Charlottes Advice

Only 45 days to go until our big day – oh wait!

Unless you’ve been on a silent retreat or in a cave for the last few weeks, you might have seen the news about some virus that means we can’t be in the same room as each other.  Our worst fears were realised when the PM announced all weddings would be cancelled for the foreseeable.  Some of the most devastating words any couple can hear when they have waited and planned so long for their special day.  To be fair, we had already discussed and decided that we would need to postpone seeing as, for us ‘later in life marriers’, many of our family are over the age required to isolate over the next 3 months – meaning they would not be able to come.  So, after the inevitable emotional wobble, we sorted ourselves out and made a plan.


So, if it helps, here are some top tips if you find yourself in the same situation:

  • It’s OK to be sad and have an emotional meltdown.  Of course it is – we’re emotionally and psychologically attached to our wedding date so go on, have a little cry and get it all out.
  • Check your insurance policy for the wording around cancellations or rearrangements.  If you have not yet bought insurance for a future date – DO IT!  Make sure it covers contagious outbreaks and includes cancellation and rearrangement clauses.  This is not an area to skimp on – even if you think nothing is going to go wrong…hello Coronavirus!  Speak to them as soon as you can to check what is covered and what they need from you to open a claim.  Be warned – you will have a long wait (3 hours for me) but it needs to be done.  Some are extending policies to cover any new date so ask about this too.
  • Next, the venue is probably your biggest expenditure – particularly if, like us, you are getting married and having the reception in the same place.  If not – speak to the church / registrar / celebrant as soon as possible too.  Most venues will be reasonable in the circumstances and will probably offer to rearrange your date at no cost.  If you don’t really mind about a Spring, Summer or Winter wedding, you might even be able to rearrange for this year.  A friend of mine recently got engaged and was planning to visit venues for late next year but was told that they are holding off until cancelled couples from this year have been able to re-book so venues do have a heart!  See what your venue says and check what is refundable or transferable to your new date.  You may find some slight price increases if you move your date to next year’s wedding season but you may be able to claim back additional rearrangement costs through your insurance so do check this out.  Try to agree a revised date as soon as you can.
  • Your guests:  depending on how soon your wedding was due, you may want to prioritise ringing around your guests to let them know that your day will be postponed, even if you don’t have a confirmed new date yet.  Our guests were worrying about raising it with us given all the news so we were quick to let them know.  We were lucky enough to have confirmed our new date so were able to get this in their diaries at the same time.  In these slightly strange times, ringing your guests is also a good chance to check in on each other.  If you do have a new date, it’s worth checking this with those guests you simply can’t do without to ensure they can make it.
  • Then, think about all of your other suppliers – who do you really want to keep, who can be replaced if needed?  Check out the proposed new date with those you really can’t stand to lose and prepare to have a bit of back and forth between them all and the venue.  Agree your new date as soon as possible. Our suppliers have been fantastic without exception – all have confirmed our new date and are not increasing their prices at all.  There may well be some who cannot do your new date – don’t panic!  There are so many fantastic suppliers out there – have a look on the Wedding Adviser website for ideas!
  • Guest Accommodation: we had block booked a hotel near our venue for some of our guests.  After speaking to our venue and celebrant, the hotel was the first supplier we spoke to and they have been amazing in moving our block booking forward to the new date – and holding prices for guests.  They also promised not to charge anyone who couldn’t attend the new date even if they had booked the non-refundable rate.  We encouraged our guests to speak to any accommodation they had booked to see if it could be moved too – so far, so good.
  • Your Notice of Marriage: remember: this is only valid for 1 year from the date you did this so you might have to book to do this again.
  • Finally, it might sound strange but it is important to mark your original date.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to at all but, actually, I think we will have a little fizz to celebrate our relationship and think ahead to our wedding next year.


I hope some of this helps get you through this storm.  The most important thing to remember is your love for each other – which will always wait for your new date.  Besides, when we come through this weirdly surreal time, we will all have so much more reason to celebrate whenever our big days come.  Best things come to those who wait right?

Keep safe. xx

Ask Charlotte