Planning a Wedding: Expert Says Don't Cancel, Postpone

Future brides and grooms may be forced to change their nuptials due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak

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As the wedding season approaches, brides and grooms are faced with the reality that their special day may not go off as planned. The coronavirus and social distancing is forcing many couples to change their plans despite months or even years of planning. But a Massachusetts wedding planner says couples should not cancel their nuptials, instead, they should postpone the festivities.

Jay and her fiancé Mike are one of those couples. They have an April 18th wedding planned with 160 guests who are coming from all over the country.

"We're hoping and praying that the ban is lifted and we are able to carry on our wedding as planned," Jay said.

But she understands the reality of the health crisis and is ready to change her plans if necessary.

"We want everyone to stay healthy and safe and if that means postponing or canceling the wedding that's what it will have to be," Jay said.

Wedding planner Jenny Richard says don't cancel your big day, postpone it.

"If you cancel you're talking about losing thousands and thousands of dollars," Richard said. "If you postpone you can try to hold on to most of that money."

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Richard's company, All Aboard Event Planning, is helping its clients navigate the COVID-19 situation. But Richard says even if you don't have a planner, there are things you to can do to streamline your postponement.

She says the first thing to do is "stay calm, making sure you're communicating with vendors."

Richard recommends asking your venue for 3 to 5 future dates when the space is available. She says then create an online survey or poll using a calendar app or website with those available dates and send the poll to your wedding vendors. You can pick the date that the majority of your vendors are available.

"It's going to save you tons of back and forth with emails," said Richard. "It's a clear everybody choose what day you're available and making sure you don't end up having to cancel five of your vendors. If you do you're going to lose money."

Richard also runs an online professional networking group made up of thousands of wedding vendors in New England. If you are scrambling to find another photographer or caterer for your new date, she says they are eager to help.

At no cost, we are willing to field inquiries for you. We just need to know the date, your budget, and the vendor you're looking for and in 24-48 hours we'll be able to get back to you with some options," explained Richard.

Richard has some additional advice. If you have to postpone your wedding, consider rescheduling it on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Sunday. She says there's a better chance that all of your vendors will be available.

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