Many couples have been forced to postpone their wedding as a result of the coronavirus/COVID19 global pandemic, and we are so, so sorry if this includes you.

With advice to cancel indoor gatherings of 100 people or outdoor gatherings of 500 people or more, it hasn't left most couples with wedding plans for the next few weeks with many options other than to postpone.

We are genuinely heartbroken for anyone who has had to take that decision, but it is important to remember - as bad as it currently feels - that this is all temporary, your love is forever, and you are (hopefully) postponing, not cancelling your wedding.

Many of you will have discussed with your wedding venues, wedding coordinators and wedding planners what the next steps are, but many of you also don't have the mental space to plan a whole new day right now.

And with such a fluid, changing situation, and no indication of when this will be completely over just yet, many of you simply won't want to put plans in motion until you know how this whole thing is going to play out.

You don't want to postpone twice - it's understandable. So what do you tell your guests?


If you're postponing your wedding due to coronavirus, tell your VIPs first

This is likely what you will be doing anyway, as it's only natural to go to your closest family and friends with news of changed plans, first. But make sure that includes your whole wedding party.

Whether you have a new date in mind already, or you're not quite sure what to do, talk to your family, wedding party and anyone else who was due to play a special or significant role let them know the wedding will be postponed.

If you have a new proposed date, check and see whether they are available for that day. Of course you'll want them all to be there, but if you've jumped through hoops to find the perfect date for all your original vendors, you might need some flexibility on their part or to change your line-up at the worst case.


Next, tell your guests that your wedding is postponed

Assuming they have been paying attention to the news and not laying low under a rock, chances are your guests know these pandemic related restrictions have been placed on big gatherings.

In last night's Ministerial Address, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar name-checked weddings as events that were ill-advised for the next couple of weeks while we try to contain the spread of coronavirus or COVID19, so your guests will likely expect a cancellation.

There is no need to invest in a new set of print save the dates (unless you would like to, of course!) - your guests will understand your trying to get the word out quickly.

Email them all to explain that you have decided to postpone your celebrations and if you haven't got a new plan yet, let them know that you'll be in touch ASAP once you've decided when and where.

If you're not sure what to say, you can keep it brief. Something along the lines of: "In light of the current situation, we're changing our wedding date so we can all celebrate safely. We'll be in touch shortly with our new wedding date!" will do the job perfectly.

If you have arranged a new date, the more notice you can give them the better, so don't hold off telling them - they'll hopefully be available and only delighted to have something to look forward to once things calm down.


Update your wedding website to reflect the postponed wedding date

If you have set up a wedding website with all your details, it can be easy to forget all about it with so much going on. Your guests may not want to bother you at such a stressful time, and so may be checking your website for updates in the mean time.

Add a note to your homepage about your change of plans, and include the new date if you have it decided. If not, you can use similar wording to your email just for guests who might miss the email or see this first.

As you rearrange your plans, just keep your website updated and try to flag any major differences from the original wedding (for example, if the hotel you've booked a room block at has changed from your original wedding date or you had to change your ceremony location as a result of postponing) along the way in a clear way so people don't assume it's the same plan on a new date.


Finally, if you're postponing your wedding due to coronavirus, try to stay positive

We know this is rich of us to say - it's not our wedding that's just been cancelled by a global pandemic after all. But try to remember that you are not cancelling the day, but postponing it. It's still happening, and even amidst all of the panic at the moment, you get to be excited about that.

If you're postponing your wedding because of coronavirus, the whole thing is largely out of your control. Try not to let the stress and upset ruin the run up to your wedding for you.

As awful as this whole situation is, remember that what's most important is that you're marrying your partner, surrounded by your friends and family, and that everyone feels safe and happy. Even if you could have a large celebration right now, your loved ones would likely feel at least a little on edge being around so many people. And yourselves too!

When you come back for round two, make it the biggest and best party of your lives. You absolutely deserve it.


Related to coronavirus: All your COVID19 questions, answered!