If this is a question you are considering then you both are probably going through a lot of turmoil. Whatever the reasons may be, postponing a wedding is a tough decision. From financial issues, to losing a close family member, situations arise where your big day just cannot go on as planned. And somehow you have got to get a hold of your entire list of guests, whether it’s 6 months in advance and invitations aren’t yet ordered but the save-the-date has already gone out and all those out of town guests have already reserved their room blocks and have already purchased groomsmen gifts. Or, it’s two days before, the the largest hurricane in history is ripping through the island you booked for the ceremony, or a forest fire is about to close in on the reception hall, and all the guests have arrived or are en route. In either situation you are pulling your hair out or emptying a box of tissues and at your wit’s end trying to figure out what your are going to do with the 250 Cornish Game Hen’s the caterer ordered, let alone the proper way to reach out to all your guests to give them the news. So, of course, you head to the internet to ask, what in the world would Emily Post do???
Well, PlanningSavvy to the rescue! In any situation when you are forced to postpone your wedding, there is a simple protocol to follow. According to Emily Post, “When it is necessary to change the date of the wedding and the new date is decided upon after the invitations have been printed but before they are mailed, it is not necessary for the bride to order new invitations. Instead, she may enclose a printed card, if there is time to print one, saying ‘The date of the wedding has been changed from March sixth to April twelfth.’ If there is not time for the card, she may neatly cross out the old date on the invitation and insert the new one by pen.”
“If the invitations have already been mailed, she may mail a card or a personal note or, if the guest list is small, telephone the information. When the wedding is postponed, not canceled, and there is time to have an announcement printed, you would do so. If the new date is known, it is added: ‘has been postponed to February third.’ If there is no time to have a card printed, the information must be communicated by telephone, fax, email, mail or personal note.”
In an emergency situation, where guests have arrived from out of town within days of the wedding, obviously you will have to do the quickest route and call your guests or visit them in person, if that is possible, to deliver the bad news. If you cannot do it yourself, then this is where you can rely on your parents, siblings or even your wedding party to step up and help.
If in doubt, communicate to your guests right away to let them know that there may be a change and that you will let them know as things develop. The more you keep them in the loop, the happier they will be should things change. The last thing you want to do is to upset them, knowing that they will be spending quite a bit of money traveling to celebrate with you, purchasing you gifts, etc… So, repay them with as much kindness as you can by keeping them abreast of the situation as quickly as possible. They will appreciate it very much and look forward to celebrating with you when your big day actually arrives!