And tips for what to do next…
My fiancé and I got engaged back in November 2018, and planned to get married this May on a beach in Koh Samui, Thailand. Being someone that loves to throw a good party, I’d say I thought about the wedding in some way, every day since our engagement. I definitely lost several hours down the Pinterest rabbit hole planning the perfect day. A few months ago, my main worry was rain! However, that soon changed completely when we were suddenly faced with the difficult decision to postpone the wedding entirely.
Read more: The Best Wedding Planners In Hong Kong
Plans Falling Apart
When we first heard about the novel coronavirus in January, we were both trying our best to stay positive. We had guests who had booked flights to Thailand from the UK, Australia, the US and Hong Kong, and we couldn’t bring ourselves to think about what Plan B might look like. As the virus started to rapidly spread and the travel restrictions began, reality started to sink in. We had stag and hen weekends planned in Vietnam and Thailand in March, and the week we were due to leave, our flights were cancelled.
The following week, all flights from Hong Kong to the wedding destination were cancelled. I felt physically sick. I was devastated that all our plans were falling apart, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the financial implications that this could cause for everyone.
Making New Arrangements
At that time, the travel restrictions were only being implemented in Asia. One of our biggest concerns was of our guests who were flying in from overseas and would lose a lot of money if we were to change our wedding date. With so much uncertainty around the next couple of months, we needed to make a call. As daunting as the decision seemed, we knew we needed to act quickly.
Luckily, we had been working with a fantastic wedding planner and she was able to help contact and negotiate with many of our vendors. We got in touch with our friends and relatives to decide on a new date for the wedding that would work for everyone. The most important thing for us was to make sure we could celebrate with our nearest and dearest. After a stressful couple of days going back and forth on date changes, we were able to find a date that worked and decided to postpone the wedding to February 2021.
Thanks to the website we set up for the wedding, we were able to easily update our guests on the news. We instantly felt like a huge weight had been lifted. We were so relieved that we wouldn’t be adding to our loved ones’ stress during this difficult time, or putting anyone’s health in jeopardy by travelling. And with the coronavirus taking a huge toll on small businesses, we felt extremely lucky that our vendors were so accommodating and allowed us to reschedule. I know there are many others in this situation who have not been so lucky.
The amount of support we’ve received from everyone since we made our decision has been amazing, and although we’re disappointed that we won’t be getting married next month, we’re focusing on the silver linings. We know how lucky we are to be safe and healthy right now. These tough times make us stronger and more appreciative of all the love around us. Once all of this is over, I’m certain the reunion will be bigger and better than ever – come rain or shine!
Tips For Brides Who’ve Had To Postpone Their Wedding
I know there are many other brides who are going through this challenging time right now, so if you’re also having to navigate the difficult decision to postpone your wedding, here is some insight into the steps we took that might be useful to you.
- Check your booking policies carefully and ask your vendors what your options are as soon as possible. If you have a wedding planner, ask them to help with this.
- If you’re finding the situation too stressful to deal with and you don’t have a wedding planner, consider asking friends and family to help lighten the load. Or if budget allows, consider hiring a planner just to help with rearranging the logistics and handling negotiations with vendors.
- Check the availability of the family and friends that must be present at the wedding, and be prepared to be flexible with your new date.
- Don’t rebook too soon – or check policies around rebooking again in case there are still restrictions in place.
- If you have wedding insurance, thoroughly check what it covers.
- If postponing or cancelling isn’t an option, look into other alternatives such as hosting a live stream and arranging a celebration with guests later on.
- Consider whether any of the younger wedding party may outgrow their outfits. Alternatively, if you’re moving the wedding to a different season or location, you may need to think about whether you need to change the style of your wedding dress.
- If you don’t already have one, consider setting up a wedding website or app so that you can continue to easily communicate any updates with your guests.
- Don’t forget that once your new date is set, this could affect the number of guests, so you may need to adjust catering etc. accordingly.
- Give yourself some time to be upset (it’s ok to be sad), but look for the silver linings and stay focused on the positives.