As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread throughout the country and world, many public gatherings and events have been canceled or postponed in an effort to flatten the curve of new cases — and that includes weddings. Many couples have now been forced to completely reimagine their big days. For some, that means having intimate ceremonies with no guests. For others, that means canceling their celebrations altogether. For me, that means postponing my wedding to a later date.
In addition to moving my wedding day, I've also had to cancel my bridal shower and honeymoon in Italy. As of now, my June 13 wedding date — which, like thousands of other brides, I've been counting down to from the moment I got engaged — does not seem feasible. And I can tell you that the heartbreaking decision to postpone your wedding does not come easy. In fact (spoiler alert!), it's so much more complex than just making a few phone calls. After taking a few days to process my emotions and start the very hard work of postponing my wedding, I've put together some tips with the goal of (hopefully) helping other couples in my situation.
1. Take Some Time to Cry
There's no sugarcoating this situation: Everything about the coronavirus outbreak sucks. It's important to acknowledge how it's affecting you personally and allow yourself to feel sad about it. Before going full steam ahead with rescheduling everything, take a few days to focus on you. Find healthy ways to cope with your sadness, whether it's screaming into a pillow (it works!) or eating ice cream and watching movies. My therapist reminded me that while, thankfully, nobody has died in my situation, it was still, in a way, a loss. As a result, I was experiencing waves of grief. And I still am. Fast-forward one week, and I'm starting to turn the corner, slowly but surely.
2. Reach Out to Your Vendors, but Don't Bombard Them
Philadelphia-based content creator Olivia Muenter recently postponed her May 2020 wedding to 2021. While every venue and vendor is different, she recommends cross-checking your venue's availability with priority vendors. For example, if your venue is available on Feb. 13 and Feb. 20 but your dream videographer (whom you simply can't imagine your wedding without) is only available Feb. 20, go with that date. Remember that this is an unprecedented time for vendors, caterers, and venues, too, so try to be as empathetic, patient, and flexible as possible. (Yes, it's easier said than done, but try!) Kindness truly goes a long way in these situations.
3. Try to Plan Ahead as Much as Possible
The more proactive you are, the easier it'll be to reschedule your special day. If you wait until the very last minute, you may run into additional complications (i.e. fewer dates available, increased pricing). "My advice to couples is to try to keep things in perspective as much as possible," Muenter told POPSUGAR. "Yes, this is a crazy time, and yes, this is all wildly disappointing, but at the end of the day, making a backup plan, preparing for the worst-case scenario, and, above all, following CDC guidelines is going to allow you to have the wedding you want, whether it happens this year or next."
4. Rely on Your Bridal Party
While I have yet to officially postpone my original wedding date via new invites, I have informed my bridal party of my two backup dates. My plan is to have them help me spread the word to other friends and family members. When I canceled my bridal shower, I found my bridesmaids and my mom to be especially helpful. At that time, I was extremely upset — I practically burst into tears whenever someone brought it up in conversation — so having them tell all the guests took the emotional strain off of me.
No matter how you choose to proceed with your upcoming nuptials, please know that you're not alone! From one engaged person to another, I'm sending you all a virtual hug — and remember, we will get through this together!