What to do about your 2020 wedding

< Back to all articles

Anyone who sent a save the date for a 2020 wedding is likely facing some tough decisions. Cancel? Postpone? Or, forge ahead… albeit, likely under different circumstances.

Just as the decision to say ‘yes’ is not one that should be taken lightly, the decision to postpone, cancel, or adjust your big day isn’t an easy one either. And when it comes to safety and the financial side of things, there is certainly a lot to consider. Weddings can be expensive—both to hold and to attend. Not to mention the anticipation and excitement that comes in the lead up to a wedding. But when safety is the top concern, sometimes tough decisions need to be made.

We spoke with Katelyn Bellefontaine, a senior event planner and owner of Elegant Productions, as well as a few folks who shared their own perspectives on why postponing a 2020 wedding might not be such a bad thing after all.

Decide what’s important

No two weddings are alike. What takes top priority for some couples might not even rank for others. It’s important to factor in what’s important to you for your celebrations.

“I see so many couples who are so eager and excited to start their married lives together, so the decision to postpone can be really hard to make,” says Katelyn. “But on the other hand, weddings are such important social celebrations—so I like to think of the decision to postpone as a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, so to speak.”

Start by having an honest conversation about what’s most important to you and your partner when it comes to your wedding. If being surrounded by family and friends is what matters most, then postponing might be the way to go. If you’re more focused on each other, it might be possible to keep your original date with a slight adjustment to your plans, if it’s safe to do so.

“I might forego the deposits and elope (using “elope” loosely because of travel restrictions). A beautiful setting, the commissioner and photographer as our witnesses, maybe an outdoor setting where our closest family can watch from a safe distance. It’s not the wedding I dreamed about, but there’s something lovely about the simplicity.” – MP

What to keep in mind

Just like marriage is a legally binding agreement, chances are, you’ve also signed a lot of contracts in preparation for the big day, too. Many caterers, venues, and other suppliers require deposits to be made and contracts to be signed to lock in your dates and details. If you’ve made the decision to postpone or cancel, now’s the time to revisit the fine print.

“Ideally, you should know what the fine print says on any contract you sign,” says Katelyn. “But now is really the time to be leaning on contracts, digging into the fine print.”

In Katelyn’s experience, most vendors have been accommodating, but communication is key. “I’ve seen the most success with couples who have opted to postpone vs. just cancelling. Most vendors are willing to find the solution that is the most ethical and moral,” she says.

“We thought if we waited too long to postpone, our preferred date would probably get taken for next year. Then we’d have to either choose another date/lose deposits/push another year. We jumped on postponing once we’d had confirmation from pretty much all vendors that they could do the same date, just a year later.” ­– EM
“We were really lucky. We made the call early on and were able to just shuffle everything over to summer 2021. We didn’t lose any deposits and there have been no financial repercussions. Even if it’s “OK” to have a smaller group come together this summer, we didn’t want anyone feeling uncomfortable and obligated when the main goal is to have a really fun party with all of the people we love.” ­– BC

The bright side

If you’ve made the difficult decision to postpone your wedding until a later date, there are some positive things that come with this. Extra time before your wedding means extra time to save, plan, and think about what’s really important to you.

“I read somewhere recently that after the Spanish Flu came the roaring 20s—the Gatsby era of over the top celebrations! While elaborate parties might still be a way off, a little bit of extra time to plan means you don’t have to be as rushed when it comes to making decisions,” says Katelyn.

Plus, the extra time also means you’ll have extra time to save to make sure your budget remains intact, too.

“One of our immediate thoughts after postponing was ‘WHOA, we can add some things that we didn’t think we’d be able to initially!’ But then I was like ... ‘No’. I think it’s smart to stick to the initial budget. Weddings are wildly expensive and although it’s a special day, I feel good about sticking to the initial limitations we set from the beginning.” – BC

While a global pandemic might not have been part of your vision board for your big day, the reality for many brides- and grooms-to-be is that love and marriage in the time of COVID-19 might look a little different.

“I’ve already seen some really creative ways to celebrate start to pop up. While it’s not an ideal situation, I have been really impressed with how well everyone I’ve encountered has been dealing with everything—both our couples and the Atlantic Canadian wedding industry. Weddings are emotionally charged at the best of times, but having that light at the end of the tunnel to look forward to is really worth it,” says Katelyn.