 12:01 am

      Hi Grace!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read our story. I’m so happy to hear it helped you feel hopeful – us COVID brides really are all in this together.

      My heart goes out to you and your fiancé. I’m so sorry you had to make that difficult decision, but am overjoyed you’re going to do a civil ceremony and celebrate this year still!

      Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness!

      XX
      Nicole

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