What to Do If Your Wedding Is Postponed
Postponing your wedding comes with a long to-do list. You’ll have to contact all your vendors and let your guests know the date has changed, among other things.
So, what can you do if your wedding is postponed? How can you still celebrate your love? A few creative ideas can help make the wedding postponement process a bit easier and still let you celebrate with your significant other, friends and family. In this guide, we’ll discuss what to do if your wedding is postponed and how to re-create a ceremony that’s as special as the one you originally planned.
How to Postpone Your Wedding
If you know you have to postpone your wedding but haven’t taken the steps to do so yet, it will seem like a daunting process at first. Try to relax, take a deep breath and create a to-do list to keep you organized. Recruit some friends or family to help you go through these steps of postponing your wedding:
- Look over the terms of your vendor contracts and wedding insurance.
- Contact vendors and your venue to figure out a plan.
- Decide whether you will cancel or postpone.
- Choose a new date that your venue and a majority of your vendors can work with.
- See what you can repurpose or alter.
- Let your guests know about any changes.
Once you’ve postponed your wedding, you can think about other ways to celebrate, so you and your significant other can still have your special day.
How to Celebrate a Postponed Wedding
A wedding postponement doesn’t have to mean the end of your celebration. Your wedding is your special day no matter how you celebrate or who you celebrate it with, but there are a few ways you can involve your family and friends. If postponing your wedding for months or even a year doesn’t suit your plans, you can:
1. Livestream Your Wedding
If travel plans, inclement weather or illness has caused you to postpone your wedding, you can use technology to celebrate. A digital wedding ceremony brings everyone together who can’t travel or be in the same space, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, a digital ceremony is a safe way to see each other while maintaining social distance and avoiding large crowds.
Live-streaming your wedding is a simple and safe alternative to a large gathering for your ceremony. All your guests need is a phone or computer, a bit of time and internet or phone service, and they can watch your small ceremony. To plan a digital ceremony, you’ll want to:
- Decide if you and your significant other will wear your wedding outfits or go more casual.
- Make sure where you plan to livestream from has internet access or a strong phone signal.
- Give advance notice to your guests, so they can plan to watch.
- Let guests know what video conference service you’ll use, so they can download it or make an account.
- Decide if guests should dress up or if they can stay casual.
- Get an officiant and witnesses if you need them for an official marriage.
- Make a plan to record your digital ceremony.
- Test your setup earlier in the day to see if you have any audio or visual issues.
- Ask your guests to mute their microphones until the end of the ceremony.
Depending on how many guests you have and how long you think the digital ceremony will last, you’ll want to research different video conference platforms and see what they allow. From there, you can set up a video conferencing link and schedule a date and time for your guests to watch your ceremony. Recruit a tech-savvy family member or friend to assist any guests who may need help accessing the link and joining the digital celebration.
2. Plan an Elopement Ceremony
An elopement ceremony doesn’t have to be a last-minute or secretive affair. Instead, it gives couples an alternative for a small ceremony in place of their postponed wedding. Eloping is a great option if you need to pick a new date for your ceremony and it doesn’t work for your guests. It’s also ideal if you wanted to get married on a particular date and had to postpone a larger celebration for any variety of reasons.
To plan your elopement ceremony, choose a private location that’s special to you and your partner or find a spot that would make a scenic backdrop for an intimate elopement ceremony. When you elope, you may need an officiant and perhaps a photographer or videographer nearby. You may also need a witness or two, depending on the marriage license requirements where you live. However, if you’re planning your elopement at a time when social distancing guidelines are in place due to COVID-19, be sure your officiant, photographer and witnesses stay a safe distance from you and each other.
Your friends and family should be understanding of your elopement, especially considering you had to postpone your wedding. At first, you planned to celebrate with friends and family around, and they’ll understand that things happen and plans change. Let them know of your elopement plan, so they don’t feel left out of your ceremony and resolve to get together when you can to celebrate.
3. Celebrate Safely With Guests Inside Their Cars
After you have an intimate ceremony or livestream your wedding, you can still see your guests and stay safe. During the time of COVID-19, social distancing is one of the best ways to stay safe while in public or seeing others. Maintain a safe distance with your guests when you celebrate while they’re inside their cars.
If you’re eloping, you don’t have to celebrate alone. Have guests stay in their cars in the parking lot of where you’re holding a smaller ceremony. They can keep a safe distance and celebrate with you once you make your appearance for the first time as a married couple. You can also invite them to park outside your home if you have enough space.
Your guests may want to decorate their cars, bring signs or honk their horns as you arrive. Have someone in your wedding party organize the safe celebration, so your guests know what to bring. Whoever you appoint to help organize can even play a particular song from their car as you and your spouse make your appearance.
If you have a longer guest list or not everyone can leave their homes, take the celebration to them. Create a mini wedding parade and drive with your significant other to various friends’ and family members’ homes. Decorate your car with just-married signs, flags, streamers or other fun touches that help you celebrate. Let your friends and family know when you’re en route, so they can safely congratulate you from their porches, balconies or windows.
4. Plan a Reception Later
If you’ve eloped, had a small ceremony or invited guests to a drive-in wedding ceremony, you can always gather together later and celebrate with a postponed reception. An after-party gives you the chance for a celebration that puts your love on display at a later date when your guests can make it. When you plan a reception for your postponed wedding, you could:
- Work with your vendors and venue to postpone and have a reception instead.
- Keep your theme from your postponed wedding to use at your reception.
- Let guests know whether your party is formal or casual, so they can dress accordingly.
- Practice all the fun traditions of a wedding reception at your after-party.
Planning your reception will be like planning your wedding, but you can cut back on decor and other features and costs since you won’t need a ceremony space. You can then celebrate with a party that’s everything you dreamed of having after your wedding, just not right after your ceremony.
5. Celebrate Later With a Vow Renewal
At a later reception, you can also renew your vows. Renewing your vows can be just as romantic and special as your wedding day. Even if you renew your vows a couple of years after your original wedding date that was postponed or canceled, it’s a special ceremony that will bring your family and friends together.
After a postponed wedding celebration, you can host your vow renewal at an event venue for a large, impressive gathering. Gather with friends and family who couldn’t make it to your postponed wedding or have a vow renewal in place of your wedding.
A vow renewal doesn’t have to be within a certain time of your wedding — it doesn’t even have to be on an anniversary of your wedding ceremony. You also don’t need a legal officiant, so any close friend or family member can lead the ceremony. Wear the outfits you wanted to for your postponed wedding and read the vows you wrote for your wedding that your guests didn’t get to hear or pledge your love for each other in a brand new way.
How to Un-Invite Guests Politely
A wedding postponement announcement is a necessity if you have to cancel or change the date of your wedding. While you’ll be un-inviting guests at first, you’ll be re-inviting them to a later ceremony or celebration, so it won’t be too hard to break the news. Follow a few steps to make your postponement announcement:
- Call or speak to guests in-person: Give close friends and family members a phone call or a visit if you know you have to postpone your wedding. Prioritize letting parents, grandparents, wedding party members and close friends know, then reach out to the rest of your guest list. A phone call or visit will help you notify guests as soon as possible, so they can adjust their plans.
- Give a physical notice: Be sure to send official announcements in the mail for your postponed wedding to formally and politely let guests know of the change. If you have a new date booked, include that, so your announcements also serve as invitations. Guests will then have a way of remembering the new date and sending their RSVPs.
- Explain the date change: Your guests should be understanding if you have to change the date of your wedding. You don’t need to go into detail or include the reason for the postponement in the physical notices, but mention it over the phone or in-person, so they’re sympathetic to your situation.
For your postponed wedding message, be kind and direct. Say you’ve come to the difficult decision of postponing your wedding, and if you don’t have a new date yet, say you’ll send out a new one soon. End your wedding postponement announcement by thanking your friends and family for understanding.
Incorporate your theme or have a bit of fun with your postponed wedding message if it suits you and your partner’s personalities. Frame the postponement as a twist to your wedding or let your guests know that you may have a new ceremony date, but it’s the same love and celebration. If your wedding will be in a new season, incorporate that into your notice. Lightening the mood while staying polite will help make the announcement a bit easier.
If your postponed wedding has changed venues or your budget or other circumstances mean you can’t invite as many guests, you’ll have to break the news. Keep close family and friends invited and make the tough decision of who to un-invite. Guests who had to travel from out of town may respect your decision since they will not need to reorganize travel plans, so consider un-inviting them from your celebration if you have to. If you were using digital notifications and emails for your wedding updates, be sure to remove un-invited guests from the list.
How to Get Your Marriage License
With a postponed wedding, you’ll likely need to apply again for a new marriage license, depending on how far away your new wedding date is. In Central Pennsylvania, a marriage license is good for 60 days, but that number differs from state to state. When you get your marriage license for a new wedding date, be sure to:
- Research what information you need to provide when you apply.
- Find out how long a marriage license lasts in your county or state.
- Apply as soon as you can while staying in range of your wedding date.
- Expect delays if current events postponed your wedding.
The application process and time frame vary from state to state, even county to county. Be sure to look up or contact your local clerk’s office for details on getting your marriage license after postponing your wedding. Check with your local county clerk to see if they offer the marriage license process over video chat if current circumstances prevent you from applying in-person.
Plan a Wedding Celebration With Colonial Golf and Tennis Club
A postponed wedding doesn’t mean you can’t have your dream wedding. At Colonial Golf and Tennis Club, we’re ready to help with your unique requests to plan a postponed wedding or an after-party reception. With plenty of outdoor spaces to choose from, you’ll find an area that’s perfect for your ceremony or celebration at Colonial Golf and Tennis Club. We’ll only host one celebration per date, so if inclement weather is in the forecast, we can move your event indoors, giving you one less thing to worry about.
Learn more about having a wedding at Colonial Golf and Tennis Club, or complete our form online to contact us about hosting your wedding or reception. Make postponing your wedding a little easier with help from our team at Colonial Golf and Tennis Club. Call our catering director Missy at 717-602-9149 to help plan your future reception.