What Is a "Change-the-Date" and Why Is It Relevant Now?
As many couples and vendors continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic and wedding postponements, the question of how to properly communicate scheduling changes to guests may be top of mind. To help, we've rounded up everything you need to know about wedding postponement cards. Know that wedding postponements happen, whether it's a result of a global pandemic, a natural disaster or a venue simply shuttering. Unforeseen circumstances will sprout while planning a wedding. What's within your control is how you respond, such as preemptively working through solutions with your team and effectively communicating any changes to your loved ones and your vendors.
"If you postpone your wedding, you have a few options pending the amount of time you have," says wedding etiquette expert Myka Meier, author of Modern Etiquette Made Easy. "Due to the amount of people you may have to communicate with—and possibly within a short time frame—in an emergency situation, it's absolutely fine to send electronic communication to everyone at once."
Regardless of how you choose to promptly communicate a change to your wedding date, the act is now trending as the "change-the-date." Below is the etiquette for how to properly share your wedding postponement cards with your loved ones.
In this article:
Define a 'Change-the-Date'
Synonymous with wedding postponement card, a change-the-date applies to any wedding or event postponement after save-the-dates and/or invitations have gone out to guests. A change-the-date is typically sent in the form of a digital announcement and it's supplemented by stationery (either online or in paper form). One characteristic about the change-the-date is universal: it is simple.
"The 'change-the-date' notice should include basic information, but excludes smaller details such as the dress code," says Meier. "You may, however, include your wedding website on it."
How Do I Alert My Guests?
Most couples postponing their weddings due to the coronavirus pandemic will have to communicate changes to their guests immediately. This includes updating your wedding website, picking up the phone, starting a text chain, emailing all guests, and ensuring every loved one is informed. It's important to stay ahead of any changes, even if plans have yet to be solidified.
"For the sake of timing, and to be as cost efficient as possible, you can send a simple email or create a digital announcement that is designed and customized to you," Meier notes. "It is okay to send out a notice even if you don't know your new date and time yet."
Consider mailing a follow-up wedding postponement card (also known as a "change-the-date" card) notice as a reminder to loved ones after you've secured a postponed wedding date and location. "The key is to let your guests know that your wedding is on hold and you will communicate the changes as soon as you are able," says stationer Alexa Pulitzer.
Suggested Change-the-Date Wording
Suggested wording for both digital and print wedding postponement cards if you have yet to secure an official postponement date:
Due to the current health emergency of COVID-19, the wedding of Christine Reynolds to Jack Smith will regrettably not take place on April 18th as originally planned.
A new wedding date will be announced as soon as possible. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Suggested wording for both digital and print wedding postponement cards if you have a new date:
We regret to inform you that the wedding of Bonnie Lynne to Jack Parry will not take place as scheduled due to the COVID-19 health emergency.
Please save the new date of November 7, 2020.
Formal invitation to follow. (Or for a more casual feel: Invitation and details to follow)
What About My Wedding Website?
If you've postponed your wedding, update all relevant information immediately on your wedding website. After that, continue to share updates as frequently as possible on the platform. We recommend starting an FAQ tab that includes answers to any COVID-19- questions. This includes hotel room block details, possible refund or postponement guidelines, helpful emails/phone numbers, and additional guidance.
Remember: Most custom domains expire 12 or 24 months after purchase, depending on the option you selected up front. If you've secured a new date and you've registered for a custom URL on The Knot, reach out before your domain expires. Email [email protected] and request a domain renewal due to COVID-19 rescheduling.
The frequency at which you communicate with guests is case-by-case, but typically, you should communicate weekly until you've finalized all postponement plans. Your guests will be grateful to hear from you especially if their travel plans were impacted.
Where Can I Print My Wedding Postponement Cards?
If you'd like to take the extra step in printing your wedding postponement cards, you have several options. For one, you can order them through The Knot Invitations, which has a wide variety of styles (and price points) depending on what you're looking for. Start with your original vendor if you have the budget, suggests Pulitzer. "When creating a change-the-date, it should be a continuation of the theme throughout," says the stationer. "Utilize the same iconography from a wedding invitation or save-the-date. I would also be as economical as possible in my spending at this stage, particularly for couples who opt to print and mail a second wedding invitation with new details."
Another option is to look to stationery brands offering free reprints to couples who are now changing their wedding date. See our favorite designs below, and shop them too.
Showcase another one of your gorgeous engagement photos with this simple wedding postponement announcement.
The Knot Invitations scripted "We Do" change-the-date cards, from $28 for 10 cards, TheKnot.com
Insert a sweeping landscape shot into this simple design. It's a wedding postponement card your guests will be excited to hang on their fridge.
Minted Modern Elegance, $51 for 25 cards, Minted.com
Keep things simple with this minimalistic design. The cute phrasing will reassure guests your wedding is still on.
iCustom Invite change-the-date, from $30 for 12 cards, Etsy.com
Aim for old-school elegance with this Polaroid-like design. Insert your favorite picture and send your guests the latest details.
Papier save the new date calligraphy, from $20 for 10 cards, Papier.com
Get cheeky with your change-the-date cards. Let your guests know that your wedding will still be taking place, it'll just happen at a later date.
The Knot Invitations natural palette change-the-date cards, from $28 for 10 cards, TheKnot.com
This bright, floral design is a great choice if your wedding is going to be a colorful affair. Plus, who doesn't enjoy cheerful colors?
The Knot Invitations blooming botanical change-the-date cards, from $28 for 10 cards, TheKnot.com
For a play on your own wedding hashtag, send out these playful change-the-date cards. Your wedding may be #postponed for now, but your guests will get to use your hashtag in the future.
Minted Free Drinks, from $61 for 25 cards, Minted.com
Give your postponed wedding cards a glamorous touch with this metallic foil design. This format will look especially beautiful with fall or winter engagement sessions.
Minted classic foil-pressed, from $78 for 25 cards, Minted.com
When life gives you lemons... send out new change-the-date cards. These funny notes will update your guests and make them smile.
Zazzle change of date postponed cancelled event lemons postcard, from $12 for 10 cards, Zazzle.com
Put a creative spin on this popular Bible verse about marriage with this pretty wedding postponement card template on Etsy.
Sincerely By Nicole Sofia, $4 for one card, Etsy.com
We love this humorous wedding postponement announcement because it's guaranteed to make your guests chuckle during this challenging time.
Minted Bad Dancing, from $61 for 25 cards, Minted.com
Keep it short and to the point. Deliver the news of your wedding postponement with this simple, pretty change-the-date card.
Papier We've Postponed calligraphy, from $20 for 10 cards, Papier.com
Use your wedding postponement card as an opportunity to share your favorite engagement photos. This design allows you to share three never-before-seen photos with your guests.
Minted Whispers, from $61 for 25 cards, Minted.com
Make your postponed wedding invitations a work of art with this colorful, digitally painted design.
The Knot Invitations abstract water color change the date card, from $28 for 10 cards, TheKnot.com
Equal parts pretty and bold, this modern wedding postponement card will catch the attention of your guests and neatly lay out the new details.
Minted Over The Moon, from $51 for 25 cards, Minted.com
Whether you're hosting a nautical affair or just love a good pun, this wedding postponement card is perfect for you.
Zazzle nautical rope tying the knot postponed wedding announcement postcard, from $13 for 10 cards, Zazzle.com
Regardless of how you choose to move forward with your wedding postponement stationery, allow the suggested wording in the previous section to be a guideline for you. And finally, remember: a change-the-date card gives you (and your guests) something to look forward to—when conditions change for the better.
Updated May 7, 2020.