Today’s blog is a guest post from the one and only Gabriela Pilar Events! Gabi is a wedding planner serving all of Southern California, with a soft spot for Los Angeles weddings and Palm Springs weddings. Her attention to detail and fun approach to planning is the perfect combo to make sure your event happens flawlessly. Gabi also is one of the most friendly and personable planners I’ve had the opportunity to work with. She’s incredible at managing relationships and your family will surely fall in love with her! A true expert in her field, Gabi explains below how to postpone your wedding in 10 steps.
10 STEPS FOR HOW TO POSTPONE YOUR WEDDING
In life, things don’t always go according to plan. Couples are currently navigating the COVID-19 outbreak and it is creating a lot of hard decisions for couples that were planned to be married in Spring/Summer 2020. This situation (and any other natural disaster) puts you in a state of panic and a whole lot of anxiety. You’re unsure of how to navigate this scenario, and really don’t know whether to postpone or cancel your wedding day. I am here to help you! In this article, I will discuss the 10 steps to follow to postpone your wedding or special event. These steps will take away the panic, stress, and anxiety and allow you to make a level-headed decision.
Since you have never experienced a situation like this, I am going to outline a game plan for you to follow to postpone your wedding. These steps are simple and allow a tactful approach – making it easy for you during this stressful time. Let’s get to it!
STEP ONE: MAKE THE CALL TO POSTPONE NOT CANCEL YOUR WEDDING PLANS
Don’t throw your entire wedding out the window because of this obstacle. You deserve to have your wedding day and celebrate with your family and friends. If you are trying to save money, this is not the way to go about it. 99% of your vendors are small businesses (mom & pop style), so asking/demanding a refund is a surefire way to put them out of business. Read your contracts regarding the terms of payment & refunds!
STEP TWO: EMAIL ALL OF YOUR VENDORS UPDATING THEM WITH YOUR DECISION TO POSTPONE YOUR WEDDING
It is important all of your vendors are on board with you, and know what is happening. Even if the date is TBD, reach out to them as soon as you decide to postpone your wedding.
STEP THREE: OBTAIN AVAILABLE 2020 AND 2021 DATES FROM YOUR VENUE
Keep in mind you will need to be flexible about date availability. Regardless of the year, fall weddings are the most popular so you will most likely not get a Saturday. Don’t throw out weekday weddings or a Friday/Sunday. The guests that love and support you will be there no matter what!
STEP FOUR: CREATE A GOOGLE FORM
Once you get potential dates from your venue, go into Google Forms and create a Date Availability Form for your vendors to complete. Add the following information. (Need a visual? See the example below.)
Company Name _____________ (make this a required field)
10/2/2020: Available / Not Available
(List dates as questions with the answer options as Available / Not Available)
STEP FIVE: LINK YOUR GOOGLE FORM TO GOOGLE SHEETS
Here’s the magic – you can link your form so that responses will automatically populate in a google spreadsheet. It’s super simple too!
– Click on “responses”.
– Click the three little dots in the top left-hand corner.
– Click “select response destination”
– Make sure “create a new spreadsheet” is checked and named accordingly.
– Click “create”
Here’s a little gif for all the visual learners:
STEP 6: SEND YOUR GOOGLE FORM TO YOUR VENDOR TEAM TO COMPLETE
Use the link sharing option in Google Forms, and send the link in a blanket email to all vendors. (Click “send” in the upper left-hand corner, then click the link icon.) As you receive their answers, your google spreadsheet will automatically update. I recommend using conditional formatting on your spreadsheet so that you can color code!
– Select your entire data range on your spreadsheet. (command + A)
– Click “format”
– “conditional formatting”
– Under “Format cells if…” select “Text is exactly”
– In the box labeled “value or formula” type “Available”
– In the “Formatting Style” section, select the fill color to be a light green.
– Click “done”
– click “add another rule” and repeat steps for “not available” and format the fill color to be a light red.
For conditional formatting help, check out this video.
STEP SEVEN: REVIEW DATE AVAILABILITY AND SIGN A NEW CONTRACT WITH THE VENUE
It is important that you don’t wait long once you receive all vendor availability to make a decision. Remember, there are dozens of other couples (not including newly engaged couples) booking the dates provided by the venue as “available”. Act swiftly. Once that new date is determined, email the venue to obtain an updated contract with the new date listed.
STEP EIGHT: OBTAIN UPDATED CONTRACTS/INVOICES FROM YOUR VENDORS
Now that you have secured the new date with the venue, and the contract has been signed. Send an email out to all of your vendors with the new date, and request an updated contract. Keep in mind, some vendors may request you sign a contract cancellation to void the old contract, and have you sign a newly updated contract. Make sure to place these updated contracts in a new folder.
STEP NINE: SEND AN “UNSAVE THE DATE” VIRTUALLY (EMAIL) OR BY MAIL TO YOUR GUESTS
Just a heads up, so they know not to make additional plans and to wait for a new save the date.
STEP TEN: REPRINT & SEND ‘SAVE THE DATE’ WITH NEW DATE LISTED
When it comes to your invitations, you don’t need to resend these until 8-12 weeks before your rescheduled date. If you already sent them and received RSVP responses, I would recommend sending a Paperless Post invitation with a virtual link for your guests to submit their updated RSVP for the new date. Or you can put a new RSVP link on your wedding website for your guests to complete. This will save you lots of $$$ on printing costs.
Was that helpful to you in this situation? Do you need additional help? Reach out to me (Gabi) for more assistance.
And there you have it! You’re one step closer to celebrating your marriage. You can even create another google form to ask family members and wedding party for their availability too.
Until then, grab a drink or two – I think we could all use one about now!
p.s. did you like that photo of Bonnie + Mike celebrating with some cold beers?! See the rest of their Saguaro Palm Springs Wedding – it’s a goodie.
Marissa Hyland is a Southern California wedding photographer known for her bright and colorful photos and expert advice. Her passion is capturing the playfulness and fun of couples combined with the artful nature of romance. Feel free to get lost in the moment, she will get it ALL on camera. To book Marissa for your Southern California wedding photos – click here!