Here you were, blissfully in love, planning your dream wedding and an international pandemic struck derailing your plans! Pfff, rude! Seattle Wedding Planners Pink Blossom Events, Clutch Events, Perfectly Posh Events and New Creations Wedding Design & Coordination have teamed up to bring you a 4 Part Blog Series covering COVID-19 and planning your wedding during this time. Up first, vendor & guest communication brought to you by Clutch Events!!!
If you have a planner, work closely with them on rescheduling your wedding! If they were originally hired for a ‘day of’ package or a ‘partial plan’ package and rescheduling your wedding is outside of the scope you hired them for, consider adding hours to their services to help you with the postponement so you don’t have to do it on your own! If you do not have a planner, these are the steps you should follow to reschedule your wedding.
- Email/call your venue to get a list of their available dates. *If you are open to other days of the week than Saturday, the likelihood of getting your preferred month will dramatically increase!! And trust us, your guests will totally understand if your wedding is moved to a Friday. Everyone will have just as much fun celebrating you, we promise!!
- Reach out to your VIP family members & besties to get their availability. Yes, it is unfortunate if your second cousin twice removed cannot make all the options work, but as long as your parents, siblings and maid of honor & Best man can come, that date should be considered. Try to get at least three date options that you can send to your vendor team!
- Email/call your vendors with the new date options and ask them to let you know all of the dates that currently work for them. The date with the most availability, is your new date! To help you keep track, we suggest sending your vendors a Doodle poll or making an excel spreadsheet of the dates and vendors. And once the new date is selected, email them again confirming the new date so they can release any other dates they may have been holding for you! From there, your vendors will send you an addendum to your contract which will lay out the terms of moving your event.
Now that you have officially moved your date with your vendors, it is time notify your guests! Gaaah, you spent all of this money on beautiful invitations or a super cute save the date and now you need to do it again! What do you do? First and foremost, your guests understand that this is a really tough time, they are going through the pandemic as well and they do not expect you to re create a gorgeous letterpress invitation! Cut yourself some slack! As long as you notify guests and can get the correct RSVP information for the new date, you will be set!! With that said, there are a lot of fun options out there!!
Email: If you have email addresses for your guests, great! An email message is the quickest way to notify them of the postponement! If you created your invitations with a design firm like Perfect Press, they are able to take your invitation design (at minimum fonts/colors) and create a JPEG that you can embed in the body of your email so that the design is cohesive to your invitations and notifies guests of the new date.
If you aren’t ready to accept new RSVP’s yet, let guests roughly know they will receive a new RSVP card and if it will be via email or in the mail.
Paper: You should send a postponement card in the mail if you do not have email addresses for everyone. A fantastic Seattle designer, Holly of Sablewood Paper Company, has a postponement section on her online shop where you can order beautiful, yet affordable, announcements! Her motto is ‘bad news doesn’t have to be ugly…or expensive’ and we love that!!
Minted and other online shops via Etsy are also offering some fun options!! You can keep the message classy or have a bit of fun with it! Want a discount on Minted? Use Perfectly Posh Events code to save 35% off Save The Dates and 20% off all other wedding items when you check out, WEDPLPPE20!!
Important! You must also update your website! There are a few pages that need to be edited on your wedding website to reflect the new date:
1. First write a short & sweet, standout message on your home page letting guests know that the date has been postponed!
Here is a sample message you can copy/paste:
Due to the current COVID-19 advisories at both the State and Federal level, we are making the very hard but necessary decision to postpone our wedding celebration. We very much look forward to celebrating with you on our new date of ‘XYZ’. We will be making regular updates to this website to keep everyone in the loop on the new and improved plan. We love all of you and want everyone to stay safe and healthy!
2. Update the events page dates. Make sure to edit your rehearsal dinner and post wedding brunch dates if they are listed on your site as well!
3. Hotel blocks – Tell guests that their existing reservations have been cancelled and that new reservations will need to be made if you can attend the new date. *The hotel should automatically cancel their reservations once they reschedule your room block, but please confirm that!
*If the rate has changed at any of your properties, note the price change!
4. RSVP page – If you are now asking guests to RSVP online, make sure you activate the RSVP page to collect guest responses!! If you were currently using the RSVP function, you will either need to clear it out and begin again or ask the guests to notify you they have reconfirmed.
Fast forward to your wedding day, what needs to be changed in regard to communicating with your guests? Our 4th blog post in the series will be all about health & safety measures at your event, so please tune in for more details next week, but for this post, we are focusing on communication/signage!
The welcome sign is where we first want to focus! Usually this simply states a beautifully scripted ‘welcome’ along with the couple’s names, date and hashtag. We are encouraging you to ‘use your words’ here to get a safety message across to your guests. Explaining your wishes from the start will help everyone feel safe and comfortable!! Here is an example from the fantastic, Pomp & Revel who we often go to for day of signage.
Your officiant is the first person to set the tone and while we realize you don’t want to start your ceremony talking about COVID-19, it is a great opportunity to have him/her reiteration the “let’s celebrate safely” message to your guests! This could be before the wedding starts when guests are asked to silence their phones OR after you have been pronounced and are down the aisle – when they welcome guests to move to cocktail hour.
Having cute, small signs at the bar, in the bathroom and on cocktail tables reminding guests to wash their hands isn’t what a bride always dreamed of, we get it, but guests will appreciate that you are making an effort to keep them safe!
The team at Pomp & Revel can create beautiful signage in acrylic, wood, slate, faux-leather & metal in an array of colors, sizes and designs! We highly recommend utilizing their help to get the word out to your guests!
Utilize your DJ or band emcee!! They are naturals on the microphone and can talk to your guests in a friendly way, “we are so excited to be together in person!! To make sure we can continue to gather with one another (couples names) hope you will take precautions to respect everyone’s space while still have a fantastic time!”…
We hope you found these steps and tips helpful!! Tune in on May 7th for our next blog post from the Perfectly Posh Events Team about ways you can keep your vendor team even with your reduced guest count!
Megan with Clutch Events