Today’s “Ask a Planner” post is a follow-up. We know how disappointing it was and has been for couples around the country (and the world!) who have had to reschedule their weddings due to COVID-19. We have been busy rescheduling for our clients and fielding many related questions. For those who don't have a planner, we are sharing some of the most-asked questions after our last blog post. We will also answer
your rescheduling-related questions on our Instagram all day today, so follow along!
1. You have decided to reschedule - now what? Now that you have agreed to reschedule your wedding, there are a few steps to ensure a smooth transition.
First, reach out to your venue to get their available dates. Make sure also to confirm that no fees are associated with changing your date. Once you pick a date that you think will work, ask your venue salesperson to hold the new date and let you know if anyone else inquires about it so that you have first dibs! Next, before signing a new contract with your venue, contact your family and friends to ensure they are available for your new date. Then, reach out to ensure that the rest of your vendors are available for your date, and confirm with each of them whether you must pay a rescheduling fee. Finally, make sure to READ all of your new contracts to ensure they still include solid force majeure and rescheduling clauses. Many vendors are making edits to their contracts due to the pandemic. So in case you need to reschedule, you want to ensure you are covered (again)!
2. Your vendor is charging a rescheduling fee - is this normal? This is one of the biggest questions we have gotten from our clients. Many vendors charge weddings a rescheduling fee to move clients' weddings from 2020 to 2021. Many vendors require this fee because your rescheduled wedding takes an (often prime) date away from their calendar next year. Vendors who have had to fill next year's calendar with rescheduled weddings will have to survive on income spread over two years. Additionally, some vendors have already paid subcontractors non-refundable fees to hold your date this year and will have to pay the fees again next year. We understand that this feels like a penalty, but in most cases, it is genuinely helping the businesses that you love to stay in business!
3. How should I update my guests? Now that you have decided to postpone your wedding, it is time to let your guests know. There are a few ways to let your guests know you have to decide to move your date. If you sent a formal, paper invitation, we recommend that clients send a follow-up mailing letting guests know about the date change and asking them to RSVP for the new date. This can be done either with another paper RSVP card or by directing them to your wedding website to RSVP. If you are uncomfortable sending another mailing (or don't want to invest in it), it is perfectly acceptable to send an e-update via Paperless Post or Greenvelope. Guests can usually RSVP via these services, making it a quick and easy update for guests and your guest list!
4. My vendor won't return my deposit - what should I do? We have been dealing with this tricky question for many of our clients! First, we recommend reading your contract closely to ensure you can request a refund due to your force majeure clause. A pandemic such as COVID-19 falls under this clause as, in this case, it has led to a government restriction on large gatherings. If your deposit is non-refundable, the next step would be to ask if it can be used as a credit for another time. For example, you may be able to use your photography deposit towards a family shoot or birthday party. Finally, if your deposit is truly non-refundable or transferable, some vendors are flexible and choose to return 25-50% as a gesture of goodwill. It never hurts to ask!
5. Reset your mindset. Reminding yourself of the positives and putting things in perspective is essential - especially during this uncertain time. Try to spotlight the things that are certain in your life. Remember how lucky you are to have found the perfect partner and to be planning the wedding of your dreams regardless of the date (or year). Plus, think about how much more excited your family and friends will be to celebrate with you when the time comes!