We are now into 2021 and things still aren't changing as far as COVID and the wedding industry. States still have restrictions, and couples are still stuck trying to figure out what the hell they are going to do. It sucks - I get it. But it might be time to start figuring out how to pivot your wedding plans.

Pivoting your wedding plans doesn't mean you can't still have a wedding, my friends! No, it just means that it may not look exactly how you originally planned it. But I promise you that it will be ok. And if it's not something you are ok with, then there's options that are for you too!


What are your options?

So what even are your options to pivot to? I'm going to give you a few to talk over, but the most important parts of this process is to follow after. But first, let's start talking about the potential options here:

  1. Postpone your wedding to a date in the future: I would recommend at least 6 months to a year.
  2. Postpone your wedding, but get married: You can still elope and get married this year, but maybe you still really want your party, so you can postpone that.
  3. Downsize your wedding to the states guidelines: Maybe your state is allowing you to invite 50 instead of 150, then this could be a viable solution for you.
  4. Cancel your wedding and elope instead: Some couples actually never cared about a wedding in the first place. Or you are finding the silver lining in all of this and you want to just elope instead.

When to decide whether or not to pivot your wedding plans

Unfortunately, our world is very unpredictable right now. So while I'd love to give you a solid answer, it's not going to be that. This is completely up to you. I would recommend first talking to your venue to see their COVID guidelines and how they are handling these situations. Some venues give you a certain time that you need to make a decision by - this could help your timeline!

The other thing to think about is, are you a stressed out person? Is the thought of the unknown overwhelming to you? Would you feel better about making a decision and moving forward with that? Or are you ok to wait and hope for the best?

If I had to come up with an answer, I'd try making a decision within three months of your day. This will allow you to move forward with your life. Not only that, it will help your vendors plan for their futures as well.


How to figure out which option is best for you

It's already difficult as it is that you have to completely change your wedding plans that you've worked so hard on. So I'm going to give you some questions to talk over with your partner to figure out what may be best for you two. It is going to be different with every couple, because everyone has different priorities!

  1. What were we most excited about for our wedding day?
  2. If we had to downsize, who are the people we could not see ourselves getting married without?
  3. If we didn't have our planned wedding, would we have regrets?
  4. What are the pros of each option?
  5. What are the cons of each option?
  6. Would any of these options create more stress?
  7. Which vendors would we still need in order to go in a different direction?
  8. How are each of our vendors treating retainers/rescheduling during this time?
  9. What the absolute most important thing to us - a wedding, or getting married?

Once you've answered these questions and gone through the pros and cons, then you can come to a conclusion for which direction you want to pivot to.


Taking the next steps

Once you've narrowed down what may be best for the two of you, then it's time to start taking action.

I want to postpone my wedding to a date in the future

After some thought, you realized that you can't picture not having the wedding you planned for. That's totally fine, and you're not alone! Here are the steps to take:

  1. Talk to your venue and find a new date in the future. Ideally, try and have at least two possible dates to move to. This will allow you two have options when you're planning with your other vendors.
  2. Talk to your vendors and tell them the update. Check their rescheduling fees and what date they are available for.
  3. Once a new date has been set, send a new save the date to your guests (or email!).

I want to postpone my wedding, but still get married

Want best of both worlds? Then I'm assuming this may be you. You still want your big wedding, but you really can't wait any longer to marry your partner. So you'll elope and do a wedding too!

  1. Talk to your venue and find a new date in the future. Ideally, try and have at least two possible dates to move to. This will allow you two have options when you're planning with your other vendors.
  2. Talk to your vendors and tell them the update. Check their rescheduling fees and what date they are available for. Also, see if your goals for your wedding still align with what they used to be. Do you still want absolutely everything you had originally?
  3. Once a new date has been set, send an update to your guests!
  4. Next, you have to plan your elopement. First step is to figure out your budget. A lot of people think that eloping needs to be cheap, but that couldn't be anymore false. This will be your wedding day, not in a year from now. So make it as special as you possibly can.
  5. Second step is finding your elopement photographer and/or a planner. Elopement photographers and planners are experts in finding amazing locations, and help create an amazing day quickly and stress free.
  6. Figure out location. This could be somewhere special to you like a family backyard, or maybe you love the outdoors and want to elope in a National Park. The world is your oyster.
  7. Hire your other vendors - H&MU, florist, stylist, accommodation, etc.

Click here on how to plan the most perfect elopement day ever!

I want to downsize my wedding

Maybe after all, you could still have your wedding, just a micro version of it! Aka... a microwedding! I promise you it is still basically your wedding dreams, just with less people. It absolutely does not make it any less special. If anything, you get to spend more quality time with everyone you care about there. This could be the easiest option you have!

  1. Talk to all your vendors and tell them the update. The main vendors services who may need to be adjusted will be caterer, venue, and florist.
  2. Send out that awkward "your uninvited" note to guests. Just kidding, this doesn't need to be awkward! Just let them know that with these challenging times, you've decided to move forward with a smaller wedding day and are sticking with family and your bridal party only. And of course that you still love them!

Here's some inspiration on how to create your microwedding!

I just want to cancel my wedding plans and elope instead

Stunning adventure mountain elopement on the top of Mount Crawford in Crawford Notch State Park in New Hampshire

Almost all of my elopement couples in 2020 did this, not because they just wanted to get married but because a big wedding never felt "them" in the first place. So if this feels like you, then this could be a great option.

  1. Talk to all your vendors and venue and let them know you are looking to cancel. BUT, this doesn't need to be all of your vendors. Just those you aren't going to bring alongside you for your elopement. This is also completely up to you!
    • TIP: Have the honest conversation, be understanding and try and work together. For example, some venues may say they are keeping your entire deposit. You can still choose to get married there, maybe just in a smaller way. Maybe they'll even allow you to downgrade your package.
  2. Next, you have to plan your elopement. First step is to figure out your budget. A lot of people think that eloping needs to be cheap, but that couldn't be anymore false. This will be your wedding day, not in a year from now. So make it as special as you possibly can.
  3. Second step is finding your elopement photographer and/or a planner. Elopement photographers and planners are experts in finding amazing locations, and help create an amazing day quickly and stress free. OR maybe you already have an amazing photographer who will be able to help - it's a win win!
  4. Figure out location. This could be somewhere special to you like a family backyard, or maybe you love the outdoors and want to elope in a National Park. The world is your oyster.
  5. Hire your other vendors - H&MU, florist, stylist, accommodation, etc.

TIP: you can still plan to have a party with your people later on! Maybe it's not a full on wedding celebration, but even if it's a fun backyard barbecue then you still get to party on!

How to involve your family members in your "just us" elopement


Important information to know about your wedding plans

Actually... it's just one thing. But I figure you'd skip past this. Know that this is your wedding day, no one else's. Do what is going to make you the happiest right now, and on your day. These are weird times we are in, and everyone is navigating it differently. You may need to have the hard conversations with others, but just remind them that you are doing your best. You are making the decision that is going to keep you stress free and the happiest on your wedding day. Because that's what really matters!

Kelsey Converse Photography adventure elopement photographer

Hey, I'm Kelsey!

A New Hampshire based adventure elopement and intimate wedding photographer for the adventurous souls. I travel throughout New England and worldwide, empowering you to create the most beautiful, adventurous day and give you the memories you'll be able to look back on for all the years to come.

BOOK ME

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