Wediquette Wednesday: We decided to do a ‘tiny wedding’ rather than cancel, how do we tell those who already got save-the-dates?


Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)


Question: My fiancé and I planned to get married at the end of June, but he is immunocompromised and we don’t feel comfortable moving forward with the large wedding we originally had on the books, due to that and the continued restrictions on gatherings. We sent save the dates six months ago to hundreds of loved ones and colleagues, but the actual wedding invitations weren’t scheduled to go out until next week. We’re going to keep the date at the beautiful courtyard location we originally picked, but scale it back to just us, plus the officiant (at the appropriate distance) and a (socially-distanced photographer), then video conference in our immediate family, so they can participate safely, from afar. Later, when the crises has passed, we hope to have a delayed reception. My question is, since we decided to do a ‘tiny wedding’ rather than cancel, how do we tell those who already got save-the-dates?

Answer: I’m sorry you and your fiancé are faced with such a tough decision and are having to change the vision you had for your Big Day. Your solution sounds beautiful, intimate and personal. This is all so unprecedented and all of us are having to make the decisions that are best for us and our loved ones. We are conversely being tasked with understanding and having empathy when our loved ones have to make those decisions. Get the word out via phone, email, wedding website and any other means you have to let everyone who got a save-the-date know that due to COVID restrictions and an abundance of caution, you decided to change the plan to an intimate ceremony with just you and the officiant. After the wedding, mail everyone on the list a wedding announcement with a photo from the ceremony and a simple message that you look forward to celebrating with them in the future.



Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email




*This article originally ran in May 2020



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