We recently posted an article with some recommendations on whether you should cancel or postpone your wedding due to the uncertainty around the COVID 19 outbreak. Since the situation is continually evolving, we’ve put together some more recent information and advice. Read on to find out what postponement means for your deposits, contracts, and potential reschedule dates.
We still highly recommend postponing instead of canceling. Many July and August 2020 weddings are now being delayed. It’s becoming clear that we may have to settle into travel restrictions and social distancing for the long haul.
For couples whose weddings are booked for the summer months, it’s definitely time to start looking at dates for a potential rescheduling.
Weekend dates for 2021 are already locked down at this stage. It’s an unfortunate reality that you will likely be looking at a weekday rather than a weekend for your new wedding date in 2020 or 2021. But the sooner you start the rescheduling process, the more options you will have for your new wedding date. You might still be able to arrange something before the end of 2020 if you act fast.
Couples and vendors alike will have to embrace a certain level of flexibility when it comes to a new wedding date. We’re all in this together. So let’s pull together to help make the wedding of your dreams happen sooner rather than later.
Photo: Kadie Hummel Photography
When you booked your vendors, you likely put down deposits and retainers to help secure your wedding date. Unfortunately, you will probably lose most of those deposits when seeking to postpone. This may vary from vendor to vendor, but it’s essential to understand why that is.
Deposits and retainers are how your vendors maintain cash flow and keep their businesses running. For vendors such as photographers, deposits are taken to protect them from last-minute cancellations and the opportunity cost of providing that date to another couple.
For vendors such as florists, they will have placed orders with suppliers for specific flowers for your wedding. They usually need a couple of months notice to cancel those orders without losing any money out of their pockets.
However, lots of vendors are waiving their postponement/reschedule fees to help facilitate a wedding date later in the year. These decisions are mostly being made on a case by case basis. It all depends on the proposed new date for your wedding.
The most important thing is reaching out to vendors quickly to get the lay of the land.
Photo: Willow & Wolf
Many wedding vendor contracts will include a force majeure clause. This essentially means that your obligation to pay the balance on a contract does not come into play if circumstances beyond your control (e.g., a natural disaster) force the cancellation of an event.
This clause is more relevant if you have held out hope to the last minute and are now postponing or canceling your wedding on very short notice. You will still not be able to get a deposit back. Still, a force majeure clause may stop you from being liable for paying the full balance due to last-minute cancellation.
Again, check your contracts and reach out to vendors as soon as possible.
The reality is that even securing a postponement date may come with other sacrifices. For example, you may have found an ideal date with your venue, but many of your other vendors might already be booked for that date.
Our advice is to choose one or two vendors that are crucial to your wedding plans and work from there. If other vendors can’t make your new date, you might have to start shopping around for a replacement. And yes, you will lose your deposits.
Photo: Darren Roberts Photography
Most vendors are doing everything in their power to help postpone your wedding. But there needs to be a certain amount of understanding and flexibility on both sides. Here at the Rocky Mountain Wedding Collective, we take the health and wellbeing of our vendors and our clients very seriously. We know that policies will be different from vendor to vendor, but we’re here for you to help with any questions or concerns you may have.
Let’s keep planning your spectacular wedding and get through this together!
Featured image by Steven Wallace Photography.