Here is some great advice and direction from Sharon McMeel, Wedding Planner of the Year 2019, with offices in both Limerick and Dublin. Sharon is one of the top wedding planners in Ireland for over a decade.
“It has not been an easy time for wedding couples and their families over the past few weeks and we have all felt the sense of loss and frustration at not being able to do everything we wanted to do and move forward with plans for our events and weddings. What has been lovely to see is the support people have given each other to get over and through these times. And the assistance of the venues and suppliers I have been dealing with to accommodate my couples with new dates has been heart-warming. Huge thank you to everyone who is helping to keep couples dates going ahead and keeping this wonderful industry in Ireland moving forward. Now down to the practical stuff…
This is the big one! Overthinking and indecision are the two greatest causes of stress in any situation and particularly when you are talking about postponing your wedding date. You are not only making a decision for you, as well as coming to terms with the change, but also for family members, friends and guests travelling distances for your big day. So my advice in these uncertain times is take control of your own situation that is where your power is. Once you make the decision to postpone you will feel the stress and anxiety of the uncertainly slip away and it will allow you to get excited about your wedding again.
As we all know there is a lot of expense involved in getting married. And if you are immersed in the planning stages or nearing your wedding day then you have a lot of the deposits and possibly final balances paid at this point. So in order to avoid losing money on your wedding where possible try to postpone the date rather than cancel. Most suppliers and venues will be happy to work with you on postponing your wedding date but may apply cancellation charges if you cancel instead. Make sure you read through all your contracts before making a decision, so that you understand the full cancellation details in advance as this will vary from supplier to supplier. Also if you have taken out wedding insurance, review the details of this and see what it covers you for postponements or cancellation.
The length of time between your postponement or cancellation of your wedding and the wedding date itself can affect how the details/payments/refunds apply with a supplier or venue. If you have to cancel your wedding in full or postpone the wedding and a supplier isn’t available on your new date you need to be talking to them as soon as possible. Most suppliers and venues are being very understanding and flexible in their dealings with couples but we would all ask that couples be understanding about the level of work that may have been done to date by your suppliers/venues. The closer it is to your wedding date the more work that may have been done. It is important to remember that suppliers have their own costs too and do need to be paid for work done to date. The best thing to do here is have an honest conversation with them and see what arrangement you can come to. The thing to remember is no one wants to have people upset by what’s going on, we are all in this together.
Once you have made the hard but right decision to postpone, now it’s time to get to work! With postponing the wedding to a new date the hardest park will be trying to get a date where all your suppliers and venues are available so you don’t have to make any changes or lose deposits. Input all your suppliers into a spreadsheet and then start calling or emailing them to ask what dates they have available. Start with your venue as this will be the main lead on what dates you have options on. Try to get a few dates from them to give you the best possibility of finding a date that matches across all suppliers. Once you have all your info in your spreadsheet see what date matches up the best. If you find a date that is works for 80-100% of your suppliers the move quickly to get the new date booked. There will be a large number of couples looking for new dates over the coming weeks and months so peak dates will go quickly.
In order to have more options available to you, try to be flexible with your new date if possibly. Look at off peak months from October to March for instance or Midweek dates during the summer months.
All has worked out and you have your new date. Now it’s time to get the excitement going again for you and your guests by embracing the change and sending out Change the Date stationery. Next week I will be showing you some of the best ways to make the announcement and some lovely designs that are available for you.
If you are still unsure of how to navigate this difficult time and need some assistance, guidance or just to vent to someone who gets it, then please do reach out to me. I am currently offering hourly consultations over Skype, Zoom, etc, to help couples out and keep sane. You can contact me on +353 86 8524800 or firstname.lastname@example.org
I wish you all the best with your planning and remember, it’s time to get excited about your wedding again!!! “
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