Your Guide to Sending Postponement Announcements If Your Wedding Date Changed Due to the Coronavirus Outbreak
Plus, what to do with any day-of paper goods that already have your original date printed on them.
In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, a novel coronavirus that's currently impacting countries across the globe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently made a sweeping recommendation to cancel any events with 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. "Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals," the CDC website reads.
Depending on where you live, or where your wedding is taking place, an event of any size might actually be banned entirely—in states like New York, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan, and Oregon, events of any size are currently banned; other states are limiting the number of people at any gathering, but the White House has strongly urged that Americans in these areas limit their interactions to just groups of ten. For many brides and grooms, this means postponing the wedding they've spent months, or even years, planning. And with travel bans making it impossible to fly to many foreign countries, destination weddings are on hold, too.
Whether you've made the decision to move your wedding or have been left with no other choice due to these new bans, we understand that this is an emotionally taxing process, but there are a few things you can do now to make the change easier on yourself and your guests. Once you've made arrangements with key vendors to change your wedding to a new date, it's important to get the word out. But having an entirely new stationery suite printed isn't always in the financial cards—to that end, we asked Mariam Naficy, CEO and founder of Minted, to share her best tips on getting this information out as efficiently as possible.
Start with Your Inner Circle
While it's important to let your entire guest list know as soon as possible, you should start with the family members and friends that are closest to you. "First, call your family members and wedding party directly so they can update their calendars. Just be prepared for some scheduling hiccups along the way—there's a chance that some of your VIPs sadly won't be able to make it," Naficy says.
Get the Word Out to Everyone Else
Naficy says the next step would be to tell the rest of your guest list. "Time is of the essence, so the more notice you're able to give your guests, the more likely they'll be able to attend. Send your wedding guests an email updating them on the date change; for any guests who aren't as tech-savvy, it's a good idea to call each person directly to let them know." If you have a wedding website, you should share the new date and any other pertinent information (like a change in venue or an updated hotel room block) there as well.
Don't Forget the Power of Paper
Though you're spreading the word via email and phone calls, it's still a good idea to send a formal event change card in the mail. "This will serve as official announcement about the update," says Naficy. This doesn't need to be a full invitation suite, though. Mail just a date-change card, then requests that guests RSVP digitally, which will save you both time and money.
Choose an option that you can get out quickly. Minted's fully-customizable event change cards, for example, can arrive in as little as one week with rush shipping, but will be on your doorstep in about one-and-a-half weeks with standard shipping speeds.
Hold on to Your Day-Of Paper Goods
If your wedding was taking place within the next two months, odds are good you already have some of your day-of paper goods in your possession. But even though these may have your date originally date printed on them, they're not a wash. As long as the rest of the information is still correct, says Naficy, there may be creative solutions to hide the date. "For example, for table numbers, you could place each in a picture frame, then add a sprig of greenery to tastefully cover the incorrect date," she says. A wax seal or a custom sticker with your new date, monogram, or custom crest might also work. "If the wedding date is printed more prominently on, say, the ceremony program and is more challenging to obscure, it's totally fine to go ahead and use them as long as the rest of the information is still accurate. Just have your officiant make a quick announcement acknowledging the date change while also letting guests know they can still use the program to follow along with the service." At the end of the day, your guests will know that you were forced to move your celebration, and no one will judge you for making paper goods work on the new date.