Brides-to-be around the world are making painful decisions to postpone and even cancel their upcoming nuptials. We know that wedding planning in and of itself can be a stressful process, but add in a worldwide pandemic, and we’ve reached uncharted territory. To try and combat some of the confusion around postponing all large events for the next eight weeks, we turned to some top Southern wedding professionals for their best pieces of advice and encouragement.
Wedding Postponement Advice from Southern Professionals
From a Wedding Planner: Becky Baker, Owner of Becky’s Brides
Consider rescheduling to a Friday or Sunday date if your schedule allows. Many vendors will have much more availability for those days compared to a Saturday, and you might be able to keep your entire vendor team intact, therefore likely guaranteeing that you will lose the least amount of money. Decide which vendors are a “non-negotiable” for you. If a Friday or Sunday is not an option, you might not be able to keep your entire vendor team intact. Decide which vendors you HAVE to have, and book your date around their schedules.
From a Hair and Make-up Artist: Rachel Griffin, Owner of Be-Loved Beauty
Trust your vendors that you are working with. Typically we all work well under pressure and want the best for you. We know and understand that this is such a devastating time for you, but we will work our hardest to make your dream wedding day come true. Lastly, take a deep breath. In the end, you will walk down the aisle to your groom and you will be married!
From a Stationer & Calligrapher: Melissa Gullatte, Owner and Designer of Gracefully Made
If you are considering postponing and have a new date in mind, you should first check with your day-of vendors to make sure they are available for the new date. Once the new date is set, you should let your guests know as soon as possible. I have already been working with several of my brides to design a simple “change of date” card for them to send out to their guests, so their guests can get this new date on their calendar.
The most important thing for couples to remember is that yes, it is beyond disappointing to have to postpone your dream day, but you are doing so out of love for your guests. As you are navigating these uncharted waters with your significant other, just remember that you are doing so TOGETHER and that the end result of this stressful season will be the same no matter the date — you will have a magical wedding day that will result in a beautiful marriage!
From a Caterer: Holly Barton, Marketing and Wedding Specialist at The Happy Catering Company
Please know that your wedding vendors are hurting for you — we want to be there for you to make the perfect reception come to life! We have been on the phone and emailing non-stop for the last few days trying to work with our clients to reschedule and find a new date that works for not only us, but the couple’s whole vendor team. This is a tedious and time-sensitive process as all of the events are looking for reschedule dates in roughly the same block of months. Our advice to you: Be proactive; don’t wait to reschedule! Communication is key during this time. We are open through this crisis. We will recover from this and be here for you when this settles down.
From a DJ: Robert Fowler, Owner of Superior Sound Entertainment
I’ve been telling my clients these five things regarding postponements:
1. Don’t panic.
2. Prioritize your top vendors first when selecting a new date.
3. Continue checking back with vendors because their availability is changing hourly with everyone scrambling to move dates.
4. Be flexible with Friday and Sunday dates. You may even get a discount!
5. Ask your vendor — if they are not available — who would they recommend. Most quality vendors are very selective about who they would recommend.
From a Floral Designer: Mandy Majerik, President and Creative Director of HotHouse Design Studio and Prophouse Birmingham
Make sure you are providing your vendor team with a retainer to secure your new date on the calendar as soon as possible. Even if you are a summer, fall, or winter bride who has an existing proposal for your original date, a re-scheduling bride may take your date availability if you haven’t signed a contract or secured the date with a retainer — your first payment. I also would like for brides and their families to realize that small businesses have monthly bills that don’t stop throughout this time. Please think about your existing payment due dates to provide these businesses with the cash flow they were planning on for your event. They need it now more than ever. We are doing our best to take care of our employees and their families during this uncertain time!
From a Venue: Whitney Forbus, Wedding Manager at Pursell Farms
All of the hospitality industry wants your wedding to happen, and we want to work with you! As a resort venue, we are trying to help our brides find new dates with their other vendors. Using a Doodle Poll can be a quick and easy way to find rescheduling dates that work quickly with all of your vendors. With finding a new date, it may mean that not all of your vendors can find the same openings. But know that most vendors want to make this work for you and have your best interest as a priority. If you are working with a planner, allow them to help guide you in renegotiations of your agreements so that their expertise can navigate a challenging situation for all involved.
From a Rental Company: Samantha Redman, Co-Owner of On-Site Productions
Our advice for brides right now who are looking to postpone would be first off, breathe! Take one task at a time and understand that all of your vendors are working through this with each bride or groom. We will need to know information such as potential dates that you’re looking for to postpone to and if you are changing any major details like your venue. We can look at our availability and let you know what’s currently still open. Availability is fluctuating by the day, so we are working diligently to respond to you, get your date moved, and send you updated contracts. Most vendors we’ve talked with are trying to be as flexible as possible, even taking dates that we might have normally not taken events. We appreciate each couple and want to make this tough situation just a little bit easier!
We’re here for you, brides. Take a deep breath, trust your vendor team, and enjoy a little bit longer engagement with your spouse-to-be.
For wedding inspiration, check out our archive of beautiful Southern weddings HERE.