Postponing the Wedding Etiquette

by Claire Valenty on December 20, 2010

in Wedding Etiquette

wedding postpone etiquette

Life is unpredictable.  Weddings are usually planned a year or so in advance and a lot can change in the time between deposits being made and the actual wedding taking place.  Maybe you are involved in a project at work that your job depends on and you will need to travel out of town on your wedding date.  Maybe you and your future spouse have been disagreeing lately and you have decided to delay the wedding to make sure a marriage is really what you want.  Maybe a sudden death of a love one has killed (no pun intended) the celebratory spirit of your wedding.  Regardless of the reason, there are certain rules you should follow to handle your wedding postponement properly.

  • Unless the wedding is coming up within the next week or two, written notice of the wedding postponement is the most appropriate method of communication. A simple card stating:

Mr. & Mrs. John Smith

announce the wedding of their daughter

Jane Smith


Jacob Jones

has been postponed until xx/xx/xx

(if you do not know the new date, just leave that part off)

  • If your wedding is so soon that writing notice is not possible, you are going to have to call every single guest to break the news. You might want to employ a few family members and friends to help out.
  • If your wedding is so far in the future that you have not even sent out save the dates or invitations before you have to postpone your wedding (as what happened to me when I found out I was pregnant and our baby was due on our booked wedding date), then communicating the delay through word of mouth or email is completely appropriate.
  • It is up to you if you want to include a separate hand written note with a brief explanation of the postponement reason. And by brief, I mean brief.  There is no need to write an essay about your drama.  Feel free to follow up with a phone call to close friends and family members that you feel comfortable discussing the situation with.
  • If you have already booked vendors for your wedding (including the honeymoon), hopefully, they will be able to work with you regarding changing the dates. If given enough notice, if the vendor is unable to work with you, most will refund all or part of your deposit, but, that is not always guaranteed (check your contracts!).  Always get confirmation of changed dates via writing.
  • If you have wedding insurance, check your policy carefully before going through with the postponement if you are relying on the wedding insurance to cover lost deposits.

No matter what your reason for postponing the wedding, be warned that everyone will assume it is because someone has cold feet.  Try to block out the rumors and do what’s right for you; including picking a new date that works for you and your future spouse – not the rest of your guests.  You cannot please everyone!

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