Okay, let’s be honest. COVID-19 has propelled us into unprecedented times and there is a lot going on right now. In an effort to keep us all safe, and curb transmission of the virus, the US government has placed certain restrictions and precautions in place (such as limiting any gatherings to less than 10 people, and social distancing measures like maintaining a 6 foot distance from anyone). Additionally, many states have issued “stay at home” orders that restrict individuals outings to shopping for necessities, seeking medical care, and outdoor activities – as long as they maintain the 6 ft distance from each other. Obviously, all of these restrictions are going to seriously alter the vibe of your wedding celebrations.
To see if your state has current “stay at home” orders in place, CNN keeps an updated list. You can check it out here.
For a time, many people thought this would only last a few weeks, and you may even be thinking that now. But here’s the reality: we don’t know how long these restrictions are going to be in place, or if they will grow even more strict as time passes. The US Government recently extended nationwide social distancing guidelines to April 30th, with the “hope that the country will be on its way to recovery by June 1st.” If you reside in Montana (such as I do), Gov. Bullock has also extended our stay-at-home directive through the end of April. For many of us, our life has become a day-by-day, if not moment-by-moment, waiting game.
These are truly uncertain times, so it’s no wonder you are feeling overwhelmed and uncertain of what to do. I get that this is not what went through your head when you started planning your wedding, and my heart breaks for the couples that this has become a reality for.
I know that just the idea of postponement is hard enough to wrap your mind around, least of all how to navigate the process and then notify your guests of the changes. That’s why I’m here: To help you in the best way I know how! I’ll present you with different ways to notify your guests of changes, wording examples and will walk through this process alongside you.
1. WEDDING WEBSITES
Wedding websites are a great option for notifying your guests of any wedding related changes. Many are free and offer a central location to direct your guests for updates. They alleviate the need for multiple phone calls, text messages, or worrying if the information being relayed is correct (Remember the telephone game you played as a child?). You can also collect RSVP’s directly on your website; an important thing to consider since you’ll want your guests to be able to easily update their responses if necessary.
If you are in the beginning stages of ordering your wedding invitations, consider adding your website information on one of your enclosure cards. This can be as simple as adding an “Additional Information” section to your large enclosure or you can include a smaller enclosure specifically for your website.
2. "JUST IN CASE" NOTES
If you are getting married later this year, but are moving ahead with everything as planned, consider sending a “just in case” note to your guests. These notes can serve a couple of different purposes.
- If you have already mailed your wedding invitations, they can serve as a “follow-up” to inform your guests of your wedding website (if you hadn’t already) and to let them know that you are moving forward as planned.
- If you have not mailed your wedding invitations, these can serve as a way to inform your guests that you are still moving forward as planned, but changes may need to be made.
- You can easily personalize these notes to be more warm and personal in nature.
These notes do not have to be as large as your main invitation and can easily be added to your invitation suite or mailed with a single first class USPS stamp.
3. GO VIRTUAL
Want to keep your wedding date, but celebrate in an appropriate “social distancing” way? Consider going virtual! With today’s technology, you can live stream your vows, host a video conference call, or facetime your loved ones. Just because you can’t physically be together, doesn’t mean your family and friends can’t celebrate with you!
4. CHANGE THE DATE CARDS
Many May and June brides are choosing to reschedule their wedding for the fall or next spring, and as things progress, you may choose to do so as well. Should you find yourself in that situation, and having already mailed your wedding invitations, consider sending a “Change the Date” card. Similar to a save the date card, this announcement lets your friends and family know that although plans have changed, you’re still getting married.
If you have not yet mailed your invitations, but find yourself planning a postponement, a simple RSVP sized card (3.5″ x 5″) included with your wedding suite announcing your new wedding date will suffice. This will alleviate the need to send a separate announcement later on.
Some additional things you may want to consider if you find your wedding affected by COVID-19:
- If you need to make changes to your wedding, you’ll want to let your guests know as soon as possible. This will allow them adequate time to adjust their travel plans and vacation time.
- Have your guests update their RSVP specific to your new wedding date. Directing your guests to your wedding website for this, or even a text message, alleviates the need to send another RSVP card.
- Consider sending your invitations as late as possible, and push your RSVP date a little closer to your wedding. If you choose to go this route, I highly recommend working with your venue and caterer on an appropriate time frame.
Hopefully this has been helpful for you. Please know that my heart aches for anyone in this situation. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. I am more than happy to help!
If you are wanting a Change the Date card, be sure and check out my wedding postponement announcements. These can all be personalized to your specific situation and come with unlimited revisions.