It is likely that the current situation with COVID-19 is at the forefront of your mind, and quite frankly it’s not surprising when life gets turned upside-down. With the recent UK regulations, it is unfortunate that a lot of weddings, corporate events and private parties are going to be postponed.

If you do have a celebration scheduled for the upcoming months, you may be thinking about postponing it. At the moment it is difficult to say what will happen and change over the next few weeks, but our advice would be that if you are considering rearranging your event, to get started with it as soon as possible.  

When it comes to events in August, September and beyond, we would recommend monitoring the situation closely and staying in touch with your venue and suppliers to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Of course, our fingers are crossed that September events will go ahead as planned, but you might want to consider basic contingency plans or alternatives should it need to be postponed. 

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Postpone Your Event

Step 1: Speak to Your Venue

It is likely that the venue was the first thing you looked into when planning your event originally, so it makes sense that it should be the first port of call when you are looking into changing the date. Try and get in touch with your venue (and all of your suppliers) as soon as you know your event is unable to go ahead on your original date. The sooner you notify them, the sooner you can agree on a new date and get the ball rolling with your suppliers too.

With a surge of people needing to postpone their events, try and keep an open mind about when you are willing to host yours, look into off-peak seasons and days of the week rather than weekends where possible. Venues tend to have more availability in Autumn and Winter, so it is likely that the venue manager will be able to work closely with you to find a date that is perfect for you both. 

Top Tip: Try to be as flexible as possible and remember that your venue is losing out with your postponement too. We are all in the same boat, so try and keep an open mind and have a number of dates as possibilities if you can.

Step 2: Notify Your Guests

So, you have probably already told your guests that the event is being postponed (if they haven’t already guessed themselves). If you have special guests attending your event or if you have people who you definitely want to come, you need to make sure they are available for your provisionally booked new date as soon as possible so you can confirm this with your venue. Best forms of communication are naturally email or social media, make sure you have a tick list to ensure everyone is notified of the date change, we don’t want Auntie Betty turning up in her fascinator on a wrong day.

Once your new date is all confirmed with the venue, you might want to send out new invitations or reminders to your guests too, but if you have got in touch with them already to let them know then this can be done in your own time. 

Top Tip: The best thing to do is to keep your guests in the loop, ensure they know what is going on at every stage of the process and as soon as you have a new date, let them know so they can add it to the calendar. 

Step 3: Talk to Your Suppliers

Your venue has given you a provisional date, you’ve made your guests aware, so it’s now time to have a chat with your suppliers to see whether they are available. If the date has been moved far enough in the future, it is likely that a lot of suppliers will still be available for your event date. Make sure you let them know of any changes that will be occurring; if your party was going to be outdoors, is it now inside the venue? Have you opted for a different number of guests or a change in timings?

However, if they aren’t available for the new date in question, please be sympathetic with them – they aren’t choosing to not attend your event, they just have prior commitments. Any deposits that have been paid will come down to the suppliers themselves and you can discuss with them directly in line with their Terms and Conditions.

If your suppliers are unavailable for your new date, you may want to hold on to them for an event you might have in the future. If you are postponing your annual summer ball or your kid’s birthday party for a few months, these are events that happen annually and you may want the supplier to attend the following year. 

Top Tip: Get in touch with your suppliers immediately if your event is postponed. Some suppliers may rent equipment, hire out staff or buy ingredients so you need to let them know as soon as possible.

Step 4: Look For Alternatives

After speaking to your suppliers to confirm their availability, if you need to find any replacements, the best thing to do would be to start looking as soon as possible and to be as flexible as possible in terms of what you are looking for. Some suppliers can get booked up months in advance, so ask the original suppliers to see whether they have any recommendations as they may have friends and colleagues in the trade. 

Don’t worry too much, if your caterer is unavailable and you spent a lot of time designing a menu with them or your band can’t do the date in question and you have a setlist in mind if your event is months in the future, a lot of suppliers are more flexible than ever before and are happy to send over menu options, videos and audio clips or even have video calls with you to put your mind at ease.

Top Tip: If you had originally planned for a candy floss cart, would you be happy having a chocolate fountain or doing without? Would a string trio be okay instead of a quartet? Try and be as flexible as possible and understand that similar suppliers may be hard to find. 

Step 5: Think About Any Orders You Might Have

If you have ordered wedding favours, fresh flowers for the tables or any other arrangements, think about whether you are happy for them to come now so that you can keep them until your postponed event, or if they are edible or fresh flowers, you will want to rearrange your order for another time. 

Top Tip: If you already have them or you are unable to postpone your order, you may want to send the floral arrangements, balloons or edible favours on to your guests so that you can celebrate the original day together anyway, from afar. They would certainly be surprised and it would mark the occasion in a positive way. If you are resending new invitations, you can pass them along with the favours you send. 

Step 6: Celebrate The Day Anyway!

You are entitled to feel frustrated that the event you have been planning for is now months and months away in the future, but try and enjoy the day it would have been on as much as possible. If it is an important milestone for you, your family and friends, or your business, try and mark the occasion with something different from the routine of everyday life. Why not open a nice bottle of fizz, have a video call with those important people in your life or cook yourselves a nice meal. Our suppliers prepared some amazing online entertainment options to help you celebrate this special day. Have a look at the full listing here.

Top Tip: It can be really disappointing to postpone your 50th Birthday Celebration, Wedding or your Summer Corporate Ball, but instead of feeling blue, get a countdown app or track the days to your new event. Oh, and if it is your birthday, you will get to stay a year younger until the celebration of course. 

Step 7: Look to The Future

Event planning is a stressful time for anyone, regardless of whatever is going on in the world, so look to your rearranged event as an achievement. Once this has all passed, you have something to look forward to again and it can be a marker of everything back to normal and a celebration with the friends, colleagues and loved ones that you may have not been able to see for a while.

Final Thoughts

With everything that is currently going on, it is important to try and keep a positive mindset and look forward to your postponed event rather than grieving over your old date. Whatever happens, it is an important time to stay safe, cherish loved ones and keep an open mind for what the future holds. 

If you have booked a supplier with Poptop and you are looking for some more advice or assistance on the matter, please get in touch with our client support heroes at hello@poptop.uk.com