Here we have it. The year is 2020, and a pandemic has broken out across the globe that has drastically altered our normal way of life. Yep, no one called it (well, maybe those folks that already have a nuclear bunker built in their basement called it). No one ever knew how it would have such a catastrophic affect on the events industry that both me and my partner work in. We, our colleagues and couples across the nation are facing the bewildering prospect of postponing a day they had been planning, in some cases, their whole lives.
We can not begin to fathom the heartbreak that Brides, Grooms and their families are experiencing right now. Our love goes out to each and every one of you. But there is a saving Grace in all of this. Currently here in the UK, we have our health in a way that some other countries do not. We’re lucky, really. And if this means we have to move dates and have patience, it’s a small (but daunting) price to pay for the privilege.
Nevertheless, no one can dump on the fact that this is rubbish. This sucks. We hate it. All of it. But hey, putting all of those frustrations aside, we wanna talk to you on a human level as a wedding supplier. We want to use our knowledge and experience as a pair of wedding photographers to offer some guidance and reassurance to you couples out there facing uncertainty. As it stands, there are three crucial topics we’ve seen circulating the web, and they are:
1) do we wait it out, postpone or do we cancel?
2) if we postpone, when do we postpone to?
3) what about my wedding insurance?
All of the above are valid queries, and whilst we won’t pretend to have all the answers, we’re certainly going to give it a good go regardless.
Postpone, don’t cancel
You’ve probably seen this phrase used a lot on socials and through wedding blogs. But it’s true; the option to postpone should come way before the option of cancelling all together. It goes without saying, your venue should be willing to do all that they can to – not just keep your custom – but be good people and make this transition as comfortable as possible for you. The reality of postponing at this stage will more than likely mean that you’ll be opting for a weekday wedding next summer, or a weekend wedding this winter. And if the prospect of moving your summer wedding to the winter is daunting, let us be the ones to tell you…
Moving a summer wedding to a winter wedding will be okay
People don’t stop getting married when September finishes. October & November are two of the most beautiful months of the year to be wed – there’s incredible colour sprawled out across the trees, the light is low and luscious all day long. And getting married in December when the festive spirit is high is pure joy. It might be cold, yes, but the love will still very much be alive throughout your day. It is never, ever the weather that makes the wedding. It is always the people.
Moving from a weekend wedding to a weekday will ALSO be okay
The hard truth is, a lot of you will end up moving your wedding to a Friday, Sunday or a weekday as many venues and suppliers are already booked up for summer 2021. Saturdays are awesome because most people have Sundays off work, sure. Consider this though, a lot of us are now working shift patterns and our working schedule is much more flexible. There is also enough notice given for weddings for your guests to request the time off they need. Every one that isn’t miserable loves a wedding, and any one loves an excuse for a long weekend. Your guests will jump at the opportunity to take one! Trust us. And they will understand your reasoning behind the decision.
What about the money?
For us, it seems basic human decency not to charge you to postpone your date. These are unprecedented times but they’re times that we’re travelling in together. As gutting as it is to hear people are profiting from this situation, we want to reassure you that we’ll be no part of that. The only thing we’d advise you to expect from your suppliers at this time, is the request to pay your balances off at the time of your original date. Why? Losing these bookings will seriously effect the cashflow of many business this year. Any attempt at normality would be a relief for us all. So, don’t be surprised if this is requested upon your postponement. It goes without saying, of course, that deposits and booking fees (excluding balances) are generally nonrefundable, and this is usually made very clear at the point of booking, or outlined in your contract. When it comes to balances, each individual may deal with their unique situation differently, but generally speaking, these aren’t normally expected to be paid if the job isn’t being done. But like we said, this might vary from supplier to supplier. Be prepared for every possible outcome, keep your composure, and let’s treat each other with a huge amount of compassion here.
The grey area of wedding insurance
It surprised us when all of this came to light how many couples out there weren’t equipped with wedding insurance. Going forward, as soon as companies start providing new policies (they have paused all new policies until more about the situation is known), we cannot stress enough how important it is to protect yourself with insurance. In the wake of this, I know a lot of suppliers that are making it part of their contractual agreement with clients. Whilst we aren’t going to be that extreme, we will go on to strongly advise all of our couples do this. Now, whilst some insured couples are being told they have no protection, we’re hearing other stories about couples that are able to claim based on certain factors – in some cases, they’re getting all their costs back for outright cancellations. Do your research if you’re insured, speak to your insurance company over the phone, and find out what your options are. Knowledge is power.
But most importantly, know this
This post is intented to be a proactive and positive one. We’re in this together and are with you, not against you. We all need to treat each other with a bit of patience and understanding. We as suppliers are doing our best to deal with the situation with an immense amount of sympathy, but equally trying to maintain our own livelihoods. If this experience has made you emotional, please take some comfort in knowing that, when this has passed (and it really will pass) that we will be so relieved to see the back of it, your guests will be bringing their a-game to your wedding like never before. Remember the nationwide euphoria of the World Cup a couple years ago? It’s gonna be like that x10. People will party in the streets. People will love hard and laugh hard. People will change for the better. Your wedding day will be even more of a celebration.
Forget the hysteria, forget the stress, forget the fear. Let’s all be part of the solution. This too shall pass.