Postponing your wedding – the upsides

Postponing your wedding ~ Sussex celebrant Claire Bradford of Creating Ceremony
Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash

After months of lockdown, are you now in the position of thinking about postponing your wedding?

When coronavirus hit us a squillion years ago back in March and my lovely April and May couples were having to postpone wedding days, the chances of June and possibly even July weddings also looked in doubt.

It’s the beginning of July as I write and, although weddings are (sort of) allowed now for the first time in over three months, they’re very restricted and pared back. Not the kind of joyous shindig you’d probably been envisioning for your big day, anyway.

Even with the watered-down go-ahead, we still don’t know what the future is likely to hold in the way of restrictions for late summer, autumn and even into winter. This is not a situation many of us expected, to say the least.

So with that in mind, not to mention the potential risks of inviting grandma into a crowd of people with the virus still around, it’s no wonder that many autumn couples are now postponing wedding dates too. Indeed, many couples are now facing postponing again after already postponing a spring wedding to autumn.

There’s no question about it, having to postpone your wedding (thanks to the ‘rona or for any other reason) sucks. Big time.

And yet…

If you do find yourself in the position of needing to postpone your wedding, there are some big advantages, once you’ve got past the initial disappointment.

5 advantages of postponing your wedding

1. You don’t need to keep yourself in a state of anxiety for months about whether or not you’ll be able to go ahead. 

So many couples have reported that the extra stress of worrying about the wedding (on top of all the health, money and other worries that are a hallmark of this time) is unbearable and that rescheduling their big day took a load off their minds.

Here’s what the lovely Laura said about having to postpone the wedding we were planning for September this year:

“To be honest, I was gutted to have to delay the ceremony with Claire, BUT the stress I had as this pandemic developed was really spoiling the whole planning process. We both felt as if there was not any joy in planning the wedding because it felt like we were planning to fail! We have pushed back a year to September ’21. For us, the relief of not still being in a weird planning limbo has been immense! Of course, there’s nothing to say things will be better, or worse, or the same but worrying won’t change it (easier said that done, I know). Try to be positive!”

2. The diet’s off!

I’m really not a fan of huge diet plans as wedding prep (check out my Thursday Thought on the subject here) but if you have a gorgeous outfit to look good in, it’s understandable that you might want to lay off the Magnums. Whilst postponing your wedding date isn’t (necessarily!) a reason to go bonkers, you don’t need to be so concerned now about that cheeky extra sausage off the BBQ or tall glass of Sex on the Beach. After all, one thing this virus has taught us is the joys of jogging bottoms chic!

3. Time to realign your priorities

I was chatting to a couple last week who have had to postpone twice now and had been pointed my way. They have really been through the wringer with their wedding plans, having originally been a May date, and they’ve now decided to plump for next summer instead.

They were disappointed but also positive, and they remarked that they had had the chance to realign their priorities around the day and reassess what is important to them. Whereas originally they weren’t going to have children attending, now they want a celebratory all-age throng of friends and family, for example. 

4. People

Another lesson we’ve learned from Covid is just how much it hurts not to be able to see the people we love. Whilst Zoom and the like has helped us in this respect, nothing beats being there in person with the people who are important to you (heck, at the moment, you might even be missing your once-irritating work colleagues!) 

The point is that the details that seemed so important before all of this suddenly fade into the background when having a huge, happy get-together with all your loved-ones hasn’t been possible for several months. And, future restrictions permitting of course, imagine all those delicious hugs (ok I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea but God I miss hugs!)

5. A proper party!

As well as the joy of celebrating your love, your postponed wedding will inevitably feel even more joyous after all the lockdowns and restrictions that have shaped the last few months and will surely last several more. If that’s not going to be a recipe for the most awesome party imaginable, I don’t know what is.

Celebrating your love with a proper party ~ Sussex celebrant Claire Bradford of Creating Ceremony
Corrinne and Kevi getting their party on!
Photo by Carl Thomson Photography

Hopefully now you’ll feel a teensy bit better about the prospect of postponing your wedding. So here are a few ways to make the shift a bit easier:

6 tips for making your wedding postponement as painless as possible

1. For maximum choice, consider a weekday

You will have spent time carefully curating the venue and suppliers that you love the most and so will probably want to be able to move them all over to your new date if possible. The chances of having all your suppliers available for a Saturday in ‘the season’ (May-September) 2021 will be pretty low, especially as most of us have had to move this year’s dates into next year, as well as having existing bookings. So perhaps consider a Friday (or other weekday) or even a Sunday for your new date, as you will then maximise the chances of availability for the suppliers you’ve chosen and/or have much more choice with suppliers you want to bring in.

2. Scale down

Following on from point 3 above, you’ll have had some time to reassess what’s important to you, so maybe consider scaling down a little in some areas. I always advise couples to work out what their top three priorities are for their big day and then budget and plan from there, and now is a particularly good time to do this. Make choices you feel good about regarding the aspects of your day that you keep for the new date and the ones you can ditch. You might save yourself some money into the bargain but the main advantage is that your day will reflect your values even more closely. 

3. Think laterally about venues

If your venue isn’t available on your new date, it can seem disastrous, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. You might need to negotiate refunds/insurance of course, which can be a real bore, but think about alternatives that might not be immediately obvious. It may even be that you’ve scaled down a bit and now your first choice feels too big. How about holding your wedding in your garden (or smile sweetly at a family member and ‘borrow’ theirs perhaps)? Or hire out a country pub for the day, ask about using a village hall or see if a local farmer will let you use their field, complete with hay bales for sitting on. 

Remember, if you’re having a celebrant-led wedding, you won’t need a licensed venue. And there are many fabulous tipi suppliers and/or wedding stylists who can wave their magic wands and make any place perfect for your party.

4. Keep communicating

Most importantly, keep your key guests and your suppliers in the loop as you consider alternative postponement dates. It might not matter so much if second cousin Marge can’t make it, and you can work around suppliers who don’t have to be there on the day. But do check the availability of your chosen venue, key suppliers and close family and friends you really need to be there before committing to your new wedding date.

5. Check on pricing

Some couples have had to change from a weekday off-peak wedding date to a summer Saturday, and so some suppliers have charged them a supplement to reflect that, which is fair. However, some suppliers are charging extortionate postponement fees for like-to-like dates, which is really not fair.

In the rush to make it all happen and to synch all the diaries, you may be tempted to just swallow extra fees but do check your contracts and don’t be afraid to question the charges or see if there’s an opportunity to negotiate.

6. Celebrate your original date anyway

As the day that ‘would have been’ approaches, some couples report feeling a bit glum. So plan on doing something lovely instead. Have whatever sort of get together restrictions allow, go out for a lovely walk together, get dressed up, get undressed(!), hold a big Zoom party, spend the day on wedding planning (the fun sort not the wedmin sort), open a bottle of the wedding wine… just do something that will make you both smile and have positive associations with your original date as you look forward to your new one.

It really is disappointing to have to postpone your wedding but it really could be a very positive move indeed. Take a deep breath, hold each other tight and go for it!

And if you need a celebrant, you know where I am 😉