Covid19 has had a huge impact on weddings in 2020.   Millions of weddings were canceled, postponed, or downsized in 2020 so far.   And couples with upcoming weddings are waiting to see how everything unfolds so they can finalize their wedding plans.  Planning a wedding in a Covid19 world is very different than it has ever been before.  According to statistics recently published by The Wedding Report:

  • 7% of 2020 weddings were canceled
  • 21% of couples postponed wedding form earlier this year to later this year
  • 30.5% are trying to hold their current 2020 wedding date
  • 41.5% are in 2021 or have postponed to 2021

Recent reports show the cases of Covid19 increasing daily, despite social distancing and wearing masks.  And at this time, there are no clear guidelines on how many people can safely gather at a time for a wedding.  So couples planning summer or fall weddings in 2020 are having to downsize or postpone their weddings to comply with health and safety recommendations and keep themselves and their guests healthy and safe.  So far in 2020, 58% of couples have downsized their guest count by an average of 41%.  That’s a huge cut in the guest count.  Almost half of the wedding guests were cut from the list!

In this post, part 3 of the 3-part series, Planning a Wedding in a Covid19 World, I’ll be giving you some ideas and tips if you are being faced with the decision to downsize or postpone your summer or fall 2020 wedding.   I’ll share tips on how to downsize your guest count without hurting anyone’s feelings.  And I’ll also be sharing info on what to do if you are considering postponing your wedding.

Tips for Downsizing Your Guest List

Cutting down your guest list is never easy.  However, given the circumstances around Covid19, I believe it will be better received than you may think.  Everyone knows the situation.   Everyone knows that gatherings may be limited.  So there is already an expectation that the wedding could be downsized.

wedding guest list

1.  Survey Your Wedding Guests and Let Them Make The Decision For Your

Start with sending a survey out to your wedding guests.   You can use a platform like Survey Monkey or Typeform to do this.  And some wedding websites also have this capability.   Ask your guests “If we move forward with the wedding date as planned, would you feel comfortable attending?”

This way you are letting them decide for themselves.  And I suspect you will get several responses back from guests saying they would love to be there, but don’t feel comfortable attending.   You can remove these guests from your guest list without having to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings.

2.  Make A New Guest List

Once you have removed the guests who replied that they would not feel comfortable coming, you can make a new guest list.   Obviously, your best friends, wedding party, and immediate family will be on the new list.   But for the rest of the guests on this list, segment them into two categories:   People You See In Your Daily Life and People You Don’t.   To give you some ideas on how to segment guests into these two categories, here are some examples:

People You See In Your Daily Life

  • Coworkers
  • Friends (Not your best friends, but friends in your social circle you see regularly)

People You Don’t See In Your Daily Life

  • Extended family members
  • Friends from college
  • Family/friends that you haven’t seen in a long time
  • Family/friends who live far away

The thinking here is that the people you see regularly, you will likely have another chance to celebrate with them at some point soon.  And for those people who will have to travel or family members that you don’t see regularly, you can prioritize them for the wedding day.  This way you get a chance to celebrate with everyone is some sort of fashion.

3.  Make A Personal Connection With Those Uninvited

You will want to make personal contact with anyone who is being cut from the list.   Hearing about it personally with an explanation will make the news easier to swallow.  I don’t recommend sending out a mass email or putting this info on your wedding website.   This could make your guests feel slighted.  If you plan to live stream your wedding, you can provide these guests with the details so they can still be involved, which will go a long way.

Postponing Your Wedding

Postponing your wedding is a difficult decision.  It’s a hard pill to swallow.  And could be one of the biggest hurdles you have faced as a couple so far.  You will want to make sure you have considered all of your options before you postpone the wedding.   Here are some things you will want to consider in making that decision:

postponed wedding

Stay Informed

Stay knowledgable about the Covid19 situation as your wedding day approaches.  If your wedding is in July or August, you will want to follow the news carefully so you are informed about the current situation and how it could affect your wedding.  If your wedding is in September or later, you still have some time to wait and see how everything unfolds before making any serious decisions.

Discuss With Your Partner

Have a worst-case-scenario discussion with your partner.  What would be worse?  Postponing the wedding for another date?  Or moving forward as planned and nobody showing up?  Or even worse, moving forward as planned and your friends and family getting sick with Covid19?   Think about how many guests will be traveling to attend your wedding.  You will also want to consider finances.    Is it more cost-effective to move forward with the wedding as planned?  Or will rescheduling the wedding for a later time trigger fees with your venue and vendors?  And if so, how much will the fees be?   And don’t forget to think about your venue and vendor team.  How would you feel if your venue, or one of your vendors, were not available on the new date and you had to choose a new one?

Let Your Venue and Vendors Know As Soon As Possible

If after you go through the worst-case-scenario discuss with your partner you decide to postpone the wedding, then you will want to let your venue and vendor know as soon as possible.   Start by calling or emailing your venue and vendors and letting them know you are thinking of postponing the wedding.   In some cases, you may be able to collectively come up with a contingency plan (or two) for keeping your original date.   However, if it appears postponing is the logical decision, then you’ll want to inquire about availability for future dates.   You’ll want to be flexible here, you may not get your top date/month.  Since so many couples have already had to postpone, the only available dates might be off-season and off-peak days, such as Thursday, Friday, or Sunday and in the winter.  If your venue and vendors all have the same future date available, take it, before someone else swipes it.

I hope this 3-part series helped all you couples who are in the process of planning a wedding in a Covid19 world.   If you have questions or would like to discuss your options with an experienced wedding planner, I invite you to hop on a complimentary wedding planning strategy call with me.   I will help you weigh your options and give you some more ideas and tips to help you make your decision.   Click here to schedule your complimentary wedding planning strategy call.

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