We’re in lockdown still… fun innit!!!
Plan a wedding they said. It’ll be easy they said. And then COVID-19 stormed into our lives all of a sudden and the hospitality/wedding industry ground to a halt seemingly overnight. Those first two weeks seem a lifetime ago, everything was up in the air, no one knew what was going to happen and advice was thrown about with little regard. I spent those first two weeks contacting all of our couples, chatting on the phone, web-chats, email convos, just to be present and not one of those burying their heads in the sand hoping this was going to go away soon! Our couples were alarmed, worried and didn’t know if their upcoming weddings were happening or not; everyone was in a bit of a panic, being present and available to chat options and offer alternative ideas and dates was something our couples were grateful for. There was a fair amount of diary rearranging (still is as we keep moving forward with no firm dates set yet) with couples having to reschedule dates for later this year and couples postponing until next year. Thankfully so far I’ve managed to accommodate all new date requests, and even had couples choose their new dates depending on our availability!
So what advice can I offer couples who are due to be married later in the year? Same as when this kicked off- have a contingency plan just in case! Contact your venue (especially if it’s a venue who host a large number of weddings each year) contact your church (if applicable) and local registry office first for a list of available dates and then approach all of your other wedding suppliers asking the same thing. Most couples will have an order of priority for their suppliers, so base any new dates on accommodating as many of your high priority suppliers as possible- for example, most of our couples hold photography high on their priority list, but of course go by your list. Most wedding suppliers I’ve been chatting with have been rescheduling dates with no financial penalties and recommending other suppliers similar to themselves if conflicting dates throw a spanner in the works. We keep a network of pro-wedding suppliers as it’s always a kool thing to help a couple out if they ask for a recommended service- of course this network is suppliers whom we’ve worked with and align with our high standards!
Online video calls have always been useful for couples who live distances away, but lately they have been an integral part of life; use them to chat with your wedding suppliers, chat ideas and options- it’s so much quicker than bouncing back’n’forth with emails, plus to those who are still in the planning stage, it’s a great way to keep positive and distracted from the news by immersing yourselves into the wonderful world of weddings, even if only an hour or two. We use web-chats to talk with couples still planning weddings as face-to-face chats are not sensible currently and our booking system is online also so not impacted by what is going on right now.
Moving forward, most couples will now be aware of cancellation policies, insurances, etc. and this is a good thing, as all professional suppliers (y’know, the ones who remain pro when the proverbial hits the fan) should have these already in place and happy to supply proof on request. You want to know you’re in safe and experienced hands right? Don’t be afraid of asking details like these, sometimes it’s the small details that make the biggest impact.
Wedding insurance is one thing EVERY couple should have in place before shelling out any deposits/booking fees and check the small print as they can be slippery snakes when it comes to paying out as many couples have sadly found out. Do your homework on this and don’t be one of those caught out; wedding insurance has always been one of those items you hope to never need but when you do, immensely glad you have it!
So stay positive, keep planning weddings and if you’re upcoming wedding is affected by this, hang in there, change the date and look forward to it all over again, your day will still be amazing 🙂