Restrictions on gatherings that have been put in place due to COVID-19 are forcing many couples to postpone wedding plans for a future date. Though it is not an ideal situation, it is doable.
The big question is, how do you inform the guests? There are a few different options for informing your guests, depending on the amount of time available. Electronic communication is probably the easiest and timeliest considering the number of people you will need to contact. The experts say that it is perfectly acceptable to send a message to everyone at once.
A “change-the-date” wedding is the trending term for having to postpone your wedding when the circumstances are beyond your control. Here you will find important information on etiquette for having to communicate your plans to your guests.
Explain it to Your Guests
Being a bit of a new phenomenon, many people may not be familiar with the term “change-the-date.” You will need to let them know that the event will still occur at some point, even if you have yet to choose a new date.
Typically, the announcement is sent electronically so that word gets out as quickly as possible. Still, you can also follow it up with a stationery announcement. A mailed notification is particularly useful if you have chosen a new date. That way, your guests will be able to find the new date easily and ensure it is on the calendar.
How to Inform the Guests
It would be best if you announced any changes as soon as possible, which is why electronic communication is perfectly acceptable. There are multiple ways to go about the process. If you have a wedding website, update it with the new date as soon as possible.
You can also email guests or set up a phone tree to ensure that everyone is informed. Even if plans for a new date are not set in stone, all guests must know there has been a change.
The most important thing is that guests know of the postponement. Tell them you will update them on further changes as soon as possible.
Canva also makes a great tool for creating invitations, save the date, and change the date cards.
What do we Write?
You will not need to go into great detail. Guests will know that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many changes and understand it is the reason for the postponement.
If you have not chosen a new date yet, the following is short and to the point:
Because of the health emergency and restrictions in place due to COVID-19, the wedding of ________ and _________ will not take place on ________ as was planned.
A new date will be announced as soon as it is secured. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused.
If you do have a new date planned, an announcement that includes the new date can be sent out:
It is with regret that the marriage of __________ to ______ will not take place on the scheduled date due to the health emergency caused by COVID-19.
Please save the date of __________________ for the rescheduled ceremony and celebration.
An invitation with new details will follow.
What do I do with my Wedding Website?
If you have a wedding website, you can update all of your information there. Update the site with all of the information you have and note that more details will be forthcoming as the arrangements are made.
People will have been affected in various ways, depending on whether they have booked their travel and accommodations yet. It is a good idea to set up a COVID-19 FAQ section on the website to help guests find answers to their questions. Guests will be wondering about refunds or date changes applicable to their bookings. It would be helpful to have contact information (phone and email) that guests can use to find information.
Your website may have an expiry date, as most custom domains are only valid for 12 or 24 months. You can contact your provider to request a renewal of the domain due to COVID-19.
Guests will need to be updated frequently, especially if they need to rebook travel and accommodation. Typically, a once a week update is sufficient. This will keep everyone in the know and up to date on what you plan to do.
Keeping it Economical
There can be some expense associated with changing your wedding date, and you want to be as economical as possible. If you plan to send “change-the-date” cards in the mail, see if the original printer of your wedding invitations is offering a discount for the cards and new invitations. If not, shop around for the best deal you can find or print them at home.
If you choose not to go with your original printer, try to keep the theme the same or similar to the first invitation. The COVID-19 virus may have put a bit of a damper on 2020 for various reasons, but knowing how to deal with emergent situations will relieve some of the stress.