A Thought to Pause – When You Have to Postpone Your 2020 French Wedding.

Gaynor is an an English-speaking wedding celebrant with Ceremonies in France and she recently wrote some excellent advice for couples who’ve had to change their plans for the wedding in France in 2020.

Wedding Celebrant in SW France

Planning a wedding

If you’re one of the many couples who have to postpone, or pause as it’s being called, your wedding this year, then take heart. All is not lost and at when you do have your wedding next year, oh boy will it be super special.

Planning a wedding can be a highly stressful affair. The golden rule to reduce stress as much as possible, is organisation. The gold standard for this is to employ a wedding planner who will reduce the stress on you, streamline the planning process and negotiate on your half to get the best suppliers for the best price.

If you’ve chosen not to have a planner, then by being methodical and organised you can massively reduce the stress not only for you but your suppliers and guests. To help you get organised are a plethora of wedding planning guides; you can access some free online step-by-step guides; you can buy and download an online book; or if you prefer pen and paper, then try this highly recommended book. Last year one my brides put together a Power Point in which she started with pictures to capture the feel and colours she wanted for her wedding. Then each slide dealt with a different part of the day and who was doing what and the last one was a list of things to do, by whom and by when. It was incredibly useful, as a celebrant, to receive such a presentation and it was easily updated.

If your wedding was to be this year you’ll know all about the process: the time and effort; the energy and emotion involved in planning such an important event. So when that event is cancelled you feel devastated. Yes you know it’s nobody’s fault, you know in your head that there’s worse things that could happen but neither of those things can stop the swell of disappointment in your heart. Initially you might find it difficult to talk about because when you do, it opens a floodgate of emotion. AND THAT’S OKAY. I feel really, really sad and I’m only the celebrant!

Be kind to yourself. If it was your friend’s wedding what would you say to her? Then, after a short while, make a cuppa, put on your big girls pants and start planning on how to sort it out!!

Your Approach to Rescheduling

This time around your approach to planning might need a little adjustment.

1. You have to put on your accounting head  – if you have insurance and contracts with suppliers read  them through and see where you stand with refunds. As this is an unprecedented situation everyone is trying really hard to do the right thing whilst keeping their heads above water. So hopefully rescheduling your wedding won’t cost you too much.

2. You have to be strong – Once the decision to reschedule has been made, even if you’ve not got a replacement date, let your guests and suppliers know. That way if guests need to cancel flights, accommodation etc. they can start that process. A phone call is best and you’ll receive lots of encouragement and sympathy, but if you can’t face that then a simple electronic message is fine. The same is true when you have the new date; there’s no need to send out paper invites unless other information has changed i.e. your venue. In that case you might consider another invite; but don’t forget budget it in, as if yours is a large wedding this could be costly.

Send emails to your suppliers as soon as you can, as they too may have to cancel supplies and staff that they have lined up and I’m sure they’ll let you know their availability for next year.

3. Stay in the ‘highly organised mode’ you were before by keeping a record of who you’ve spoken to and who needs a reply, whether they’re guests or suppliers and what their response was. (I love a list- or a spreadsheet, of course!).

4. Keep a flexible and open-minded attitude – this will stand you in great stead. For example, your venue may not have the exact date you want next year as they usually have bookings already in the diary. Try and get one or two alternative dates and maybe consider a different month or a mid-week wedding.

5. Put you and what you want at the top of your priority list – who are the guests you just have-to- have at your wedding? Make a list (see another list)and then share your alternative dates with them to ensure they can attend. It’s amazing how busy people are and you’ll probably find some of your guests already have dates in their diaries for next year.

The same can be said about your wedding suppliers. Decide if you’re happy to say goodbye to them or would you prefer to check out an alternative date. I’ve had several couples this year change their new date to make sure I’m available. (I only work with lovely, lovely couples).

6. When everything is back on track, don’t forget your dress. Not a change in attitude really but something definitely not to be overlooked. Some shops are offering to keep dresses until next year but most will probably ask you to pick it up as they don’t have sufficient storage space. If you are taking it home, ask advice on how best to store your dress and what to do to make sure it looks its best on your wedding day.

Hotels and Honeymoons Pays de la Loire

7. Look for the positives – You already know the negative side of having to reschedule but think of the positives:

a) now you have more time to save for your wedding

b) you could use the time to make your own favours, decorations etc.

c) if you were planning on ditching a few pounds, now you have more time to create that beach body you were after!

d) you also have more time to pin down those finer details you’ve been stressing over

e) and if that isn’t enough maybe there’s even enough time to plan another hen/stag

And finally

On the day you were to be married in France celebrate by doing something super special. You could even write each other letters to be opened on your wedding day.

Enjoy the time you have with your other half and remember why you wanted to get married in the first place. Then next year when you’re in France and ready to say I do, standing facing each other, holding hands, smiling into each other’s eyes, with your family and friends, it will be spectacular.

Every wedding should have a story and yours will be one to retell to family and friends on your tenth, twentieth and fortieth wedding anniversaries; a story like no other. What a day!!!!

If you’re looking for a Wedding Celebrant in France, find out more about Gaynor and Ceremonies in France.

Photographs Courtesy of :

Neil Cooling Photography

David Page

Emma Case Photography