I have contacted you before with an etiquette question and you were a great help, now I have a new dilemma. For our destination wedding in July we sent out save the dates 9 months in advance to ensure everyone had plenty of time to apply for their vacation. We had everything booked with our resort to accommodate the full 7 days for all guests. Well, the resort we are staying at has had delays with the remodeling they are doing and now they cannot accommodate our full 7 days but only 5. Formal invites are to go out within the next 2 weeks, what is the proper way to make an amendment to the original dates given and notify everyone of the shortened trip.
–Frustrated Bride, Pennsylvania
The good news is that the resort will be newly renovated and you’ll be the first guests in freshly painted rooms. Nevertheless, you’ll need to follow up to make sure the hotel is keeping to its reopening date. Please, don’t worry about the information on your save-the-date, because often it ends up being somewhat different from the invitation in terms of formality, location, or date.
It would definitely soften the blow if you could get some sort of compensation for the inconvenience. Either an upgrade on the rooms, or complimentary breakfast or lunch. See if you can negotiate something with the manager as a reward to your guests for being flexible, such as a side trip, possibly on a boat.
Consider another hotel as a backup. Then weigh the problem of changing airline tickets with switching hotels. The hotel certainly can not hold you to your original agreement; you’ll have to read the fine print of your agreement. The manager should be able to obtain a reservation at a nearby hotel for the original two additional nights for those who wish to stay seven nights, if you stay at the original resort.
On your wedding website you can announce the change in dates. On your letterhead makeup a note to your guests, crossing out the ‘wedding guests’ with a slash and writing their first names instead:
Dear wedding guests,
Due to circumstances beyond our control at the Carib Hilton in Antigua, our destination wedding reservation has been changed to July 1st to 6th. We’re looking forward to seeing each and everyone of you then. Please, send us your best email address so we can keep you posted. In the meantime, all updates and other pertinent information will be on our wedding website: DestinationWedding@RachelandJohn.com
All best wishes,
Rachel and John (hand sign the names)
On your wedding invitation, you will have the new dates. If the invitation is formal, send the note separately. Seriously, you needn’t make a bigger deal out of this than it is by over-explaining or apologizing, because glitches occur in all weddings. Remember, there was a time before the save-the-date when guests didn’t necessarily know the exact wedding date until the invitation arrived in the mail. Or even know for sure they were being invited. It is what it is.
We’re here to help, so please let us know how this works for you, and if you have any further questions.
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