Things Not to Say to Someone Who Just Postponed Their Wedding

Plus, what to say back if someone does.
Leszek Czerwonka/
maddy sims the knot associate editor
Maddy Sims
maddy sims the knot associate editor
Maddy Sims
Former Associate Editor
  • Maddy is a Brand and Social Content Manager at Birdy Grey, and was a former associate editor at The Knot.
  • Maddy has written for several different publications, including HUM Nutrition, Insider, Bustle, Real Simple and Apartment Therapy.
  • Maddy has a Bachelor's degree in magazine journalism and a Master's degree in health, science and environmental reporting (both of which are from Northwestern's Medill School of Journa...
Updated Apr 09, 2020
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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many spring and summer weddings are being postponed. As weddings take time and energy to plan, couples who've rescheduled are likely upset or sad. Then, a massive shift in plans may leave guests with questions pertaining to gifts, hotel room blocks and more.

Whatever the case may be, it's important to be mindful about how guests and couples communicate at this time. The couple, for example, is now faced with having to postpone their wedding in the midst of a pandemic. It's a lot for anyone to take on, so you don't want to add to that stress and frustration. Guests, meanwhile, may be left with reservation requests, travel plans and other unexpected factors to navigate. That's why we've rounded up 14 things guests shouldn't say to someone who just postponed their wedding. And for couples, we share how to graciously respond should you find yourself receiving these kinds of messages.

Remember: these are uncertain times. In addition to postponements, couples are likely feeling anxious about COVID-19 and other unexpected life moments. The best thing to do as a guest is to show support. Let the couple know how excited you are for their eventual wedding. Finally, if you receive these 14 statements below from guests, here's how to respond (via text or email) as the couple.

So What's Going to Happen to Your Summer Wedding?

If the wedding is in July and beyond, we recommend refraining from contacting the couple. They're most likely thinking about next steps too. Instead, wait for them to send out new information about their wedding and if you really must, contact someone in the wedding party member or a family member for details.

If you decide to contact them after their change-the-date notice is sent out, work your message so that it's sensitive and supportive.

What to say in response: Hi _____, Thank you for sending this note. We agree, what is going to happen? We're currently monitoring the situation and will be in touch as soon as we make a decision. In the meantime, check out our wedding website for all communication and other FAQs.

Are You Bummed/Sad/Upset?

There's no doubt about it: most people who have to postpone their wedding will be upset about it. Weddings generally require a lot of planning, so the couple is likely bummed their plans won't come to fruition as they had envisioned. It's best to assume they're upset before you reach out so that you don't cause unnecessary frustration.

What to say in response: Hi ______, Thank you so much for checking in. Yes, we're sad about having to change our plans. We spent a lot of time and energy planning our wedding day, so this is definitely upsetting. We're taking time to process things, and we'll be in touch with any important information. Stay safe!

What Are the Things You Have to Worry About?

At face value, this doesn't seem like an upsetting question. But there are two ways this could cause negative feelings. The couple is dealing with a long set of to-dos (like choosing a new date and rebooking vendors). They likely don't want to take time to spell out everything they have to do—that will only cause more stress. This question can also be interpreted as: "what in the world could you possibly have to worry about?" which isn't very sensitive. For those reasons, it's best to avoid this question.

What to say in response: Hi ______, Thank you so much for your concern. As you can imagine, postponing our wedding is taking up most of our time, as it requires coordinating different people and places. We'll be in touch with information after we finalize our new plans and share our change-the-date. Stay tuned, and please send your family/partner/pet our love.

What Are You Going to Do Now With Your Wedding?

Picture this: you've been told you have to postpone your wedding. Then, guests immediately ask you what you're going to do or what your plans are. Sounds stressful, right? If you know a couple had to postpone their wedding, know they're likely in the midst of thinking through all of the details. They'll be in touch with the information as soon as they can.

What to say in response: Hi ____, Thank you so much for your concern. Since we very recently made the decision to postpone our wedding, we're still in the process of re-planning the event. We will send change-the-dates as soon as possible. We hope you're safe and well!

It's No Big Deal

In the grand scheme of things, postponing a wedding isn't the worst thing to happen—but it's upsetting nevertheless. Statements like this minimize the situation, and can end up minimizing your friends' feelings. If you want to reach out, try to validate what they're feeling and let them know you're thinking about them.

What to say in response: Hi ____, We appreciate your note. We know it'll be OK. We spent a lot of time and energy planning this wedding, and want our guests to enjoy it. We'll be in touch with our new plans once we secure our change-the-date.

Why Would You Have a Weekday Wedding?

A weekday wedding might not be as convenient as a Saturday wedding, but keep in mind that couples have limited options to work with given the pandemic. Many dates are already taken, so Fridays and Mondays are the only dates available. Practice empathy instead and tell them you're honored you were invited to their wedding.

What to say in response: Hi ____, Thanks so much for your concern. We searched for options, but a weekday was the best alternative given the pandemic. We hope you're able to make our new selected date!

Let Me Know If I Can Do Anything

The intentions behind this message are positive (you're offering to help, after all). But vague statements like this simply create more work for the couple, as they now have to find a task and delegate it to you. Instead, offer to take on a tangible task or favor. Maybe you can send them a dinner since they're likely stretched thin between working and wedding planning. Or, maybe you can alert a certain group of guests about the change in plans.

What to say in response: Hi ____, Thank you so much for the sweet offer. If there's something you feel comfortable taking on, please let us know. We'd appreciate any help!

If It Were My Wedding…

It's best to avoid this statement at all times—especially after someone has postponed their wedding. (Remember: it's not your wedding, it's theirs.) They're likely dealing with many people offering unsolicited advice. Simply be supportive of their decisions and offer to help in any way you can.

What to say in response: Hi ____, Thank you for your opinion, but we're going to continue following our own plans. We'll send out new information as soon as we finalize plans. Stay safe and be well.

I'm Not Going to Mail Back My RSVP, But I'll Be There

Yes, a text or email may be easier when it comes to RSVPs. But the hosts of the wedding spent money on their wedding invitations (and the postage so you could return the card for free). Respect the effort on their end by returning the RSVP in the mail if you have access to a mailbox or your local postal service.

What to say in response: Hi ____, We're so happy you can make it! It's much easier for us to keep track of RSVPs if you mail back the paper invitations. Postage is included, so you just have to fill it out and drop it in the mail. Please return the card to us with your response as soon as you can. Thank you!

Can I Bring a Plus One?

Wedding guests around the world: listen up. Plus ones are traditionally reserved for distinct partners (like living together), engaged couples or married couples. If you haven't been given a plus one and you don't meet the aforementioned criteria, asking the couple if they can bend the rules for you is not the best look. One extra person doesn't sound like a big deal, but unexpected plus ones can cause issues with seating, budgets and more. Plus, asking this question places your friend or family member in an awkward position. The couple is already stressed enough, so it's best to skip this question altogether.

What to say in response: Hi ____, We're trying to be diligent with our guest list, so we can't accommodate your request unfortunately. But we are so excited to have you at our wedding and hope you can attend!

Anything Related to the Room Block Situation

Room blocks can be a sticky situation under normal circumstances. But in light of a pandemic, they can be extremely tricky. You don't have to stay in the hotel room block—it's totally optional for guests. Just be sure that you arrive at the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception on time. Rather than getting upset that the new room block is already filled or the prices have changed, consider simply asking the couple if there are other options in the area you could stay at (and be sure to mention how excited you are to be a part of their wedding day).

What to say in response: Hi ____, I'm so sorry you're dealing with these issues. Here are the other platforms (Airbnb or Vrbo) and hotels in the area that might work better for you. Our wedding website also has additional information. We hope you can make it to our wedding!

What Should I Do About Your Gift?

It is nice to show you're concerned about the couple's gift, but asking this simply causes more work for the couple. They're busy with many different tasks right now, so worrying about your gift isn't a top priority. Rather than flood them questions about presents, check out our guide on what happens to registry gifts when a wedding is postponed.

What to say in response: Hi ____, Thank you so much for your concern. As you can imagine, postponing our wedding is taking up most of our time at the moment, but feel free to check out this article by The Knot. It has a lot of helpful information! We hope you're safe and well!

So, Now I Have to Buy a New Outfit Because the Dress Code Changed?

As couples are postponing their weddings, dress codes may change. Their casual summer nuptials might be a semi-formal event in the winter now. Remember that this was out of the couple's control, and that they're doing their best to deal with the situation. A different dress code is an inconvenience, but isn't a huge deal at the end of the day. If you don't feel like buying a brand new outfit, consider wearing something you already own or checking out Rent the Runway.

What to say in response: Hi ____, We know a change in dress code can be confusing! You definitely don't have to purchase any new clothing for our wedding. Feel free to wear something you already own. We're so excited to see you at our wedding!

Are You Bummed About Your Bach Party?

Bach parties are usually before the weddings, so you may immediately wonder what's happening with those pre-wedding festivities. Rather than bombarding the couple with questions about this celebration, consider reaching out to a member in the wedding party instead (they typically plan this pre-wedding celebration).

What to say in response: Hi! Thanks so much for your concern. We're working out whether we want to have a joint bach later when this all blows over. Since _____ was in charge of planning this, I would recommend reaching out to them to get the details. They'll likely be in touch if we decide to move forward. We hope you're safe and well!

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