As professionals in the wedding industry, it’s safe to say that this is a first for ALL of us. With the start of the wedding season upon us and the current epidemic situation, we know that so many brides are having to think about potentially postponing their big day. We’re all collectively holding our breath, hoping this will blow over sooner than later, but if that’s not the case, let’s start looking at our options. (And of course if you’ve hired a wedding planner, he/she is the best person to consult with!)
Over here at Vanessa Lynne Photography and Courtney Lawhon Events, we are the first to admit that we are not medical experts nor can we predict the future. Despite those facts, we believe that being proactive is one of the very best ways we can spend our time right now. We aren’t here to tell you exactly what choices to make because everyone handles things (life!) differently and above all this is YOUR day.
We are here to be your friends; your sounding board for your thoughts (they matter) and to share with you the options that you do have. After working through 3 wedding postponements together for spring couples, we thought it would be helpful to share our process with you.
It’s okay to be frustrated over the things you can’t control. Let’s take a look at what we *can* control.
Grab a cocktail, sit down with your fiance, and work out what your number one priority is.
Perhaps your date is super special to you and it’s far enough away that some restrictions could potentially be lifted. If that’s the case and there are strong feelings behind honoring the date, have you considered an elopement style ceremony? Exchanging vows in such an intimate way and then celebrating with your friends and family on a later date (+ a small vow renewal?) sounds like the best of both worlds to us. Heck! You might even opt for a wardrobe change with this plan!
If you’re down with the idea of doing an elopement style ceremony but want to include your family in this plan, why not get creative with a live stream vow exchange? A cocktail hour is still possible! You can really have fun with this. Glass half full friends, glass half full!
Maybe the date is flexible for you, but your non-negotiable is having all of your family and friends by your side to celebrate with you. If that’s the case, let’s start looking at a more feasible date where Grandma Dorothy can travel by plane in order to attend.
If the location is the most important detail to you, is there another date that’s available? Are there additional fees associated with making a change? We have found that, overall, venue managers have been very understanding and realize that this isn’t a position you expected to find yourself in. Inquire what other dates they have available. Would you consider a weekday?! Venues often have more weekday openings and may even offer a discounted rate. We’ve done a few Thursday weddings and they were fantastic!
So, now what?
Re-visit your contracts and familiarize yourself with them. If you’re leaning towards looking at a new date, hop on a call with your vendors to get the conversation going and a feel for their availability. Nothing replaces good and thorough communication. We personally have never been so proud of our “friendors” in the industry and how everyone has been so accommodating and considerate of clients during this time. We are confident that hearing their voice and their recommendations will bring you peace and guide you towards making a decision.
Decide on a specific date when you and your fiance would like to make the final call. Keep in mind that if you are seriously leaning towards postponement, making that call sooner than later will take some weight off your shoulders and make it possible for more of your vendor team to reschedule with you.
We really hope you don’t have to make the choice to postpone, but if it does come down to that, here are what brides who’ve already made this difficult decision are saying:
“It’s safe to say my wedding process hasn’t gone anything like I imagined. The hardest part was just deciding whether or not to postpone. There was so much stress with the unknown. Once I made the decision I instantly felt excited. All guests were understanding and thanked us for even considering to postpone because it put them at ease.
Vendors have been beyond flexible. Every one of my vendors put 100% of what was paid towards a new date if we had to reschedule. To anyone that is looking for vendors in the Monterey/Bay Area I cannot recommend them all enough:
Venue: Hyatt Highlands Inn, Carmel CA (generously allowed to reschedule up to 18 months out)
Photographer: Vanessa Lynne (if you haven’t booked her yet, do this immediately!)
Hair & Makeup: Blush https://www.blushmonterey.com/
DJ: DJ Ayci by Ready Steady Pose http://readysteadypose.com/
Officiant: Brian Borgia https://www.weddingsinmonterey.com/officiant.html
I was glad I decided sooner than later to book the best possible date/vendor availability. Take your time to decide, but if in the end you feel in your heart it’s right to postpone too, have a good cry, a glass of wine or 3, and just do it. It’s not what you envisioned originally, but I promise you’ll feel so much better once it’s just decided and you might even love your new date more!”
“I talked to my planner when we were starting to think about postponing and was instantly calmed; I have a superhero on my side. When I came back to her after the decision was made, we went over all of our different options. Shoutout to you guys for raising awareness and having a blog post about it demystifies the scary and unfamiliar. Personally, I feel like at times like this, there’s no use in fretting over stuff you can’t change and can’t control. People can still get the day they have always wanted!! The fact that I have my planner, my venue, and my photographer on my team is such a relief. I literally just feel like we hit pause for a month while the world chills for a hot minute and I’m really happy with the decision and the process!”
We’re truly facing uncommon times and if you are planning a wedding in the middle of it we know just how stressful it can feel. Take a deep breath and remember that you’re not alone. Pause for a moment (cause we all have the time!) to reflect and appreciate the love that brought you to the planning process in the first place. And most importantly, if you have your health be extra thankful. From our hearts and homes to yours ~
Sincerely (your friends),
Vanessa & Court