Postponing Your 2020 Wedding
~Last updated: May 6, 2020~
If you are getting married in 2020, you are likely stressed about this limbo you are in: do we reschedule? Do we have a "micro wedding?" When do we decide??
We are all learning day by day, and I realize that you probably want a clear yes or no about changing your wedding date. We are hoping for federal guidelines about events that will make the next few months more clear. But for now, we're going state-by-state, moment-by-moment.
August--November couples: I am hoping that we do not have to take any measures to change your wedding date, but just in case, a few points:
1. As of today, I am more than happy to work your existing wedding date if there is no government regulation against it on that day. Since our contract is for photo services on that specific day, I would love to photograph your gathering that day, whatever it looks like! Many of my couples who have rescheduled are now doing micro-weddings on their original date.
2. Precautions: I will take the necessary government-mandated precautions (a CDC training, sanitizing all equipment and staying as far away from guests as possible) for sessions or events after May 15.
3. Illness: If myself or my assistant gets ill, I promise you that we will handle it. There is a long list of wonderful vendors who are stepping up and offering available dates in case anyone gets sick. We are sharing calendars, and I myself have offered to shoot any weddings for others if they get sick with this virus. I am taking extreme measures to keep myself safe!
4. Retainers: Please take care to read this info carefully.
Per our contract, retainers and funds paid up until now can be transferred to any new date, providing that I am available.
*Important*: I generally book up 18-24 months ahead, so I may not be available for peak 2021 dates.
Up for grabs rescheduling dates are: Sundays-Fridays in 2020 and 2021, select Saturdays between now and May 2021, and select Saturdays from November-December 2021. From June--October, I ONLY have Sunday-Fridays open, so I highly encourage you to look at multiple options for dates and to be as flexible as possible.
We will need to sign a rescheduling contract if we reschedule your wedding.
If your venue can only host your wedding on a day when I am already booked, we can use your retainer towards an elopement or any other photography credit you would like! One of my couples used their retainer towards my Elopement Special, which includes photography and an officiant. (See poster below for details.)
5. Rescheduling fee: My contract states that a rescheduling fee equal to the deposit is required to reschedule, but due to the circumstances, I am not requiring a fee equal to your deposit. I would lose sleep at night thinking of my couples stressing about this amount. In order to keep my doors open and to accommodate the loss of business in 2020/2021, I am requesting a rescheduling fee of $150 for any wedding rescheduled for after May 2021, which you can pay online or simply tack onto your remaining payments. I will invoice you when I sent you a rescheduling contract. Because my current pricing reflects my business needs and my 2020 couples are receiving 2020 pricing rather than 2021 pricing, I am hoping that my couples find this fair. Thank you SO much for understanding why I need to do this.
AMP Wedding Statuses so far:
I have postponed all sessions and weddings until May 15, when the current Stay Home, Stay Safe order is set to expire. After that, I will continue do portrait sessions for folks who are symptomless, staying at least 6 feet away. I will photograph weddings as long as there is no work ban.
I have rescheduled nine weddings as of today (April 20). One was in April, three were in May, three were in June, one in July, and one in September.
If you are worried about your 2020 wedding, I recommend following these steps:
1.) Check in with your planner (or venue, if you don't have a planner) to see what they think. They will have a sense of what the industry standard for event cancellations is for your date. They might have an idea about CDC guest maximum requirements for later this summer (are you okay if there is a max capacity of 50 guests?) It varies state by state, so keep that in mind if you have a destination wedding.
2.) If they are not sure and tell you to wait and see, I suggest asking them to email you MULTIPLE open dates they have later this year or in 2021. This brings me to my next important point:
3.) Consider rescheduling to a Friday or Sunday wedding, or a winter wedding! (I loooove winter weddings.) You want to stick with your original vendor team as much as you can, because a) you love them! and b) you paid deposits and maybe even additional payments for them that you will not get back. Most deposits, including mine, are non-refundable retainers. Right now, I have many Sunday-Friday wedding openings.
4.) Set a new date and let folks know. There are a few ways you can do this. I am offering custom announcements free of charge to my couples who have to postpone.
I can design it so that it is cohesive with your wedding colors/invitations. You can Google "wedding postponement announcement" and see what wording you like best.
You can also create new page of your wedding website (or create one, if you don't have one!) so that guests can have easy access to updates.
Lizzie Post, co-author of Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette 6th edition, recommends calling each guest to tell them the new plan. I think this is a great idea if you have the time and do not want to mail out announcements.
5.) Sign new rescheduling contracts. Your vendors will most likely send over new contracts for you to sign. Make sure you are squared away legally.
6.) Reschedule events surrounding your wedding.
Likely you'll also want to reschedule your bach parties, bridal shower, etc. Many couples are choosing to celebrate these events after their wedding.
7.) Celebrate in your own way on your original wedding date. Maybe you can get married on paper that day, or maybe you can plan a special date (at home, need be). One of my couples ordered a small cake from their wedding caterer to celebrate. Remember that you two are worth the wait.
If someone you know has rescheduled their wedding....
Leah Stewart, Wedding Coordinator of Black Dog Affairs, has a really sweet tip: "If you're on the receiving end of a change notice, please offer sympathy and kindness to the couple. Feeling like the couple could use some extra kindness? Reach out on the original date of their event to let them know you're thinking of them."
Be a gracious guest and tell them you're excited to celebrate them, whenever that is.
To my 2020 couples: I can imagine how difficult the stress must be, and I hope you know that I’m always on your side.
All my best,