In the first week of January my work had approved my request for 37 days leave between November 2020 and January 2021, and I was over the moon!
We had planned our honeymoon, to visit China and Japan for 2-3 weeks before skimming through south east Asia – something that’s been on our agenda for years. Unfortunately soon came the news of the COVID-19 outbreak in China. And whilst it seemed like a world away, it wasn’t long before it multiplied in devastation and appeared within Europe.
We were lucky enough to find ourselves still travelling around until late February, and it still seemed alien that 6 weeks later I would be in my garden writing this – whilst I am supposed to currently be exploring St Petersburg! I don’t mean to sound so doom and gloom, after all I’m aware that my lost travels are the least of the world’s problems right now. However, I have been in awe of (and sometimes struggled with) my year being turned completely on its head.
A few weeks ago Chris and I had decided to postpone our September Italian wedding to June 2021. Although it was a difficult decision for us we do feel it’s for the best and will allow us and our guests to hopefully enjoy the experience to the full extent.
I did plan on writing a “6 months to go” blog, in similar fashion to my “1 year to go” post. However, in the current climate I’ve decided to dedicate this post to share some of the experience I’ve had in postponing my wedding – because you know – if planning a wedding already wasn’t stressful enough!
1. Discuss plans with your partner, thoroughly.
Planning a wedding can be a pretty one sided ordeal for some – not that I’m complaining! You do however, need to have an in-depth chat about what the most important parts of the ceremony are for you both, for it is likely that you may have to make some sacrifices. There’s likely to be tears, as it is pretty devastating – but it’s important to remember why you’re getting married in the first place – for eachother!
2. Contact your wedding venue – now!
This almost goes without saying, but the venue is one of the biggest contributors to how you picture your big day in your head. The postponed date will depend on the availability of the venue, so this is the first port of call.
3. Be prepared for vendors to ask for more money – and be prepared to say no.
This is especially true if you are now moving into high season like we are (moving a September wedding to June). Also, a lot of vendors such as photographers may rise their prices annually and therefore you may be asked to pay the difference.
Nevertheless, don’t feel too pressured to agree. Remember that you will likely only lose your deposit in the event of cancellation. Now is a good time to recheck the contracts that you have. This comes back to point number 1, for example, where part of our “must-haves” included the photographer we originally booked.
4. Make sure your notice of marriage is still applicable.
In the UK, your notice of marriage only lasts 12 months. Therefore as it stands we may need to arrange another appointment… And spend what seems like another pointless £70! I’m hoping the Government extend current notices due to the wedding ban, but nothing has materialised yet.
I suppose it’s worth noting here to remember any other Governmental formalities may affect your big day. For example, changing the date on your SIAE license (for Italian weddings) may slip your mind!
5. People losing money is an inevitability…
…and I’m sorry for this. This is the part I have found the most stressful. The least you can do in this situation is make sure you keep guests well informed of the situation and stay up to date with what’s happening in the news, because trust me – the questions will come!
We anticipated some of the questions when sending out the notice of postponement to our guests. We provided our own advice on the 3 major airlines for our guests (British Airways, easyJet & Ryanair) all of which was almost copied and pasted from their respective websites.
6. Wedding insurance has proved pretty useless!
I can’t blame them for this I suppose… But when you take out insurance you don’t often see “notifible disease” in the exclusions and think twice…
From speaking to other friends who are getting married, I know others who have luckily been covered. The only thing I can advise is calling up your insurance and having a conversation with them.
Although I’ve waited nearly two years to start getting really excited about the wedding, I now have another 9 months to wait before things start ramping up again.
On the brighter side, I want to say that I’ve really enjoyed taking the time to slow down a little and reconsider the plans I had for this year. We also now have a new addition to our family to keep us busy – another puppy… Not a baby!
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