Our heart goes out to you reading this post searching for advice on wedding cancelations and rescheduling. We firstly want to say we are sorry you are in a spot like this. Being faced to postpone your wedding day or possibly having to cancel altogether isn’t easy. Whether this is for personal reasons or the lingering news of the coronavirus spreading across the world right now, we are truly sorry you have to navigate these waters. We understand that just like you’ve never had to plan a wedding before, you’ve probably never had to reschedule one either! So here we are with our best tips on how to effectively cancel or reschedule your wedding day in hopes to make things that much easier for you during this time.
We know it is certainly easier said than done, but try your hardest to keep calm and stay level headed. You will do more good focusing your energy on how to navigate rescheduling your wedding tasks than getting overwhelmed with all the negative feelings and voices you may be facing. Know that it’s okay to feel sad and frustrated in times like these and that you are not alone.
Always reschedule before you cancel.
There are many reasons we say this, but a major one is due to the fact your retainer is most likely non-refundable with many of your booked wedding vendors.
If you decide to postpone and reschedule your wedding you can avoid losing the non-refundable retainers you’ve paid vendors to hold your date and possibly work with them to reschedule on a mutually agreed upon date. Depending on the wording in your contract with each vendor will dictate whether or not you have to put down a new retainer or if it can be transferred to your new date. You can find this answer by looking at each contract’s rescheduling clause. You may have to pay a rescheduling fee, but in some cases it may be waived depending on the situation.
Recognize what time frame you are rescheduling in.
Depending on the time frame of when you are postponing or calling your wedding off will affect whether you are faced with additional costs or loss. Recognizing many of your vendors may have already put in time, money, and/or purchased perishable product for your date will help you better understand why you may have to pay more for moving your wedding. Did your florist buy flowers already? Was food purchased? How many of your vendors already had staff hired and paid? What have your vendors invested in for your wedding experience to be the best yet? You have to be open to loss or additional cost when rescheduling and certainly during the cancellation of your wedding date.
So how do you reschedule?
Review your contracts. (Is there a rescheduling fee? Is your retainer non-refundable? Can it be transferred to a new date? Are you already fully paid up?) I’ll bet many of your vendors will go above and beyond in working with you on rescheduling your day. It is best to reach out as soon as you look back at your contracts and have a new game plan.
Contact your insurance to see what they cover.
Depending on your reason for rescheduling or cancelations, your wedding insurance may or may not cover you. Make a call and see what your policy covers and what it means for your vendor relationships in your current situation. If you don’t have wedding insurance don’t be too hard on yourself. You may have to learn the lesson the hard way but you won’t make the same mistake the second time around!
Compile a list of 2-4 dates you could postpone your wedding to.
It is key to be flexible and positive in times like these. Do your best to sit down with your significant other and choose 2-4 alternative wedding dates you can send your vendors to see when each are available. It is good to work through the process in a few different steps:
- Finding out your availability
- Finding out your family’s availability
- Finding out your venue’s availability
- Finding out your photographer/videographer’s availability
- Finding out other important vendor’s availability
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to rescheduling your wedding date, so be patient! Consider the idea of possibly changing your date to a week day or during the off season for a better chance in carrying all your vendor contracts over to your new wedding date.
Contact all your vendors with your questions, concerns, and new game plan.
Here is where you two sit down and draft up an email to send your wedding team. Write from the heart and be patient when waiting for answers.
Inform your guests of the changes.
You should absolutely feel no embarrassment or remorse for having to reschedule your wedding day. Always remember it is your day and you have to do what is best for you two when it comes down to it. What is one of the hardest steps in this whole process can feel the most relieving when it’s done. Telling your family and friends your plans have changed isn’t easy. Know we are rooting you on through it all!
Be clear and confident in the decision you are making to postpone or cancel your wedding day. Inform them on what you know. (ie. Do you have a new date? Are you deciding to cancel and why? When can they expect to know more?) I’ll bet your friends and family will be there for you in a time like this.
It doesn’t have to be all bad…
Before we officially move on from rescheduling your day, we want to let you know you have more options. Maybe after mulling over the idea of planning your entire wedding all over again you completely can’t imagine taking that on. Below are some alternatives!
Consider eloping instead!
If you are burnt out from the course of wedding planning and endless small decisions that come with it, consider shifting your plans to an adventure elopement instead. Wedding cancelations and rescheduling are a hard thing to go through, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have other options. If you’d rather scrap putting down new retainers and fly to Morocco to say your vows next year instead, do it! If you’d rather trade hours of hunting for ceremony seating online for planning the road trip of your dreams where the destination is a mountaintop you’ll make your promises on, do it! For some inspiration on some of the best Central Oregon elopement locations, visit our post: The Top Elopement Locations in Central Oregon HERE!
If eloping peeks your interest and you want to hear more about the process, send us a message and we can chat! We know an adventure elopement isn’t for everyone, but it might be for you! You can find more information about eloping by reading up 10 Misconceptions about Eloping HERE!
If you can’t imagine your friends and family not being involved in your day, consider hosting a reception later! We want you to know your wedding doesn’t have to look exactly like it did the first time.
Download our Central Oregon Elopement Guide below!
If you have to cancel…
Here’s where we want to say we are truly sorry and we can’t imagine having to go through this. But also that we get it. Sometimes nothing else works and that is all you can do.
If you’ve tried it all and a cancelation is your last resort, review your contract’s cancelation clause. Now is the time to do your best to inform your vendors on the situation. Each vendor will handle cancelations a little differently from the next, so don’t expect the same outcome from every one of them. You should compile a master list of all your wedding vendors and draft up an email explaining your situation. This will be the start of a conversation with each of them to see how they handle cancelation situations. Ask questions, be thorough, and have grace. We are all humans and all trying to provide for our families.
We hope this post helps you navigate this difficult time and is a recourse with the information you need when faced with wedding cancelations and rescheduling. Our heart is with you and our inbox is always open during a time like this!
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