Postponing Weddings During A Pandemic
It’s a new world right now. A world of grounded travel, of occasional mask wearing and of course, mother truckin snap lockdowns. We are in the age of the dreaded P words – pandemic and postponements.
As I sit here reflecting on another Marky Mark (Mark McGowan) press conference and his decision to lock Perth down for 4 days, it dawns on me that I never put into blog form the hopefully helpful advice I imparted via IGTV during our last LD.
I am 1000% aware that most people have no idea where to start when it comes to postponing their wedding day. There isn’t a manual for this and when dealing with an event as emotion driven as marrying your person, not all reactions to the news that your day can’t go ahead are pleasant. Not all interactions that follow are productive.
But I wanted those couples forced to make such a shitty decision or, thinking about what their options were, to have some idea of how to tackle the evolving shit show. So, I spoke to a few of my amazing colleagues, Belinda Clinton, Kirk Goodsell and Southwest Weddings With Nikki as well as one of my previous honeys (bride) Caitlyn who ended up being an accidental pro at the postponement gig and together, we came up with these steps:
STEP 1 – BREATHE, CRY, SCREAM….
then wipe those tears and pull yourself together. You WILL get through this though it may not seem like that at this very second. But, as I write that, I also want you to know that feeling downright crapped off with the whole situation is ALSO more than ok. You might not give a flying fk about planning and generally hate the whole concept. That’s all G. Let yourself process. Those excited feels will come again but you gotta give yourself time to work through those emotions. They don’t just vanish into thin air.
Once you’ve had a red hot go at downloading the situation, sit down with your person and have a chat about what your plan B is (see the insta post by my girl Belinda Clinton and actioning those alternatives). Before, it was just a wet weather plan. Now … in the world we liv
e in, it’s important that you try and think of some other alternatives and what you do IF things turn to shit again.
This might come straight away depending on when your hitching date is or might come after all other steps if months away but DELEGATE to a couple of trusted peeps to caryr out the task of contacting guests and updating them on the moving parts. Don’t make this something you try and tackle yourself. It can be really debilitating and a little gut-wrenching by call #25.
Alternatively, if you can utilise some social media or emailing for your guests – head over to Lala Design’s insta page and you will see some free templates she has put up for couples to use depending on their situation . Use social media and technology to your advantage and give your guests some quick info.
STEP 2 – LOOK BACK OVER YOUR CONTRACTS
Be INFORMED with the options that you are about to try and put in place. Some vendors will be on the front foot from the start and will contact you highlighting the important parts of their service agreement or contracts. But if that doesn’t happen, I HIGHLY encourage you to get your study on and go back over those important docs and understand what their terms are about cancellations and postponements.
It gives you an excellent basis for conversations because often, when we are faced with big decisions like this and rapid fire change, our emotions take over and we communicate emotionally (aka sometimes like wild banshees) and can forget that we are dealing with another person on the other end; someone who is just trying to do the best they can too.
So … this allows you to have facts on your side and to go armed into that postponement furry with the information you will need.
STEP 3 – CHOOSE YOUR NON-NEGOTIABLE VENDORS
Before you start the exercise of getting availability (see step 4) I definitely think you need to know who in your wedding vendor crew is someone you just can’t do this day without. This is not to say that any one vendor is more important than the other; I’m not about creating a heirarchy here where vendors Hunger Games it out. But, every couple is different and has different wants and needs for their day. Your dream team might not all align for your reschedule and in the spirit of acceptance, you need to weigh up which of those vendors heartbreakingly gets voted off the island.
STEP 4 – GET AVAILABILITY
This is the tricky step and can be more frustrating and infuriating than our Prime Minister’s “leadership”. But as you go into this step – be prepared to compromise to keep your “must have crew”.
Also consider mixing things up – mid-week weddings are a vibe. In fact and any other date and time apart from 3 – 5pm on a Saturday. Saturdays are as rare as toilet paper in the middle of lockdown panic buying. You have a better chance of securing your WHOLE crew if you consider other dates and times.
If possible, try and steer clear of the 50 million emails back and forth. Largely because it can be time consuming and you need to remember availability changes daily, if not by the hour as new couples book and other couples find new dates also.
Consider using an excel spreadsheet, a simple list or better still, a scheduling app like Doodle where your vendors can plug in their availability and you can get a snap short of a few dates that work for as MANY of your vendors as possible, especially your non-negotiable vendors. Tick them off as you work your way through your vendors.
STEP 5 – DON’T HESITATE
Try not to sit on decisions too long because again, dates change at the drop of a hat so as soon as you can, LOCK THAT NEW SHIT DOWN.
Trust me, even if there are still things to consider, even if there are still people to contact and guests to update – lock it all in and then tackle the rest of that list shortly after otherwise you will forever be trapped in a Step 4 loop and nobody wants that…NOBODY!
STEP 6 – BACK TO PROCESSING – drink, dance, scream therapy, cry some more, hug someone you love.
It’s a GIGANTIC emotional rollercoaster and so very exhausting. So … now that things are locked in for a new moment, give yourself time.
- Take a break If need be – no one is expecting you to launch back into planning straight away.
- Give yo self permission to embark on a social media detox if the constant wedding goodness is in your face and you just don’t wanna be reminded.
- Be with people who can lift your spirits and know that as the time comes closer, your love for this amazing moment you’ve worked so hard for will return.
- Be kind to yourself
- And finally we come full circle to acceptance. Things might not all look the same or align like you pray to all the gods for it to do, but acceptance goes a long way to taking that weight off your shoulders and remembering – sometimes, it is what it is and you gotta roll with it or get steamrolled by it.
I hope you found some nuggets of wisdom amongst all that. I hope that is helps you have those difficult conversations and make those decisions you might not even want to contemplate. Remember, you CAN do this and when the time comes for you to finally marry your person in whatever way that happens, you won’t even think twice about the time when you had to upheave it all and go back to that crazy drawing board.
Big love to Jessica Josie Photography for capturing Aaron & Shannon during their heart warming moment amongst the craziness.