Coronavirus & Weddings
A message to my couples and fellow wedding suppliers
Monday, March 23rd, 2020 saw my other half (Martin) turn 30 and it was a 30th birthday like no other – the UK government declared national lockdown due to the Coronavirus/ Covid19. It is now June and despite everything being semi-relaxed, things are most certainly not back to normal. I have been wanting to write a blog post regarding this pandemic for a very long time, but like many wedding suppliers in the industry, I have been prioritising wedding postponements and organising pre-wedding shoots and family shoots.
This blog post is designed to inform you of my personal experience with the Coronavirus and how it has directly impacted my little business and my couples’ wedding plans.
To Brides, Grooms and Couples Postponing Weddings
I cannot fathom how stressful this time is/ has been for you. I know that many of you have been planning your dream wedding for months (even years.) Coronavirus has meant that you have had to face unwelcome changes such as postponing to an off-peak date, the possibility of not being able to have all of your guests attend, finding new wedding suppliers (as some of your original vendors cannot make your new date) – the list goes on. My calendar has been completely wiped of weddings from now through to September (however, I do have a couple of very, very small weddings that might still be able to go ahead.) 2020 was due to be my busiest year with over 40 incredible weddings booked in. I am astounded that I have been able to book nearly all of my brides and grooms in for either the tail end of this year or sometime during next year. Every single one of my couples has been so understanding and has worked tirelessly with me to find a new date that works for themselves and their other wedding vendors. I will be completely honest and admit that I have sadly been unable to accommodate all of my 2020 wedding bookings however I have been able to ensure that I can provide said couples with a list of talented photographers who are free to shoot their new date.
I am hoping that those of you who have postponed (some even more than once) have been able to take a small amount of solace in that when your new date finally comes around, you will be able to have your wedding day without the stress and worry of the Coronavirus. Like everyone in the wedding industry, I am hoping that weddings will resume soon however none of us knows if this will happen for certain and what restrictions may be in place. Despite the upheaval of having to change the date of your wedding, I would stress that you do what’s right for you. Just please understand that many of us are extremely busy for next year so if you have got new dates in mind please, please, please check them with your wedding suppliers first. I am extremely lucky in that I have been able to offer back up dates for my couples ensuring that if their 2020 wedding is unable to go ahead they can postpone to next year.
I am aware that many of you are very anxious about your upcoming weddings (especially if you are looking to get married this year) and uncertain of what to do for the best. If you have any questions or worries, please do not hesitate to contact me. Even if you are reading this and are not one of my couples. I would be more than willing to give you some reassurance and guidance (although I do not have all of the answers.) Please do reach out if you need someone to talk to.
To fellow Wedding Photographers & Suppliers
Like many wedding suppliers, my business is my livelihood. The stress and panic that has been caused by the Coronavirus has been excruciating however, having a small group of wedding vendors to talk to has been a godsend. If you are worrying about everything that is going on but you don’t feel like you can reach out to anyone about it, please do try talking to another photographer, videographer, florist etc. It will help put your mind at ease and might even give you some ideas on how to cope both financially and mentally. I have been ensuring that my presence on social media is very much there (even though I really don’t feel like posting at times.) It has been so hard to gain motivation and enthusiasm especially when everything has been put on hold and I haven’t been able to capture new content but the messages of support I have been receiving have been worth it. Many of us (wedding photographers) have been proactive with advertising other areas of photography such as commercial, family and couple shoots. I am lucky in the sense that one of my Wedding Photography packages includes a pre-wedding shoot so I have been hard at work trying to fit in all of my 2021 bride and groom’s shoots in for this year. Having something booked in the diary to look forward to almost feels like a glimmer of hope, even though the Summer has been written off for weddings.
Financially, the self-employed grant has been a great help and booking in 2022 weddings has meant that deposits have been slowly coming in keeping my account topped up. I am definitely not a financial advisor but I have approached many of my couples who have postponed to see if they would be happy to pay their remaining balance a month before their original 2020 wedding date. With everything going on, I realise that this is a delicate subject and it has therefore not been possible for some of my couples however, many of my couples have the money saved and have been willing to keep to their original payment terms. This means that my earning are going to be able to be split between this year and next ensuring that I have an income this year (despite hardly any weddings.)
Lastly, the one trick that works best for me is actually one that goes against most of the blogs I have been reading… remove yourself from large social media groups and forums. I like to keep myself to myself and despite the good that Facebook groups can bring, there is also a tonne of bad points. I have a very small group of wedding vendor/ photographer friends whom I am in contact with occasionally, chatting about the odd news updates, and general support/advice. Facebook groups can be great for checking in with what everyone else is doing however, from my own experience the conversation often goes off tangent and forms into a heated debate rather than a constructive chat! It’s also great to have advice however thinking and talking about the Coronavirus can be tiring so switching off from it has meant that I have been able to selfishly forget about the circumstances for a little while. Please be aware that everyone is different. These are deeply unsettling, uncertain and worrying times and we are all trying to get our head around it all in our own way. Fingers crossed that our industry will recover and that we can get back to doing what we love very soon.
None of us know what’s going to happen or the full extent of the impact this pandemic will have on our lives, businesses and wedding plans. I have days when I feel optimistic and driven and I have some days when I feel very much the opposite. I absolutely love what I do and before this all started I was looking at a very full, daunting yet exciting diary. I would love to continue writing blog posts, especially covering subjects that are surrounded by the Coronavirus. If this blog post has helped you in any way and (despite the serious/ stressful content) you enjoyed reading it I would love to hear from you.
Thank you, Megan xx