Hi everyone, my name is Kirsten Sparks. In addition to being an event producer here at Cornman Farms, I am also a “soonlywed”! My fiance, Justin, and I got engaged over a year ago in March 2019 when he surprised me with a family-filled proposal. His adorable niece and nephews helped him pop the question with balloons that said “Will you be our Aunt?” Of course, I said yes!
My engagement has brought a whole new level of understanding to my work here at the farm. As an event producer, I work hand-in-hand with all of our couples to make sure the booking, planning, and execution of their wedding goes smoothly. With that comes a lot of problem solving, from making sure your ceremony starts on time to trying to keep your wild uncle from getting too “Coyote Ugly” with it and dancing on the bar. I aim to be the person of calm for our couples and help them through the stress that naturally comes with planning a wedding, and up until this spring I thought I’d seen it all.
However, nothing could have prepared me for what we are all going through right now. For our couples and actually, for myself as well. That’s right, Justin and I were scheduled to be married on Saturday, April 18th. After spending over a year planning this special day, we ultimately made the call to postpone our wedding to November of this year.
I know what couples are feeling as they face this decision: to postpone or not to postpone. I know the stress that they are feeling with their wedding stuck in a cloud of uncertainty. That’s why I want to share what I’ve learned over the past month, as both a wedding producer and as a bride. Once we decided to postpone, I, being the natural planner that I am, wrote out a to-do list, which I’m sharing with you today.
If the day comes that you must make the choice to postpone, follow these steps to secure a new wedding date.
Step One: Contact Your Venue
First and foremost, check with your venue and see what their policies are about postponement or rescheduling. Ask for their 2020/2021 availability calendars and select three to four new dates for your special day. Don’t be afraid to select a Friday or Sunday – you may have more luck with the rest of your vendors if you are flexible about the day of the week. (I actually went from a Saturday wedding to a Friday!)
Step Two: Call Your Family / Wedding Party
Check in with your wedding party and close family members to see if your new date options will work with their schedules. (Trust me, you don’t want to go down the rabbit hole of Step Three if your dates don’t work for your Maid of Honor!) I decided to create a Facebook group to communicate with everyone, but a group chat is also a great option.
Step Three: Contact Your Vendors
With your date options in hand, you now need to go through your vendor list to check their availability. This is the order in which I reached out to my vendors:
- Day of Coordinator or Planner: If you have hired a planner or coordinator for your special day, definitely utilize them as you try to reschedule – that is what they are there for! If you haven’t already spoken to them, this should be your first vendor call to see if they have availability on your new date options.
- Photography and Videography: These are the two vendors that I’m sure you did a lot of research on and are a big component of your wedding.
- Hotel: See if there are other weddings on these new dates. If you have a shuttle that day, is it available? Are you able to move your room block? My hotel cancelled my entire room block, so guests would not have to process it themselves.
- Catering: This is a big ticket item that matters a lot to my fellow foodies out there!
- Officiant: Whether it is a religious leader, a friend, or anyone in between, this can be a very important factor in your big day.
The next few vendors are in order based on your preference and what is most important to you and your fiance, so these are just suggestions:
- DJ / Band
- Hair and Makeup
- Dessert / Cake
- Outside Rental Items
- Rehearsal Dinner Space
Step Four: Book Your New Date
Once you have a date that works for as many of the above parties as possible, let your venue know ASAP and see if they can place this new date on hold while you finalize with all of your vendors. Then follow Step Three again and let them know the final date. Once you’ve done that, you can call your venue again to complete the rebooking process.
Step Five: Communicate to Your Guests
The biggest challenge will be communicating to all your guests. Word of mouth, social media and your wedding website will be the easiest and quickest way. I would send a “Change the Date” card once you get a chance, click here to see Brides.com’s list of the best cards.
Step Six: Pause and Reflect
I know that was a lot. I know you likely felt the same panic I felt as I called vendor after vendor. Now is the time to take a deep breath. Allow yourself to mourn and know that there are a lot of us going through this with you. And lastly, know that once your wedding day comes, it will be better and brighter because of what you’ve gone through!
If you need a (virtual) shoulder to cry on, a person to vent to or just talk about fun wedding details, our team is here to help. Sending love and peace to all of my fellow coronavirus couples out there – we’ll all get through this together.
Photo by Alyssa Vandiver Photography