10 Tips To Help You Through The Process of Changing Your Event Date

Thinking about changing your event date? Event planners, whether located in Boston, New York or any city throughout the country, are in the business of carefully laying out the details of an event in an organized, logically scheduled manner. The very first of those details is choosing a date.

Sometimes, our clients come to us with a date in hand, especially in the case of Bar or Bat Mitzvahs for which families are scheduled by their synagogues often 18 months in advance.  At other times, our clients fall in love with a particular venue and its availability determines the date. Regardless of how your particular date is chosen, it is from that point forward that we follow a specific planning timeline from start to finish. It includes the invitations, the food, the entertainment, the party favors – everything that makes your event uniquely your own.  Changing your event date is usually not part of this process.

It's All About the Details
It’s all about the details – Photo Courtesy of Studio Eleven Photography

 

During this unprecedented time in our world and our industry, event dates have been moved and sometimes, moved again. Navigating the process of planning, changing your event date, re-planning and then re-planning again takes its toll on families. We work to be our clients’ protectors and guides through this process under “normal” circumstances, and during this extraordinary time, we are here for you even more than ever.

Jodi Hugging Bride
Photo Courtesy of Servidone Studios Photography

We have learned a lot in recent weeks about the ins and outs of rescheduling events. While we may not have all of the answers or a crystal ball (what I wouldn’t give for one of those right now!), we have put together a list of questions to consider if you are thinking about moving your event date. We hope this will alleviate some of the stress and help you to determine the best decision for your family.

10 Things to Think About

  • Does the venue have a future date that works for your family and friends? Are they willing to hold a future date for you until you are ready to make a decision?
  • Review your contract with your venue. Are there penalties incurred for moving the date? Our experience is that venues have been honoring our clients’ deposits if moving to a new date within the calendar year. Others are honoring the contracts if the date is moved within 12 months.
  • If your event will be smaller than originally planned because of anticipated weather or health concerns, does your food and beverage minimum stay the same or can your venue or caterer reduce it?
  • Are your clergy and house of worship available on the new date? If your ceremony is taking place in a temple or a church, it may be booked. Would you consider moving your ceremony to the venue where the celebration will now take place?
  • Have you checked with friends who may also be moving their event dates? If you are finding too much overlap, consider choosing a less “traditional” times of the year or day of the week.
  • For a Bar/Bat Mitzvah would you consider doubling up with siblings whose dates are in 2021 or 2022?
  • Once your venue is booked, check with the band and other vendors you hired. Make a list and prioritize which are most important to you. Some vendors are charging to rescheduling fees. Most will work with you and your Planner to come up with a fair resolution.
  • Have you ordered printed materials with your specific date? Check with all your vendors to see if printing can be postponed or printed without a specific date (for some items, a monogram will do!). The invitations you ordered may have many inserts and envelopes not all of which will require reprinting. And send “Change The Date” cards or emails to guests as soon as possible.
Save Our Dates - Example for Change Our Dates
Photo Courtesy of Person + Killian Photography
  • Are you concerned about dress and suit alterations? Contact the store where you bought your wedding dress or suit. Double check that alterations can be made in time for your new date. You can order your shoes online and bring them with you to the fitting.
  • Don’t forget to celebrate your original date! Do something special on that day – a special meal, a bottle of champagne, dress up and host a zoom party, complete with a first dance or hora!

We understand that it is disappointing and unsettling to move the date of a special event you have planned for months. Please remember, while you may need to re-imagine some of the details, your reasons for the celebration will always remain– new love, a special birthday, a rite of passage, a graduation.  And we’ll be here to help you navigate this uncharted course, celebrating along with you, now, as always.

Jodi Raphael