How to support friends who have postponed their wedding: A complete guide
Written by our rad team member, Cortlyn Adams and all graphics created by Sophie at Mod Bird Design
Your friends have postponed their wedding, and you have no idea what to say, how to help or what to do. I’m really glad you’ve clicked on this blog post. I’ve created this complete guide to supporting friends who have postponed their wedding, including, what to avoid saying, how you can help and advice from a real bride who is facing the difficult decision to postpone her wedding. Whether you’re a bridesmaid, groomsman, wedding guest or cousin-twice-removed who’s worried they won’t be able to attend if it’s rescheduled, please read this. My hope is that this resource will help us all become more understanding and better friends towards the couples who have postponed their wedding day.
Due to the effects of coronavirus, Between the Pine recommends all to adhere to CDC regulations and guidelines put in place by local and national governments. Between the Pine strongly encourages everyone to make decisions about events and travel that are in the interest of their personal and the public’s health and wellbeing.
Wanting to understand what your friends are going through when deciding to postpone their wedding? Read about this experience from a real bride
“At the end of the day, I have no idea what I will feel in an hour, tomorrow, next month, or the day the wedding is supposed to be on. But, I know I need my people,” said Erin, a bride whose wedding is scheduled for May 10. “It’s confusing being in-between not knowing if we have to cancel or not, but knowing whatever happens, we’ll be affected somehow.”
The brides I’ve spoken with who find themselves in this in-between, decision-making, unknown-outcome limbo are all sharing a common thread: they’re sad. They are disappointed, confused, angry and experiencing a myriad of other emotions. These emotions are all so valid. Even if they have come up with an alternative plan and postponed their wedding, they’re still sad. As Erin and her fiancé, Jeff, have thought through alternative plans, Erin says there is still a pain of thinking about not being able to walk down the aisle in her dress and having loved ones there to celebrate with them. “I think the hardest thing I’m about to do is try on my dress for the first time since I bought it and realize that I just may not be able to wear it when, where or with whom I dreamed of,” Erin said.
Your friends who have postponed their wedding have spent so many hours planning, prepping and dreaming up this day that has now been postponed. There is a hope and expectation that has now been deferred to a postponed date, and that is a hard thing to process.
“I’m reminding myself that this truly isn’t the end of the world, but the beginning of our story. And, one day it will be a heck of a story to tell,” Erin said. “At the end of the day, we will get married, which is where I find peace enough to laugh at the craziness of it all.”
Their wedding is postponed, and you don’t know what to say? Read these tips before reaching out
“It just means the world to have people reaching out and reminding me that they’re there and love me, even when I’m not ready to talk about it,” Erin said. No matter how you know the couple who has postponed their wedding, you can make an impact by reaching out! If you’re a bridesmaid, groomsmen, family member, wedding guest or even just a Facebook friend-of-a-friend, you can encourage couples who are postponing their wedding dates because of coronavirus. Here are some helpful ideas of ways to reach out to friends who have postponed their wedding:
Send surprise snail mail
Snail mail is the greatest thing on earth. Seriously. There is nothing better than receiving a handwritten card from someone. A handwritten card shows that you sat down, took intentional time to think about your friends and wrote out encouragement to them. Don’t underestimate the power of a handwritten card. Click here to shop some fun Between the Pine post cards that will brighten any day!
FaceTime or call your friends
In this time of social distancing, a FaceTime or phone call can be so uplifting to anyone’s mood compared to a text message. Carve out some time to sit, distraction free, and call your friends who have postponed their wedding. Invest time to listen and be there for them. If they don’t answer, leave an encouraging voicemail without the expectation that they call you back.
Send an encouraging voice memo
Your friends are likely getting so many texts and calls about their postponed wedding. Send them a voice memo that has nothing to do with their postponed date. Just encourage them! Call out the gold in them! Remind them that they are more than a couple planning a wedding day. Tell them what you see in them: creativity, humor, patience, loyalty, sarcasm, kindness, and so many more things! It will likely be so refreshing for your friends to receive a message that just encourages them and allows them to not hear the words “postpone”, “wedding” or “coronavirus” for just a little bit.
Don’t forget about the groom
“As a groom, it’s nice to have people checking in,” Jeff said. “It’s nice to have a friend asking me, specifically as the groom, how I’m doing and letting me process.” Encourage the couple! It’s okay for grooms to feel sad and disappointed. Don’t forget to reach out to the groom!
What your friends don’t want to hear after postponing their wedding
While it can be really powerful and encouraging to reach out to your friends who have postponed their wedding, it can also add stress, worry and pressure to the couple if you don’t go about it wisely. After talking with real couples who are going through postponing their wedding, here are my biggest tips for what not to say when you reach out:
Don’t just say, “It’s going to be okay.”
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that it sometimes isn’t the best to say, “It’s going to be okay.” Right now, your friends are thinking about vendor contracts, deposits, travel plans, guest logistics and so many other details. Right now, they’re processing the expectation of their wedding day that has now been postponed. Right now, it may not be okay for your friends, and that’s okay. Instead of saying, “It’s going to be okay,” try saying, “I’m so sorry. I wish it was different, and I’m here for you.”
Do not give your opinions or advice unless the couple is seeking it.
On top of all of the changing details your friends are thinking about, the last thing they need is a flood of opinions and advice filling their text message and voicemail inboxes. Keep the conversation about the couple! I’m sorry if this is blunt, but it’s just not about you.
You won’t be able to fix it, and that’s okay.
As friends, we can quickly jump into fix-it mode and try to do everything we can to make it right. You have to realize that as a friend, you can’t fix it and that is okay. Sit with your friends in their process (physically or metaphorically) and let them feel everything. If you don’t know what to say, good! Listen. Listen, and try not to fix them or the situation. Ask how they are and be okay with the answer, “I don’t know.”
Going the extra mile for your friends who postponed their wedding
Wanting to do a little something extra for your friends who have postponed their wedding? I love it! From a box of cookies to a Venmo payment, I’m sharing some helpful ideas for how you can go the extra mile to support your friends:
Utilize personality tools like the Enneagram
There is not a one-size-fits-all way to comfort anyone. The Enneagram could be a great resource if you feel unsure how to encourage and comfort your friends in the best way.
Send a surprise to your friends
Send a Venmo for your friends to get a margarita. UberEats lunch to their house or see what local restaurants are offering delivery (which is a great way to support local small businesses!). Or, you could even use a company to send a care package to them. Small Packages is a bomb, woman-owned company that creates curated packages that could be perfect for your bride-friends in this season. Check out their Wedding Pause, I’m Sorry and Self-Care packages for great options.
Help provide a healthy distraction
Planning a small, group game night or even a virtual, group FaceTime call can help keep the couple off of their phones and away from the headlines. Send the couple a deck of cards or something that can be a healthy distraction.
Thank you for taking time to read this resource on supporting friends who have postponed their wedding due to coronavirus. Please, feel free to share this resource with others who know people who are facing the decision to postpone their wedding. The best thing we can do as their friends is seek to understand what they’re going through, listen rather than speak and be ready to help in whatever way they need. They need their people, so be ready.
To the couples having to postpone their wedding, I’m so sorry. I’ve created a guide to help you as you in your decision process to postpone your wedding, and you can read the guide by clicking the link above. I hope you find it helpful in this difficult time. Please explore through the other resources I have on my site, and, please, do not hesitate to reach out if you have a question or need guidance. I’m rooting for you; we’re all in this together.
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