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Wedding Planning

How to Tell Your Guests: COVID-19 Templates for Email and Your Wedding Website

April 8, 2020

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Rescheduling? Eloping?

Not sure yet?

Here’s how to communicate with your guests.

In normal times, wedding planning is wonderful, complicated, stressful, and exciting. Changing your plans due to a pandemic will inevitably be tough. Surround yourself with positive, hopeful voices. Vent a little, plan a little, and do your best to keep the main thing the main thing – the relationship with your fiancé. Relating your thoughts to your family and guests might feel daunting. The ideas below can help you get started in how to communicate changes. Sample paragraphs can be combined and edited to fit your circumstances.

Recommendations on how to deliver this information are listed at the bottom of this blog post@

**Looking for wedding vendor email templates? Click here**

Who to Call

The etiquette experts would advise calling every guest. Unless your wedding was a small family gathering, I’d recommend against this! Electronic communication will be sufficient for most of your needs, but consider a personal phone call to the following guests:

  • Immediate family.
  • Anyone who has helped financially with the wedding costs.
  • The officiant.
  • Your wedding attendants. 
  • Older relatives and special guests who are less likely to see updates on your website or email.
  • Guests who had complicated travel plans, such as those serving in the military and anyone living overseas.

Use your resources! Ask your attendants or family members to make some of the calls or write emails and use your wedding website. If you haven’t set up a wedding website yet, consider doing it soon. It will be a one-stop place for you and your guests to keep in touch. If you use emails, set up different distribution lists so that one guest’s reply isn’t sent to the whole group and you can tailor the email to that group.

Managing Family and Guest Reactions

Everyone reacts differently to bad news. Your guests will be concerned for you. Some will offer to help, some will hurry you to make a decision, and others will give advice. Those who would normally react with a hug or by helping with errands or DIY projects aren’t able to. You might be surprised to find that you are consoling them! Recognize that they are also processing a feeling of loss – sharing a special day, meeting your fiancé, visiting with relatives, canceling travel plans. And, in this unique situation, they are also facing some of their own challenges in adapting to the changes in work, income, and routines. Be patient when you can, and gently honest when needed.

Sample Wording

For use in Letters, Emails, or Website Updates

(You can copy and paste these. Mix and match the paragraphs to write your own email!)

Opening Paragraph

We thought we had planned every detail, but we couldn’t have imagined planning around a global pandemic! As you can imagine, we are battling with the disappointment of interrupted expectations as well as the general worries we are all facing in the uncertain weeks ahead. Given these new realities, we’ve decided to postpone/cancel/reschedule our wedding ceremony.

Updates Coming Soon

It will be difficult to update each of you individually, so please keep an eye on our wedding website to stay informed. We will continue to update the site with the most recent information regarding our wedding. We care for each of you and hope you’ll stay healthy and safe.

Wedding website link: www.theknot.com/boblucy4eva

Undetermined Plans

We are trying to concentrate on the things that matter most – the health and safety of those we love, and the relationship we have together. We are so thankful for the encouragement you have shown us through our engagement and know that you will continue to support us. In rescheduling our big day, we are taking another look at all the details. We ask you to be patient and flexible as we try to put those pieces together. 

Same Guest List with Known Change of Date/Location:

We have a new date/new venue! Our ceremony will be on date/time, at venue name and city. We realize this change may not work for everyone, but truly hope you can attend! Expect a new invitation by mail/email in the coming weeks and check our website for details. It will be a few extra months until we are husband and wife, but it’s worth the wait!

Smaller Guest List

We are thankful to have found a new date/new venue, but it will require that our celebration be smaller. We hope to share pictures and videos in the weeks ahead and hope you will share our joy, even if it can’t be in person. We are grateful for your love and support and look forward to seeing you in person soon.

Decision to elope/intimate/closed ceremony

Since we are ready to begin our lives together, we have decided to have a small, closed ceremony with just immediate family. While we are so excited to be married, it breaks our hearts that we can’t celebrate with all of you. We will definitely take photos on that day, and we will be sure to share them.

We hope to still plan a larger celebration down the road and will update you as we know details. We will update our wedding website with the most recent information. www.theknot.com/boblucy4eva

Setting Expectations

It is unavoidable that some guests may not be able to attend because of the change of date/change of location. We will miss your smiles and hope you’ll save us some handshakes and hugs for whenever we can see you next.

Response to Unsolicited Advice

Thank you for your kind concern! I am thankful that I have friends/family that are worried for me and ready to help. Fiancé’s name and I are still working through the difficult decisions that relate to our change of plans. For now, we’d appreciate time to think through our options on our own and concentrate on managing all the emotions that are part of this process. It’s helpful to know of your love and willingness to help and we will let you know when plans are starting to take shape.

Plan to Livestream

We can’t share a dance or piece of wedding cake, but we can share our wedding vows! We’ve made the decision to hold a small ceremony, but wanted to invite you to take part remotely by livestreaming our ceremony! It won’t be the same as seeing you in person, but it was the best answer to a difficult dilemma. We thank you for your love and support through these past months and hope you’ll be watching while we say “I do.”

How to notify guests:

  • Paperless Post
  • Regular Email
  • Through your wedding website (some services allow you to email all your guests)
  • Snail Mail
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I'm Kim, wedding professional, recent bride, and founder of Bride Hero. 
I created this site because I believe you deserve a well-planned wedding on ANY budget!

tell me more...

goodies you'll love

Access Our Free Resource Library

Learn How to STOP the Mindless Hustle

Tune into my podcast!

Categories

business tips

mental health

Personal life

MARKETING 101

crowd favs

on the blog

...

...

...

...

free download

Bride's Guide to COVID-19

download

designed by Elizabeth McCravy

photography by Kim johnson photography unless otherwise noted