In light of the current health crisis and restrictions on gatherings, I bet you’re wondering whether your should cancel or postpone your wedding.
The answer depends on quite a few factors, of course.
Below, we’ll take a look at your options and go over some things to consider for each.
You may also like: What to Expect when Canceling a Wedding
Should You Cancel or Postpone Your Wedding During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Let’s start by what you shouldn’t do, shall we? You SHOULD NOT hold a 250-guest wedding right now. Period.
In fact, most government officials are asking you to keep your gatherings to 10 or fewer people.
Like it or not, agree with it or not, this is where we’re at right now. You cannot hold your event as planned right now without repercussions, plain and simple.
So, do you cancel or postpone your wedding? Is there a third option?
Let’s look at the first two choices, then we’ll talk about a third option.
Should you cancel or just postpone your wedding?
Canceling your wedding entirely is the “nuclear option,” so to speak, because it has the greatest number of repercussions to your wallet, your emotions, and even the entire wedding industry.
Since the financial strain is a very real concern, let’s start there.
Can I get my money back if I cancel my wedding due to COVID-19?
Maybe…but maybe not. Many vendors don’t have a “pandemic cancellation” clause in their contractions.
Remember, no one expected this. No one wrote up those contracts thinking that an outbreak was right around the corner.
So, some are simply saying, “no” to refunds.
It sounds cold, but remember, they have families to feed and they’re feeling just as desperate and freaked out as the rest of us.
If they can legally keep your deposit, they may not be so quick to hand it back, especially if it means taking food of their own table.
On the other hand, larger venues are being a bit more lax with their refund policies, so it’s definitely worth the phone call to find out.
As CNBC recommends, though, your best bet is to go over your contracts with a lawyer if you can’t get a refund.
Many vendors are allowing couples to postpone
Wedding vendors are offering to work with you above and beyond the norm to make the process of postponing as easy as possible.
Like we discussed above, like so many others, the industry is hurting right now.
Your florist, caterer, cake baker, dressmaker, and every other “ends in -er” vendor is desperately trying to figure out how they’ll pay their bills for the foreseeable future.
By allowing you to postpone, they get to keep your full deposit AND have the promise of full payment in the future.
Whereas with cancellations, they only get to hang onto that non-refundable portion…if that.
So, it makes sense for them to work with you on choosing a new date.
Postponing is the best option all around, both for your wallet and that of your vendors.
It’s also the least emotionally devastating to you, as canceling just feels so final.
Now, the big question is when to postpone it to.
When should I postpone it to, then?
Wedding experts are recommending that you hold off on setting a new date just yet.
Everything is just so uncertain, it’s hard to say, “change your date to June!” or “Wait until September.”
My first recommendation- read your contracts. That’ll give you an idea of your deadline for making a decision either way.
Then, if possible, wait another month or so before choosing a new date, especially if you’re considering moving it to the summer or fall.
At this point, some experts say that we could be looking at a year-long problem.
Some say we could face a “second wave” in the fall, while others say it could all be over next month. We just don’t know. Period.
What if you can’t cancel and don’t want to postpone, though? Are there any other options?
What if I can’t cancel OR postpone?
Say you choose your wedding date because your significant other is about to deploy overseas for a year.
Or perhaps you’re due to have a baby in three months and you want to fit into your dress.
Or maybe you just really want to get married right now, end of story.
Is there a way to be responsible and still have the day of you dreams? Well, sort of…
Elope now and have a big party later
While you’ll have some issues finding a judge to marry you right now as more and more court houses close down, eloping isn’t off the table.
Ask your best friend to get ordained online and marry you right in your home. Anyone can do it!
Then, when everything calms down and life gets back to normal, throw a big celebration party.
Perhaps you can even renew your vows for your one-year anniversary. That way, you can postpone the vendors but still get married today.
Bottom line, postponing currently makes the most sense, both financially and emotionally.
Call your vendors asap to discuss your options, but hold off on selecting a new date until we see how things play out.
Last, but not least, I ask you to please remember that everyone involved in your special day has their own families to consider, so be patient and kind.