Not only does postponing your wedding mean waiting even longer to marry the love of your life, but it also means saying goodbye to a date you've looked forward to for so long. However, even if you are tying the knot later than anticipated, it's important to not let your original day go by in a flash!
Instead, find a special way (or ways) to mark the occasion and celebrate what would have been—and, eventually, will be. To help brainstorm ideas, we tapped a few wedding experts to share creative ways to celebrate your original wedding date, even if you do (sadly) have to postpone the big day until later. Spoiler alert: They're helping their clients do this right now, too! "We’re dealing with this with three of our couples right now," says Natalie Pinney, co-founder of Whim Events. "I think the most important thing for anybody is taking time to honor your feelings on that day. Then, move forward with a way that can help you celebrate, feel loved, and create something joyful."
The best piece of advice I can give you is to remember you're not alone in this and you will get married with a glorious celebration at a later date.
That's why Heather Dwight, owner of Calluna Events, is exploring alternate wedding options with a few of her postponed clients. "We thought it would be fun to just have them go ahead with the actual ceremony on the original date and even though they are postponing for a later date, they could then have another ceremony when their friends and family are able to gather with them later," she explains.
Meet the Expert
- Natalie Pinney is the co-founder of Whim Events, a full-service wedding planning, event design, and floral studio in Boston.
- Based in Florida, Heather Lowenthal is the founder of event planning company Posh Parties.
- Neillie Butler is the owner and founder of Alabama wedding planning and design studio, Mariée Ami.
- Heather Dwight is the owner of Calluna Events, a boutique wedding planning company in Colorado.
But even if you can't actually tie the knot on your original wedding day (you need a marriage license to make it legal!), you can still get your wedding vendors involved in your plans. "Perhaps the florist can send an arrangement to the couple on their original wedding date with a note, the DJ can get involved in the Zoom party, the caterer can deliver their wedding dinner for two," offers Heather Lowenthal of Posh Parties.
Below, you'll find ten more ways to mark the occasion—but before you read on, remember this tip from wedding planner Neillie Butler of Mariée Ami: "The best piece of advice I can give you is to remember you're not alone in this and you will get married with a glorious celebration at a later date."
Order (and Eat!) Your Wedding Cake
Remember that five-tier lemon cake with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream you've been patiently waiting to enjoy for months now? Don't wait until your new wedding date to satisfy your craving! "Order a cake to be delivered in the same flavor of your real wedding cake," encourages Lowenthal.
Exchange Love Letters
Celebrate your partnership by exchanging love letters on your original date. "That’s such a way to bring about some of the emotional feelings that you feel about your partner that are going to keep you happy and excited," says Pinney. But don't worry, doing so won't spoil your vows. We like to think of this as great practice for the big day instead!
Organize a Car Parade
Even if you can't invite your loved ones into your home, you can still celebrate with them in-person and maintain a safe distance. Enter, a car parade. To execute this idea, simply ask your guests to drive by your home at a specific time to send well wishes while you and your fiancé sit on the front step and wave at everyone as they drive past.
Pose for Photos
"It would be fun if your photographer wouldn't mind doing a mini-session with you and your fiancé to have something to remember the day by," offers Butler. Posing outside your home is a great way to capture a moment in time—and an excuse to get a little dressed up! When your wedding date does roll around, display some of your favorite shots at your reception to dress up the décor.
Thanks to social distancing, some photographers are offering porch photo sessions where they snap a few pics from a safe distance. That said, right now, it's important to follow the recommended guidelines, so do your research and speak with your photographer about what your options are at the time of your original date.
Plan Your Honeymoon
Since your wedding was put on hold, your honeymoon, subsequently, is most likely on pause now, too. But, that shouldn't stop you from daydreaming about the vacation! Use your original wedding day to research different restaurants, landmarks, and excursions that your destination has to offer. "Planning doesn’t have to stop because the wedding is postponed," adds Pinney.
Mix Your Signature Cocktail
Planning to serve a signature cocktail on your big day? Why wait until the actual wedding to sip on the libation? Teach yourself how to mix the creation at home and plan a happy hour—for just the two of you—with the cocktail as your drink of choice.
Once your homemade signature cocktail is perfected, share the recipe with some of your nearest and dearest for a virtual happy hour. Pinney says, "Send everyone the signature cocktail recipe ahead of time to make beforehand and just kind of have a virtual little get together with everybody on that day."
Watch Old Wedding Videos
While you'll have to wait just a little bit longer for your wedding video, why not watch your parents' video for the time being? "One of our couples loves their parents’ wedding video," exclaims Pinney, adding, "Do something that sort of cherishes not only your time together but celebrates past generations." Who knows, you might stumble upon some new ideas for your own day!
Reminisce on Your Years Together
"Marking the date so it doesn’t go by without some sort of significance" is critical for couples, shares Dwight. Go visit the place where you first met, walk by the restaurant where you had your first day, or stand at the spot where your partner popped the question. There's no time like the present to reflect on your relationship.
Host a Ceremony at Home
Looking to get legally married as soon as possible? Even if you postponed your traditional celebration, you can still consider tying the knot on your original day if you already have a marriage license (or are able to get one before your original date) and can find an officiant willing to host an at-home ceremony. Then, when you can finally gather with friends and family again, throw the party you originally envisioned—and bonus, you'll already be married when you do!