Mailing your wedding invitations is usually a straightforward process. You can send out save the dates as early as a year ahead of the big day (essentially, as soon as you have your venue officially booked). Then, formal invitations go out six to eight weeks before the wedding so you have plenty of time to get RSVPs in. But the past year has been anything but straightforward. Couples who have been planning their wedding have found themselves adding a different kind of mailer to the mix: a “change the date” card.
What is a change the date card?
A change the date is exactly what it sounds like: A notice telling your guests the new date and location for your wedding. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, weddings have been postponed en masse—sometimes even more than once. And because the safety of large gatherings will still be up in the air for months to come, many more couples may find themselves in the position of sending change the dates.
While postponing a wedding can feel turbulent, your communications with your guest list don’t have to add on to your stress. Here’s our best advice for making your change the date anything but a challenge.
How do you announce a date change?
First of all, don’t feel bad about it. Change the dates have become exceptionally common because of COVID-19 and your friends and family members will absolutely understand the need for it. There’s no need to individually call your wedding guests (though you might still feel inclined to give close family members a ring ahead of time). Instead, you can simply send online change the dates.
Skip the hassle of snail mail
Paperless Post’s cards are sent via email, which not only gets rid of the hassle of having to gather everyone’s addresses on your guest list (especially since there’s a high chance at least a few people on your list may have moved in the past few months), but also lets you know when guests open them—so you have some peace of mind that the news was received. If you prefer, you can also send out textable change the dates instead. Either way, you can relay the information to everyone without having to worry about anything getting lost or delayed in the mail.
Beautifully designed virtual change the dates also feel way more special than a big email chain, and they make it easier to keep track of guests’ responses. If you do intend to later follow up with printed invitations, you can use Paperless Post’s mailing address collector to get everyone’s information, in case people have moved since you first sent your original save the date. It’s way easier than trying to keep track of individual emails or text messages.
Save the new date, again
If you end up having to change the date of your wedding several times, it’s also a cinch to resend virtual change the dates with new, updated information. This practice has become so common over the past year that wedding planners have even started using acronyms to describe them: STD (your first save the date), STND (save the new date), and STNDA (save the new date again). At the end of the day, guests will be understanding if you have to change the date (even more than once!) especially since these times have made it so challenging to plan events ahead of time. Safety comes first—and a new wedding date will give the people you love something exciting to look forward to in the future as they prioritize their health and wellbeing in the meantime.
Change the date vs. wedding postponement
There is a difference between change the dates and wedding postponement announcements. And which you choose to send all depends on how comfortable you are fully rescheduling your wedding. After all, some couples may prefer to hold off on their new plans until there’s more clarity on when group gatherings will be deemed safe again. Change the dates give guests a new date and location for the wedding, while postponement announcements act as more of a cancellation, with the promise to eventually circle back with more information at a later date. If you want to update your guests that you’re changing the date of your wedding as soon as you know you’re going to do so, you can also send a wedding postponement notice and later follow up with a more official change the date, after you have a venue rebooked.
Wedding postponements for down-sized ceremonies
However, if you opt for a postponement, you may find yourself reconsidering your wedding plans and decide to reevaluate your guest list. Over the past year, many couples have decided to throw micro-weddings (intimate celebrations often held in backyards or other outdoor venues) instead of the large gatherings they may have previously planned. If that’s the case, you can say in your postponement announcement that the wedding as planned is indefinitely postponed, and you can separately update the handful of friends and family members who you’d like to be in attendance at your downsized ceremony.
Remember that you can always add a virtual component to your wedding ceremony or reception, and your change that date can also serve as a way to let guests know that the event will now be a digital affair. Then, you can follow up with a Zoom link and further instructions for how to tune in to the virtual ceremony or reception once you’re closer to your wedding day.
Paperless Posts offers both change the date wedding cards and wedding postponement cards, so you can choose what works best for your plans. All wedding templates come with preformatted text to help get you started, but it’s natural to feel stuck for words (rescheduling a wedding is a stressful endeavor, after all). So, these change the date wording examples can help you figure out just what to say.
Change the date wording examples
There’s no need to feel awkward about sending a change the date, or frantic about how to word your “change the date” cards. Sending your guests one of the below messages will keep them updated on your plans and give them something to look forward to celebrating in the future. Use this phrasing with a virtual Card or Flyer.
Change the date wording with a note about COVID-19 safety:
While vaccines are being administered across the country, there still isn’t total clarity on when precautions for COVID-19 will no longer be a part of our daily lives. Because of this, you may want to include a line in your change the date about any safety measures you plan to take on the big day. Here’s an example:
CELEBRATE WITH US
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have postponed our wedding and look forward to celebrating with you on our new wedding date.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2021
Mercer Island Presbyterian Church
Mercer Island, WA
COVID-19 UPDATES: We will be taking extra precautions for our event and care for the health of our guests. Further updates will be communicated closer to our event.
Formal change the date wording:
Virtual change the dates are easier and less costly to send than paper invitations—especially if there’s a chancge that you might need to reschedule again. However, you may feel inclined to later follow up with guests with more formal paper cards. In that case, you can consider wording your change the date like this:
THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM!
SAVE the DATE 10.02.2021 CHAD & SARAH SEATTLE, WASHINGTON
Formal invitations will be sent by mail by mid-summer of next year. If your address has changed in the last six months, please provide your updated mailing address.
Ando wedding postponement card by Paperless Post
Formal save the new date wording:
If you prefer to send a formal change the date that’s complete with details on the time and place of the rescheduled wedding, you can consider wording your invite like the following example:
Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Grant announce that the marriage of their daughter
Elizabeth Anne to Christopher Bonner
has been postponed until Saturday, the seventeenth of October two thousand twenty-one
at half after five o’clock
Good Shepherd Church
Dinner and dancing to follow.
Kindly reply by September 17, 2021
Funny change the date wording:
In times of stress and uncertainty, a good sense of humor goes a long way—even in a change the date. If you want to keep your guests updated on a lighthearted (and realistic) note, consider funny wording:
Save the Date
(but don’t hold your breath!)
2020 may have changed our plans, but we know celebrating with you will be worth the wait!
October 02, 2021 | The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Heartfelt change the date wording:
In a particularly trying time, it’s only natural to want to be with the people you love. And while gatherings aren’t possible right now, you can still let your guests know that they’re in your thoughts with an earnest change the date such as this:
With faith, hope, and love
Elizabeth Grant & Christopher Bonner
invite you to celebrate their wedding on a new date:
The seventeenth of October 2021
Same time, same place
Let us know you’re coming
Oratorio New Date in Mauve by Venamour
Wedding postponement wording:
If you’re opting to postpone your wedding as you figure out your next steps, you can send your guests a simple note along these lines:
Please take care
We’re postponing our wedding celebration to a new date
to be determined when it’s safe for our family and friends.
Thank you for understanding.
Amanda & Adam
Watercolor Postponement Wedding Card by Paperless Post
Wedding postponement wording no date:
Alternatively, if you’re hoping to reschedule your wedding sooner rather than later, but haven’t yet locked in an exact date or venue, you can word your postponement like this:
Love is patient
We’re in the process of rescheduling our wedding and reception.
Detailed invite to follow.
Changing the date of your wedding can be a frustrating process, but with a little guidance, you can make it as seamless and stress-free as possible. If you need additional ideas, we have more postponing wedding tips and our customer service team is always standing by to help with custom designs, or change the date wording advice! Contact us for fast and easy support with change the date cards.