February 4, 2021

Your Wedding and Covid: To Reschedule, Downsize, or Elope?

Questioning whether you should reschedule, downsize, or elope for your 2021 wedding plans? With the ever-changing guidelines that states are announcing, it can be difficult to predict where the world will be months from now. Trust me, I know it’s not fun – I’ve been there too! With experience ranging from all of the below options with my couples, (and my own personal experience), I’m here to help guide you in a seamless transition with your wedding plans.

Reschedule Your Wedding

If you want to reschedule the whole shebang and have everyone attend when it’s safe to dance, drink, and party your butts off, postponing is your best option.

  1. Contact your venue and find a preferred date, and a backup date. Just be prepared that you might end up with a Friday, Sunday, or weekday wedding. Heck, what an awesome excuse to play hooky from work, right?!
  2. Contact the rest of your vendor team with your new tentative dates to check their schedules and any additional rescheduling fees along with it. 

Pro Tip: Doodle Polls are a great way to see what dates align for everyone, and is easy to send out to all vendors. 

  1. Once you’ve officially rescheduled to a new date, it’s time to let your guests know. The next year is going to be jam packed with postponed weddings, so you’ll want to get out updated Save the Dates ASAP!
  2. Don’t forget to celebrate your original date in some way! It will always hold a special place in your heart 🙂
elope covid wedding

Get Married on Your Original Date & Reschedule the Reception

You don’t want to wait any longer to get married, but also want to celebrate with your gang! Totally valid, and totally doable.

  1. Decide if you want to elope on your original date, or have a tiny wedding.
  2. Check in with your vendors on available dates and additional fees for the postponed reception. Also confirm that anyone you will need on your original date will continue to be of service.
  3. Make that postponement announcement to your guests.
  4. Align all the details for your new plans!

Pro Tip: Figure out if everything you currently have is what you still want, and will continue to want. A lot of couples end up changing venues because they realize that ballroom they booked 2 years ago isn’t their style anymore!

Just keep in mind that once you get married, life moves on. It’s not uncommon for couples that eloped or had a tiny wedding to ultimately end up cancelling the postponed wedding reception. With life evolving, starting families, moving, buying homes, etc., sometimes the extra expenses of a reception might be unnecessary. 

Downsize to an Intimate Wedding

Imagine actually getting to talk and hang with every single one of your guests on your wedding night! Well, you can. For some, going this route of downsizing this might be a blessing in disguise! Cutting down your list to those you love most (because who even wanted crazy Aunt Sally, anyways?), being able to hire that videographer you once didn’t have room in the budget for, and starting to focus on things that you actually want

downsize intimate wedding

Like all other options, contact your vendors. Let them know your plans to downsize, and talk about options for smaller packages. Most of the time, everything will work out just fine! If there’s anything you really wanted but couldn’t splurge on before, maybe now is the time to ask about the possibility of adding that something in there.

Guest List

Let’s discuss your new invite list, ahem, your VIPs, your absolute MUSTS. Normally, this would be your immediate family (parents and siblings) and closest members of your bridal party. This would ideally keep you under 20 or so guests, but always double check with your state’s gathering limits before finalizing.

How do you decide who to uninvite you may ask? Well, I’ll leave that to my girl, Kaleigh, of Kay Northrup Events to explain in her post, 7 Questions to Cut Your Wedding Guest List. Kay is wedding planner for out-of-the-box weddings & elopements, and offers tons of resources for couples while planning #AllTheThings. Hire her, you won’t regret it.

Okay so now how do you actually uninvite people? Honestly, it’s pretty freakin’ easy. Depending on who it is, it’s up to you whether that’s a phone call or email, but here’s a solid template:

“Hi [guest name], I wanted to let you know how much [fiance] and I care for you and would love your presence on our wedding day. However, with the uncertainty of the guidelines, we’ve decided to include only family and bridal party. It was a difficult decision, but ultimately best for the time we’re in. I hope we can celebrate together down the road when it’s safe to hug and be merry!”

There, it’s done! 

Bonus!

Downsizing has another huge perk: budget. When you cut your list down by 70+ people, you end up saving a lot of money. Thousands actually. If you’re still wanting to make your intimate wedding feel like an event and not just a shindig, these funds will be perfect to put personalized touches on your day.

And just know, I’m not saying you have to spend your original $40,000 budget on 130 guests on your now 20 guests, but having a little bit of extra flexibility in your finances can really make your intimate wedding an unforgettable experience.

Cancel the Big Wedding & Elope Instead

Maybe you never wanted the big wedding to begin with, or you’re starting to realize that you just simply want to get the heck married already. You can create a once in a lifetime experience with your soulmate and anyone else you want, somewhere that lights up your heart and makes you happy.

Here are some things to consider when canceling and eloping:

  1. You might lose some deposits depending on where you decide to elope.
  2. If you stay local, you could keep a good chunk of your current vendors by simply downgrading packages. Use your floral deposit for a bouquet and boutonniere, look on point with your hair and makeup artist, have your caterer/chef prepare a gourmet dinner.
  3. If you decide to go the destination route and find a new location, let all vendors that you cannot use on your day know that you are cancelling. Chances are, you’ll be able to bring your photog/video along, and maybe your planner will be able to help with location scouting and coordinating vendors in a different location.
  4. Finalize your plans, book any travel if you have it, and live in the moment. This day is meant to show off your love in the most you way possible. Whether you want to prance around the cliffs of California, head to the beaches in Hawaii, bar hop in the city, chill in the backyard, rent a treehouse in the woods (like Erica and Kevin did), just do you.
elope wedding covid

And if you need some location inspiration, check out the bucket list for some epic elopement spots!

And just remember…

It’s YOUR day. Let this be your reminder that you are allowed to make any decision you want. Go big, go small, go alone, it really doesn’t matter! I just hope this inspires you to be true to yourselves, give yourself a little grace when you need it, and appreciate what you have planned thus far. At the end of the day, your wedding is about your marriage, not the other way around.

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