COVID-19 How to Reschedule Checklist
We’re here to be a bit more straightforward, and just tell you what to do about rescheduling your event. There are tons of great articles out there from Martha Stewart Weddings to Harper’s Bazaar with valuable advice on prioritizing vendors, staying positive, and being flexible. While emotional and mental support is a priority right now, we also know you need to get some things done quickly.
While this list is pretty detailed, it’s not all-encompassing and doesn’t fit every situation. If you need a little help – we’re offering complimentary consultations to DC, Richmond, and Charlottesville couples affected by this and do not have a planner. Click here to set up your free call!
- Contact your venue – determine all available dates. Include Fridays and Sundays just in case
- Create a spreadsheet – list the available dates down the left-hand side and your vendors across the top. Put the vendors in order of priority from left to right.
- Tip: Not all will be available, and you need to prioritize the ones that will avoid the largest sunk costs and the ones you can’t live without on your new date.
- Tip: In our opinion – the first few should be your venue(s), planner, caterer, photographer, and band.
- Send a group email to all of your vendors. Avoid including too much detail and get to the point “We are considering rescheduling our wedding. Below are the dates our venue is able to reschedule our event. Please respond with the dates you are available and your current reschedule/cancellation policy due to COVID-19 event reschedules”
- Fill in your spreadsheet. Highlight the lines where all of your priority vendors line up in green. Highlight where a majority of your priority vendors are lining up in yellow.
- Pick a date. Yeah, we know… this sucks. But just keep going. You will feel the relief of all this soon!
- Send a group email to all of your vendors who are available on the new date. Again, avoid including too much information and get to the point. “We have decided to reschedule our wedding from <old day & date> to <new day & date>. Please send me an updated agreement to confirm these changes and any invoices to reflect any fees and updated due dates.”
- Sign/send back reschedule agreements and update your payment schedules.
- Be prepared to be inconvenienced.
- If moving from a Saturday to a Friday/Sunday, do not expect a discounted fee. The company is giving you a new date for free and giving up revenue for another event that could have booked that date.
- Some businesses will ask for the original payment schedule to stay in place. Many businesses can’t accommodate their entire spring event revenue to be shifted to the fall.
- If you can’t accommodate these inconveniences, speak up. It won’t be worth it to them to lose your business. Everyone is just doing the best they can.
- Send individual emails to each vendor that is not able to accommodate the new date. “We have decided to reschedule our wedding from <old day & date> to <new day & date>. If you are unable to accommodate, please send me a cancellation agreement and details on any reimbursements or fees owed. We will review everything and send any questions we have”
- Terminate any services and update your budget accordingly.
- Research and book replacement vendors.
- Tip: read our blog post about how to book replacement vendors (click here)
- Get your final check-in calls and venue walkthroughs scheduled as early as possible. Many vendors are now overbooked for the fall due to reschedules. Get your details ironed out now before they are too busy.
- Reschedule your room blocks.
- Decide how you’ll collect new RSVP’s – we recommend using your wedding website
- Update your wedding website. New dates, new venues (if applicable), a nice message to your guests, updated hotel block information, and add RSVP capability + instructions
- Communicate with your guests. Text, email, call – spread the word and direct everyone to your website.
- Tip: avoid using facebook or social media. It’s impersonal AND you’re inviting a lot of commentary and gossip into your life that you don’t need right now.
- Tip: consider having your stationer create a card to mail out to everyone with the new date, the website link and a request for a new RSVP.
- Celebrate on your original date! Whether it’s a nice dinner, taking some photos with your wedding photographer, a secret legal marriage (we can help – click here for elopement services!) or a simple glass of wine, make sure you mark that date as something special. This is unprecedented, and we think you’ll want to look back on this and remember what it was like. It might not feel like it now, but this will all work out. You will be married soon, and you will start your lives together… you just might have to wait a bit!
Contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with any wedding planning questions!
Click here for more event planning resources during the COVID-19 outbreak.