So, you and your groom or wifey planned out an epic wedding and then COVID-19 happened. Or you just got that ring on your finger, got excited to celebrate with everyone, and then… well you guessed it…. COVID-19 happened.
Now, you’re a scrambling bride trying to figure out the future fate of your wedding ceremony and reception. I am so there with you. My fiancé proposed to me right before the pandemic and we have decided to officially tie the knot once we can have all of our friends and family together. It doesn’t help that our families are in the pandemic hot spots: Florida and New York. As a stationer, I’ve seen brides navigate the pandemic in all different ways. Some cancel their weddings and elope, other brides postpone their wedding, and some couples decide to have either a micro wedding or a minimony.
For newlyweds that decide on the last option that means shrinking their wedding guest count. Some already sent out their Save the Dates or invitations…oh shit. Fear not, my brave bride because this is how to handle alerting your wedding guests.
DON'T: AVOID SENDING GUEST AN INVITATION AFTER YOU’VE SENT THEM A SAVE THE DATE
Not following up with the invitation card and just following up with a card that basically says they're 'cut' would be more hurtful and make certain guests feel alienated, no matter how delicately worded. That essentially is an "uninvite".
DO: SEND YOUR GUESTS AN INVITATION (BUT WITH A TWIST)
I encourage my brides to go ahead and still mail the invites as part of the guest experience and to honor every one of their guests. Instead of including the RSVP card, we would add an insert (I printed these at my own expense for the bride I did this for, but of course this will vary by Stationer). The insert can be as simple as: "Due to current events, we ask that you join us via a virtual toast". Don’t stress about feeling the need to over-explain. People are generally understanding and realize cutting the guest list down isn’t something the bride and groom want to do, but a difficult choice that they never thought they would have to make. Your guests know that Coronavirus is the culprit and should be understanding. BTW if a guest insists on an explanation, they’re probably a Karen so don’t let them ruin your wedding shine!
WHY YOU SHOULD STILL SEND WEDDING GUESTS THEIR INVITATIONS
So many reasons. First, why wouldn’t you share your beautiful stationery investment with everyone! Invitations aren’t just pieces of paper, they’re a huge part of the wedding experience. Secondly, it loses the "what the heck is going on with their wedding?" loop by communicating your new plans. Third, this reframes the current circumstances as just a different way to celebrate the wedding with you instead of sounding like an "uninvite".
DON'T: SEND AN E-MAIL INSTEAD OF SNAIL MAIL
You may be thinking it'll save you some coin and time. Please trust my stationer spidey-sense when I tell you e-mail will only cause you more of a headache and tons of backtracking. Now you have to spend time collecting all of your wedding guests e-mails, hope they don't hit their spam and also cross your fingers that Grandpa Joe remembers his e-mail password and hits reply. It's also a PITA when your e-mail (even if it's dedicated to wedding planning) is already filled with messages to/from vendors and Pinterest alerts from all of your wedding pins. Sound fun? It also takes away from the event experience a whole. Following up with a physical card will keep the wedding magic alive and your guests will certainly appreciate that you took special care to ensure they are thought of as individuals rather than a mass e-mail.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ALREADY SENT OUT AN INVITATION
The same principals above apply. Keep your guests informed by following up with a printed (yes printed!) card with your change of plans. South Florida wedding planner, Bettina Benizri of Busy Bees Events suggests adding a favor gift guests can wear during the live wedding Zoom call (so in love with this idea!). Who wouldn’t want to celebrate your big ‘i do’ moment with your signature cocktail (cuz you were cool enough to send the recipe) or throw some confetti at the screen?!
KEEP CALM AND THROW CONFETTI LIKE THE WEDDING GODDESS YOU ARE!
2020 is a rough year for weddings but you’ve got this! If you just joined team Engaged AF and aren’t letting the pandemic stop your wedding planning, i’d be happy to be part of your magically kickass wedding team. Let’s get the glitter stuffed envelope party started!