What you will learn from this blog: Suggestions on what to do if your invitations have already gone out to guests and you had to postpone your wedding. Insight on if your invitations are currently in production or what to do if you are in the beginning phase of invitations. Final wrap up providing creative ways to still say "I do" and keep your original wedding date!
I was ecstatic to connect with Karla last week, over at Written Word Calligraphy. We went on IG Live for an open chat about what we are doing to help our couples' during this hectic time. It was great perspective to hear from another wedding stationer across the map from me and acknowledging we do NOT have all the perfect answers, but we are doing the best we can to serve our clients. I knew I needed to write about this hot topic and combine what we discussed into a blog!
My invitations have gone out and we have to postpone. What do I do?
First, I know you are feeling a pit in your stomach about this. Whether you worked with a designer for months or opted to order online, it's precious time and money spent on your dream day.
I would inform your guests immediately via phone, email or text to get the information out to them quickly. If you know for a fact you are going to postpone, let your guests know ASAP! They will be waiting to hear updates as you approach your wedding day and the beauty of the situation? EVERYONE will understand, so do not feel shy or embarrassed reaching out.
Opt to do one of these three options, following your initial reach out:
Send out a "Change the Date" printed card.
Send out a "Change the Date" digital card via email.
Send personal updates via email, phone or text if your guest list was small to begin with.
A Printed Card:
I would suggest going this route if:
you already solidified a new wedding date
you will be at the same venue
you still have ample amount of time before your wedding (at least 10+ weeks prior)
This, of course, will cost a bit more money so see if you can find online deals offering change the date card services or talk to your wedding stationer to see if they can help you out. I know for my brides, I'm offering a free design service to create a card to match their invitation suite as well discount on printing.
Steer your guests to visit your wedding website. It's a great way to keep things organized and a platform that you can feel in control of that can be updated immediately for guests to see!
Also, utilizing a wedding website is a great way to collect digital RSVP's for the second round. If you opt to do a separate RSVP card and envelope, that is fine, but know that mailing is taking quite a bit longer these days. People are also hesitant with the risk of licking the envelopes and having it be handled through the system. Normally, I am NOT for digital but, the way things are, I can honestly say I feel digital is the safer route. And trust me, your guests won't tease you about not having an envelope to send back! They will most likely appreciate it and jump on their computer to do it right away.
Note: If you still opt to use an envelope, NO licking of envelopes, people! Use a fun sticker, tape, glue stick or wax seal!
A Digital Card:
If you are in need of getting information to your guests ASAP, I would recommend sending a digital card. This works especially well for brides who are only weeks away from their wedding. The beauty of sending an email is that you can have active links within the body of the email, or within a PDF attachment so your guests can easily click to your wedding website or FB page. Even though it is not the most "formal" route, it's a great way to get out your new wedding info pronto.
Right now, I'm offering FREE digital cards for you to use via email! Check out 4 different styles and fill out a PDF once you click on it. You'll receive a proof within 48 hours to use for your guests!
My invitations are in production, what do I do?
This will depend a lot on whether or not you used an online website to do your invitations or if you are working with a stationer. I will focus more on the stationer side of things, since this is what I am currently experiencing with my brides!
Ask if there is a way to stop production. If not, then I would ask to add a matching change the date card on top of your invitation suite. This can be a small card that doesn't take away from your main suite, but to give guests a heads up that there will be a date change (whether you may know the exact date or not yet).
A time that would require a whole new re-print would be if you know for a fact that you will no longer be at the same venue and your details will have to completely change. If it is more than a quick fix with an added change the date card, then I suggest doing a reprint with your new date and details. I feel it's one thing to have a different date compared to having nothing on the original wedding suite that is relevant to your new plans. You make the judgement call!
I need to start thinking about my invitations, what should I do?
With everything up in the air right now, I would hold off as much as possible. I know each state will have different expectations and phases of reopening, but it still seems like the wedding world is still in the complete midst of the unknown.
If you are far out enough, and feel like you will be safe (say a year out or more), I would keep open communication with your venue, wedding planner and wedding stationer. Engage their thoughts and when they feel it's safe to hit the "go" button on invites. In the meantime, you can always put out the word with a save the date, especially for out-of-town guests that may have to travel or if you are considering a holiday weekend.
Many custom wedding stationers like to work with couples' at least 6 months out with invitations going out around the 8-10 week mark. This is the "normal" guideline that was for pre-COVID, but I feel right now many rules are tossed out the window and pushing for couples' to be more "go with the flow" as much as possible due to the uncertainty.
Okay, we are still saying "I do," ideas on how to celebrate?
I love seeing the creativity from brides on how they still tie the knot on their special day. Here are a few of my favorites:
Create a FB group with a Live Stream option for guests to tune into while keeping the ceremony to immediate family and bridal party.
Have a private ceremony at your home or a family members home, keeping it small and intimate. How cute is the idea of a huge milestone in your life at a place full of childhood memories or at the location in which you made a "home" together? Yup. I'm loving it.
Elope! It's a great way to make it truly intimate for the two of you. Love nature? Say "I do" on a trail you always walk on together or a special place that makes you feel calm and at ease. Love getting dressed up? Go all out and still wear that wedding dress and strut the streets of your downtown like you own the place!
The beauty of this is that you can throw a hell of a party afterwards when everything has blown over. Many couples' I've talked to feel they want to continue forward with their life, especially if considering moving, a career change or starting a family! Throw an "Anniversary" party in a year or a "Love is not Canceled" gala with everyone to celebrate not only your love, but reunion of being together again and create the biggest group hug ever on a dance floor!
Whatever you decide to do, whatever phase you are in right now, just make sure you keep what's most important in mind and that is your crazy love for each other. Focus on the two of you right now, decide what is truly most important. Your "must-haves" compared to what you don't care as much for. Whether that is having the big wedding you always dreamed of or sneaking off on your own. This is the time for your love to shine through this darkness.
Sending my very best,
Want ideas on how to personalize your wedding day details for your COVID wedding? Check out my blog here for inspiration!