How to Let Guests Know You’re Postponing Your Wedding

how to postpone wedding

Let’s be honest – postponing your wedding is probably not a situation you ever expected to be in. So how exactly do you navigate your way through an unexpected change of plans and communicate this with your guests?

We totally empathize with each and every couple whose wedding plans have been impacted by the current pandemic and wanted to help you out with some wording ideas and templates below. Whether you’ve decided to set a new date, downsize your guest list or scrap the big party altogether, keep reading as we share our communication tips to let guests know you’ll be postponing your day.

Photo by Leslie D Photography

When Should You Let Guests Know You’re Postponing Your Wedding?

So, the tough decision has been made to postpone your wedding. What next?

We know this is a stressful time, but ideally, you’ll want to update your guests as soon as possible – even if you haven’t officially locked in a new date. Remember, your guests may need to cancel or reschedule travel and accommodation arrangements, so it’s important to keep everyone informed as decisions are made.

Updating your guests sooner rather than later will also take a huge weight off your shoulders and allow you to move forward with making new plans. The last thing you want to be dealing with in the midst of a postponement is additional questions and pressure from guests! Sharing your postponement news ASAP will help to relieve some of that uncertainty, and ensure you and your loved ones are on the same page.

How to Let Guests Know You’re Postponing Your Wedding

In an unprecedented situation like a worldwide pandemic, there are definitely no strict etiquette rules when it comes to communicating a postponement! 

Don’t stress about organising a new set of invitations right away, or calling each guest with a personal phone call. Instead, keep it simple with an official announcement that can be sent out to all of your loved ones easily via text or email. If you’ve created a wedding website, you can also use this as a convenient way to update and inform your guests about any changes (and if not, this could be a good time to create one!).

Photo by With Love and Embers

Wording Ideas For Postponing Your Wedding

So what’s the best way to word your postponement announcement? Again, there are no set “rules” when it comes to communicating the news with your guests – you can keep it as short or as detailed as you like. 

However, as a general guide, you’ll want to include:

  • An acknowledgment of the decision you’ve made and why (eg. to abide by current restrictions, or to protect the health and safety of your loved ones)
  • Any new details that have been confirmed (eg. a new date or venue)
  • What guests can expect next and how further updates will be delivered (eg: a formal invitation to follow, or a link to your updated wedding website)
  • Sign off with your excitement to finally celebrate together when the time comes

The actual wording and tone of your postponement message is really up to you. You may decide to keep it light-hearted and upbeat, or go for a more sincere and heartfelt approach. There really is no right or wrong – do what feels right for you and your situation! Just make sure you communicate your decision clearly to avoid any misunderstanding or confusion. 

No idea where to begin? Keep reading for some wording examples and ideas for a stress-free postponement announcement.

Wording Examples: When You Haven’t Yet Chosen A New Date

Have you decided to postpone your wedding but haven’t yet locked in a new date? Simply update your guests with the news so far, and let them know you’ll be keeping them in the loop as more details are confirmed. For example:

“To our amazing friends and family,

We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe during this difficult time. Due to the current pandemic and the various restrictions in place, we’ve had to make the tough decision to postpone our special day. Your health and safety is our number one priority, and we want to make sure we can celebrate together without putting any of our loved ones at risk.

Don’t worry – once life has returned to normal, you can rest assured we’ll still be putting on an unforgettable wedding! At this stage, we haven’t locked in a new date but will update you as soon as these details have been confirmed. We apologise for any inconvenience, and can’t wait to (finally!) celebrate with you, safely, as soon as possible.

With love,
(Name and Name)”

Photo by Karra Leigh Photography

Wording Examples: When You Have Chosen A New Date

In this scenario, your postponement message will also double as a “save the date” for your guests. Update your loved ones with the confirmed changes, and let them know a formal invitation and RSVP details will follow. For example:

“To our dearest loved ones,

Well – let’s try this again! Due to the current circumstances, our wedding has been postponed to ensure we can celebrate with you all safely. 

Please save our new date: (insert date)

We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused, and look forward to partying with you very soon! Please keep an eye on your (email/post/wedding website), as updated invitations and RSVP details will be sent shortly.

Until then, please stay safe and know we’re thinking of you all in this uncertain time. 

Lots of love,
(Name and Name)”

Wording Examples: If You’ve Decided to Elope

Maybe you’ve decided to scrap the big party and move forward with an elopement on your original date instead. In this case, simply explain your decision to your guests, and let them know you’d love to celebrate with them at a later stage. 

For example:

“To our lovely friends and family,

Well, it’s safe to say the current crisis has thrown a curveball into our wedding plans! Due to the strict restrictions in place, we are sadly unable to move ahead with our wedding as planned. Instead, we’ve decided to elope on our original date, and celebrate with you all at a later stage with an informal reception – details to be confirmed soon.

We really appreciate your understanding and are so sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. It was a heartbreaking decision, but we know it’s the right decision to ensure the health and safety of our loved ones. We can’t wait to celebrate our new marriage with you all very, very soon! 

With love,
(Name and Name)”

Photo by Lilly White Photography

Wording Examples: If You Need To Downsize Your Guest List

Have you had to reduce your guest list to abide by current restrictions? Normally, uninviting a guest to your wedding would be a serious faux pas – but in an unprecedented situation like this one, it’s absolutely understandable. 

In this case, we’d recommend opting for a more personalised message or even a phone call to break the news. Keep it honest, heartfelt and apologetic, and be sure to include a promise to celebrate together after the day. Although there may be some disappointment, it’s likely your guests will be more than understanding of your situation.

For example:

“Hi (name),

We hope you and your family are staying safe and well throughout this difficult time.

Over the past few weeks, our world has turned upside down. Due to the current restrictions, we’ve had to make some really hard decisions regarding our wedding. Unfortunately, this includes reducing our guest list dramatically to adhere to our venue’s policy.

We are so, so sorry to have to do this, but at this point, we need to cancel the invitation to our wedding. We hope you can understand that this is a drastic situation we never expected to be in – we were so looking forward to celebrating with you on the day, and are shattered beyond belief that we are no longer able to.

We will be planning an informal gathering as soon as things have calmed down to catch up with everyone who couldn’t join us on the day, and will be live-streaming our ceremony if you’d still like to be involved. Again, we are so sorry, and appreciate your understanding.

(Name and Name)”

Photo by Nicole Catherine

Keep On Keeping On

As difficult as it might be to postpone your wedding, try not to let it dampen your shine. At the end of the day, you WILL get married, and it will be amazing. We promise!

Simply use these wording tips and templates above to help you communicate the news to your guests without any additional stress. And remember, marrying the love of your life is going to be an incredibly special experience – regardless of when it takes place.