Events Spotlight: Wedding Postponement in the Midst of COVID-19

Postponing a wedding is a daunting task that most couples never have to do. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a scenario many couples are facing.

The decision to postpone can be a very emotional and stressful one, as some of these couples have been planning for over a year and counting down the days until they can celebrate with their friends and family.

It was important to the History Center Events team that we make ourselves readily available to assist our booked weddings and events during this difficult time. We have been working very closely with all the scheduled couples to help make this process as stress-free and simple as possible, including selecting new dates and navigating through the rescheduling process.

Today, we would like to share the story of one of our postponed couples, Jess and Zack, who are looking forward to their new wedding date at the Heinz History Center in August!

Couple: Jess + Zack
Original Wedding Date: May 16, 2020
New Wedding Date: Aug. 29, 2020
Second Back-Up Date: August 2021

What made you choose the History Center for your wedding day?

We wanted a venue that showcased the city and made it accessible for our guests coming in from out of town to explore Pittsburgh and get a taste of why we love it. During our tour, though, we were really impressed with how much time the events team spent with us. We left feeling like we would be in great hands and excited to start the planning process.

Photo by Joe Appel Photography
Photo by Joe Appel Photography

When did it first come to your attention that your wedding may be affected by COVID-19, and what was your reaction?

Zack was tracking the situation closely and was more aware as things began to escalate. For us, our alertness bubbled up around March 10, which was right before Jess’s originally scheduled bridal shower date. Around that time, we were both very nervous about holding events where our friends and families could get sick. After coming to terms with everything changing so quickly, we decided that we needed to reschedule our wedding. We wanted to make the decision sooner rather than later to avoid the stress of the unknown and in hopes of finding a new date more easily.

How easy or difficult was it for you to determine a new backup date?

Rebooking our backup date with the Heinz History Center and all our vendors to Aug. 29 was unimaginably easy! We’re very fortunate that everything came together (again!) perfectly. With quick responses and help from our Event Coordinator, Shelby, at the Heinz History Center, we were able to reschedule our entire wedding in about two hours on a Monday afternoon.

What was the reaction of your vendors to the idea of postponing and the new backup date? Have they been supportive and available during this experience?

Again, we were very fortunate that all our vendors understood the situation as it was unfolding and were quick to be supportive and respond that the new date worked for their schedules.

Photo by Joe Appel Photography
Photo by Joe Appel Photography

How do you feel now that the decision to postpone your wedding to Aug. 29 has been made?

When we made the decision back in March to postpone, we were so relieved that it all worked out for a new date. With so many changes we’ve experienced in the last few weeks, right now, we feel optimistic and hopeful that we’ll be able to hold our wedding on Aug. 29!

How did your family and friends react to the news of the postponement?

All our family and friends have been supportive of the change, especially as the situation unfolded more. Initially, our discussions about the possibility of postponing were met with questions and skepticism. But as time went on, us along with our closest family members went through some heartache and finally acceptance of how the wedding and other related activities are now postponed.

What has been the most challenging part of this situation for you both?

Jess prides herself on planning everything well in advance of when it’s needed and having contingency plans before others even think of it. For her, not being prepared or able to have a definitive answer on when this may be over, or if the wedding can definitely happen, has been a challenge.

Up until we made the decision to reschedule, Zack was very stressed with the uncertainty and possibility of not having a wedding. He felt a great deal of relief after making the decision to postpone. And is now as cool as a cucumber.

Were there any unanticipated silver linings from this situation?

For us, as we were nearing the end of our 1.5 years of wedding planning, we started to stress more about the small stuff. And although this is a chaotic, stressful, and sad time, it’s also served as a reminder for us to remember that our family, friends, and well-being matter most. Those things are what we want to celebrate at the wedding.

What are you looking forward to most about your wedding at the History Center?

Finally getting hitched! It’ll be close to a two-year engagement by the time Aug. 29 comes around. At the History Center, for our friends and family outside the area, we’re looking forward to them experiencing the city in a way that we’re helping to create for them. And of course, being able to party hard and create a memorable time with those we care about the most!

Is there any advice you would give to other couples that are going through this as well?

Don’t force a date because it was the day that you picked. Remember the only thing that matters at the end of the day is being with your loved ones. It will all work out!

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding or your experience?

We’re extremely lucky that we chose lovely and compassionate vendors. When selecting them, we chose people that we had a personal connection to and felt comfortable with. Those decisions have proven to be the right ones now that we’re faced with this challenging time in the planning process.

Are you going to do anything on your originally planned wedding date?

Nothing major planned, but we’re hoping to video call with family and friends throughout the day. And perhaps pop some champagne when our ceremony was supposed to start.

Vendors

Venue: Heinz History Center
Catering: Common Plea Catering
Flowers: The Farmer’s Daughter Flowers
Lighting: EF Lighting
Entertainment: The In Transit Band
Officiant: Shua Potter
Ice Sculpture: Mastro Ice Inc.
Cake: Priory Fine Pastries
Linens: Table Talk Linens
Transportation: Antique Coach Excursions
Photography: Joe Appel Photography
Hair & Makeup: Allison Roth Studio
Wedding Dress: One Enchanted Evening
Rehearsal Dinner: Cure
Suits: Men’s Warehouse

Cassie Horrell is the director of events and Shelby Starks is the event coordinator at the History Center. Learn more about hosting your special event at the History Center on our Rental Events page.

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