15 FAQs About Postponing or Cancelling Your Wedding

Couple looking over the horizon

1. How do you change the date of a wedding?

a person looks at two calendars on their desk

You can change the date of your wedding by sending change the date cards — these let guests know you've decided to hold your wedding at a different time. You can provide a specific reason or just keep it general and say something like "due to unforeseen circumstances." Make sure your change the date cards let your guests know your new planned date.

2. When should you announce postponement of a wedding?

a close-up of a hand dropping a letter and documents in the blue postbox at the post office

You should announce postponement of a wedding as soon as possible. Once you've made the decision and picked a new date, you can send change the date cards and update your wedding website, if you have one. It's important to let your guests know as soon as possible so they can make alternate plans and cancel any pending hotel or flight reservations. It's also in your best interests to postpone ASAP so you can work with the venue, caterers, and other vendors to move the date.

3. What to say when you need to change the date of your wedding?

A 3D rendering of three devices with a wedding website on screen on a wooden desktop

What you say when you need to change the date of your wedding is up to you. You can be as specific or as general as you'd like. At MagnetStreet, we have a few ideas for how to word things on our change the date cards.

  • Due to unforeseen circumstances, the wedding of (bride) and (groom) has been postponed
  • Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have decided to postpone our wedding
  • Out of an abundance of caution and concern for the health and safety of our closest friends and family, we have decided to postpone our wedding

Then you can announce your new planned date. 

4. Should I postpone or cancel my wedding because of coronavirus and COVID-19 concerns?

a woman’s hands type on a laptop keyboard

The decision is up to you, but many brides and grooms are choosing to postpone because of the serious effects coronavirus has caused for people around the world. The CDC has issued a number of guidelines advising people to cancel events that have more than 10 people attending.

Some couples have opted to hold virtual weddings by setting up laptops and GoPros and having family and friends tune in to be part of the ceremony. Others have postponed to a later date, and some couples have cancelled altogether with no new date set yet.

5. What are change the date cards?

save the date cards from magnet street

Change the date cards are similar to save the date cards, and they let guests know that the original date of your wedding has been changed. This allows them to alter any hotel reservations, flight plans, or other commitments. A change the date card can also tell guests to save the new date, if you have one, or to check your wedding website for updates if you're not sure when the new date will be yet.

Send change the date cards to guests who have received a save the date card or wedding invitation.

6. If I postpone my wedding, when should I reschedule it?

a closeup of a woman's hand marking date 15 on a calendar

Rescheduling your wedding date is a complicated endeavor, especially if you're postponing due to coronavirus. To figure out a new date, you can start by reaching out to vendors, including caterers and venue hosts. Look at their available dates and when they are beginning to reschedule events. If they're not sure yet, then it may be a safe bet to reschedule it for the following year.

7. What do I do if my wedding venue contract says that things are nonrefundable?

two people exchanging money

Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do to get your money back if your wedding venue contract indicates that your deposit or previous payments are nonrefundable. However, there are typically clauses within these contracts that cite extenuating circumstances, such as an Act of God, unexpected death in the family, or severe illness, so be sure to check the fine print of contracts you've signed to see what your options are. 

8. What do I do if my deposits are nonrefundable and my vendors won't cancel/postpone?

a jar with a “wedding” label on it sitting next to two silk hearts

Unfortunately, if vendors won't refund your deposit, there isn't much you can do but accept the loss of money. Hopefully, most vendors will try to be as accommodating as possible since the number of weddings getting cancelled or postponed is unprecedented.

9. Will I get my deposits back if I cancel with vendors?

a woman talks on the phone next to a sewing machine

If you cancel with vendors, it depends on their policy as to whether you'll get your money back. You can check your contract with them and see if there are any clauses that provide guidance on what your next steps would be. 

10. What do I do about rescheduling a destination wedding?

a destination wedding where a dark-haired bride is wearing a white wedding dress and holding a bouquet while looking toward a beach and blue water

As if rescheduling a regular wedding wasn't tricky enough in itself, rescheduling a destination wedding is a bit more complicated, especially since it involves changing flight and hotel reservations. To reschedule a destination wedding, you do many of the same things you would do to reschedule a wedding you're planning to have locally, except you do it as far in advance as you possibly can so that guests can cancel accommodations.

11. What if I want to keep my date? Should I elope and hold a ceremony later?

a newlywed couple stand in front of a court house

This is always an option — if you want to keep your date, you can get married at a courthouse (since eloping to a destination may be difficult because many countries have restricted travel because of coronavirus) and then make plans to hold a ceremony later. 

12. If I do postpone my wedding, how do I tell my guests?

a couple examines a laptop computer screen

Once you've decided to postpone your wedding, you might choose to email your guests right away to let them know. You might also consider posting an announcement on your wedding website, if you have one. Then, once you've decided on a new date, you can prepare to send out change the date cards. 

13. My wedding isn’t until later this year, should I postpone?

a clipboard with a December calendar clipped on it sits next to a holiday gift

The decision to postpone is a difficult one. If you want to decide on postponing now, even though your wedding may not be until the fall or early winter, then it's best to do it as soon as possible. Since no one really has an answer to when the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation will subside, it may be best to err on the side of caution since the health and safety of your family and friends is crucial.

14. Payments are due on my wedding, but I’m not sure if I’ll be postponing. What should I do?

an African American guy in a casual outfit talks on a phone and reads a credit card number while sitting at a cafe table and working

The best thing to do here is to contact your vendor right away — don't wait another day. If your wedding is happening soon, you may very well be forced to postpone because of state, local, and federal guidelines around these types of events. Talk to them and keep the lines of communication open.

15. I’m not canceling or postponing my wedding. What’s a good way to tell guests we’re moving forward but understand if they can’t make it?

a beautiful bride and groom embrace and kiss on their wedding day outdoors

If your wedding is scheduled far enough in advance that you don't feel it's necessary to postpone or cancel it at this time, then you don't have to necessarily do anything yet. If you're planning to hold it anyway, you can send a card or email to let your guests know in a tactful way, "we're still planning our ceremony, and if you can't make it, we understand; just please let us know via RSVP."