Wedding Postponements – How to Decide

How do you begin to make the decision to postpone your wedding? My family is struggling with the wedding postponement decision, just like many of you. September 12, 2020, was the wedding date for my son and daughter-in-law. They went ahead with immediate family and we included grandparents over Zoom and Facetime. They are planning to have a friends and family celebration in July 2021 (fingers crossed!!).

courthouse ceremony

We continue to go back and forth. Do we postpone it? Do we wait to make a decision? The stress is really on my son and his bride. As a mom, all I can do is listen and be supportive. As a wedding planner, I look at options, risks, and solutions.

What do you do?

Here are some things to consider.

Health and Safety Concerns

  • Are there restrictions on large gatherings in your state, county, or city?
  • Can your guests cross state lines and will they need to quarantine? Some states require travelers to self-quarantine or provide a negative COVID test.
  • What safety protocols do you and your guests need to follow?
  • Will you need masks, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, etc.?
  • What is the communication plan if health and safety plans or protocols change? How will you notify your vendors and guests?
Postpone your wedding or not?  Wedding postponement decision printable.

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Wedding Postponement Financial Concerns

  • What deposits have already been paid? Make a list of each of your vendors and the amount of your deposit and other payments.
  • Review your agreement for each vendor to determine if your deposit and payments can be refunded or if you can use up the deposit on a smaller scale wedding or if you can transfer the contract and services to a different date.
  • Talk to your vendors. I know, many of us prefer to email or text but the best way to negotiate is by talking to your vendors. Then follow up in writing with an email to ensure you document the agreement. Ask for an updated contract too.
  • If you postpone your wedding, will there be additional costs to factor into your budget? My kids are facing additional costs from their venue. The venue doesn’t have any Saturday dates in 2021 and is charging an additional $300 – $500 for a Friday or Sunday.
  • If you decide on a small ceremony, will you use the same vendors and use up your deposits? Review your lists of deposits and determine if you can still use the vendor and how you can use up your deposit. My family could use the same florist and scale back the flowers for a small ceremony. Our photographer will remain an important part of the wedding. We won’t need as much cake but we will have a cutting cake.
small wedding by Lake Michigan

Guest List

This is a tough one! You’ve already put a lot of effort into your guest list and probably sent out save the dates. Many of my brides are looking at a small ceremony now and then celebrating with their friends and family later. But if you’re eloping or having a small ceremony, who do you include? Here are a few options to consider when trying to limit the guest list.

  • You, your groom, officiant, maid of honor and best man
  • Wedding party and parents
  • Immediate family (parents, grandparents, and siblings)

During this time, people will understand that you have to reduce the number of guests. The hard part is letting your guests know that you need to limit the number of people at your ceremony. If you’re having a friends and family celebration later, tell your guests, so they can look forward to celebrating with you!

If you’re moving ahead with your wedding celebration during this time, talk with your venue and vendors about ways to keep you, your fiance and your guests safe and healthy.

Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom Tip!

A great way that the Mother of the Bride and the Mother of the Groom can help is to reach out to guests if the wedding guest list has to be trimmed. You can take some of this stress off of your children by letting guests know how much you all value them but due to COVID and venue restrictions, the wedding plans had to change. Many guests will be disappointed but some will be relieved that you have their health and safety in mind and that they don’t have to make the choice.

Covid-19 Wedding Postponement or Not?

Promoting Behaviors to Reduce the Spread of Covid-19

  • Reduce the density of people by physical distancing
  • Switch to a plated meal instead of a buffet or family-style meal
  • Require face coverings for all guests
  • Increase sanitization measures, including frequently wiping down commonly touched surfaces.
  • Ask guests who have symptoms of COVID-19 to remain at home.
  • Gentle reminders including no physical contact (hugging, kissing, handshakes, etc.) physical distancing, wearing of face coverings, and hand hygiene and sanitation.

Best of luck to each of you. This is such a difficult time. Remember that the most important thing is that you are marrying the love of your life! Relax, have fun and enjoy the special moments of your day. Drop us a comment if you had to make a decision on your wedding postponement.

Blue Skies!


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