Well friends, who ever thought this is where we would be? We’ve been pretty quiet over here, putting blogging on the back burner (and many other things). We quite literally had most of our year upended and turned on its head due to Coronavirus, like many of you. Are you tiring of seeing that word yet? I know we sure are.
We haven’t wanted to jump in quickly, as our team is learning day by day how to handle this pandemic. When it comes to events, there’s a lot going on. We can offer so much guidance, and that is not something that sits well with us. I didn’t want to quickly add to the conversation of “What’s the right thing to do?” when quite frankly, there aren’t a whole lot of black and white answers. And that stinks.
We feel so deeply for our spring and early summer clients who have had to deal with this situation. And even those of you who aren’t our clients but still being effected – we are SO SORRY this is happening. This virus is not only taking lives away, which is the most important and most to be grieved. But, it is also taking away the joy of celebrating, our very business. It’s no secret every industry and business is taking a hard hit right now. However, being a part of the event industry has allowed us to see firsthand the damage it’s making on many small businesses we love.
Currently, our team is working with our May and June clients on postponing their events. It’s SO sad to anticipate these big days for so long and then have to move them. Some don’t have the choice, and some we’ve realized it’s in the best interest for. Continuing to plan amidst this pandemic is hard. We know our sadness doesn’t even compare to what they and their families are feeling! But being a Planner, we feel so much of it firsthand.
Because we only take on a select number of events a year, we’re in a position where we have a lot of available dates for our clients to choose from. From our own Planner standpoint, it’s been smooth sailing on our end. We’re so glad our bride(s) and/or groom(s) trust us so much and want to keep us on board. We adore you all and are cheering you on.
We’re also taking some of this time to work on our fall and 2021 clients! The fall season, with so many people postponing to then, is going to be nuts. If you’re planning on marrying in the fall of 2020, this is absolutely not the time to drag your feet on booking vendors and making decisions! Dates are now in high demand, and vendors are going to be insanely busy in an already busy season.
We sure are! We recommend clients who are postponing their events to reschedule to fall at the earliest, as there’s really no telling how long this virus will stick around. One also doesn’t know what Stay at Home orders or mandates may still be in place. Sadly, we also don’t know how businesses will be operating, now and even until then. The hard truth is, many businesses are being vastly effected by this pandemic, and some may not make it out the other side. It shouldn’t keep summer + fall bride(s) and/or groom(s) from continuing to plan, because you have to. You can’t just throw in the towel when deadlines are important! But if considering a postponement, it’s good to keep in mind. That vendor you’ve been casually eyeing is now going to be getting a lot more interest from other couples.
If you’re a late 2020 bride and/or groom, you may notice planning has been put on a bit of a hold for you, too. The event industry is a $1 billion a year global industry that is mainly small businesses. Many of these small businesses are making life-saving decisions at the moment.
Cutting down on staff, furloughing employees, scaling down on hours they’re working – this does effect those of you still planning your late 2020 and beyond events. Hang in there. Show some grace – there may be some delays, but if you’re working with a Planner, be confident we’re your advocate. We are contacting those vendors when we see fit and raising alarm only when needed. Ultimately, there’s no reason why most vendors shouldn’t be able to continue working with you. Meetings may be now virtual or only over phone/email, but wedding planning doesn’t just stop.
As we mentioned above, your vendors are likely most, if not all, small businesses, having to quickly adjust to this pandemic. We’re grieving alongside you. Although there is talk of small business loan relief, many of us business owners do not qualify for unemployment, and are also not eligible for many of the SBA loans that have been thrown around. That, and with many of these stimulus bills being so quickly thrown together, there is lots of fine print, red tape and long delays.
Some of the biggest areas of concern we are seeing are the catering and floral industries.
We don’t know every ounce of this struggle for florists currently, but social media has given us a glimpse into how devastating the canceling and postponing of events has been to florists and floral wholesalers alike. Bottom line is: If flowers are super important to you, postponing may be in your best interest. Because of Covid-19, some flowers may not be available at the time of your event.
Florists have to place order weeks in advance, and there’s a chance your original design plans may not come to fruition. There is also the chance your order is placed, your payment made and this pandemic continues, putting you out a pretty penny for florals you’ll never see. And as you can assume, that’s not a cost your florist can magically cover. Trust your florist with this knowledge. We only know some of the struggle, but it’s important to note, as flower-lovers ourselves.
Our friends at Evergreen Flower Co. created this graphic for couples who are considering postponing their weddings:
Many florists are also on Instagram sharing this video of wholesalers disposing of perfectly good flowers. There is no use for them, as all March, April and most May events have been canceled or postponed. If you love flowers as much as we do, it’s a sad video to see.
We’re going to need celebrations once this is over more than ever! As we’ve stated before, fall is about to be an insane season for many of us vendors. We’re ready and excited! To the same effect, 2021 is also going to have a lot more competition due to postponements. If there are vendors you really want to book, now is the time to do so.
We’ve all had plans disrupted, planning a wedding or not. At the end of the day, try and remember your vendors are doing the best they can during this situation. A situation we all never could have expected. A lot of vendors have families to support as well, and are in survival mode. Vendors who are sticking to contracts, bending when they can, showing grace but also the ones who are making the tough calls are going to be the ones to make it out the other side.
Engaged you? You’re going to be okay, too. At the end of the day, the marriage is ALWAYS the most important part. Your relationship is of the utmost importance. As long as you get married to your person, that’s all that matters. It may not look like you planned, but it will be okay. The party can always come later! Try to look at the bigger picture. We feel for you but are still rooting for you and your marriage above all else!
Cheers, friends. Can’t wait to see you all and hug you again.