This Blog Post Was Written By Bethany, PA to Luke Granger
Currently, we are all in the midst of a very surreal situation; The world has we know it, has been turned upside down, our lives have been filled with uncertainty and our hearts torn in two. We do not know what comes next for us as individuals, us a country or even us as a world and that is a very scary situation to be in.
I am not actually here to discuss Covid-19 with you, there is enough information being bumped around about that, but I wanted to share my thoughts that may make others who are planning a wedding during this time not feel so alone.
As most of our readers will already know, Luke and I pride ourselves on being here for our couples if they should ever need us. We offer our advice and recommendations wherever we can and are always answering emails or calls assisting our brides and grooms during the wedding planning process.
As a Kent wedding photographer, We purposely restrict the number of weddings we take on each year to enable us to give each couple the attention they deserve; by the time each wedding day arrives we have built a strong bond and take great pleasure in being part of their day. It therefore pains us to hear that so many of our couples, and those around the world, are having to postpone their weddings due to the Coronavirus.
There are no words that I can give to any bride or groom that will take that kind of pain away. That pain is deep; mixed with confusion, guilt and frustration. What I can give to all those affected, is the knowledge that you are not alone. Reassurance that your feelings are valid and there are others, like us, who understand what you are going through.
Let's talk about those emotions a little...
Acceptance of this confusing situation can only really be found by mourning what you have lost. Not in the usual sense of loss of course, but there will understandably be a loss of hope and excitement. You have to acknowledge your feelings and understand them enough to be able to put them to one side and move along. Then you can go forward with planning your new day with as much excitement as you did before.
So what are you feeling?
Many of you may be feeling as though your emotions aren't valid. Others who do not understand may have even told you this by saying something like "It's only a wedding, you can reschedule" or "Get a grip, there are people dying right now". These people likely fall into one of two categories: those that are trying to make you feel better (albeit they are not having much success) or those who simply do not understand the pain you are experiencing (maybe now is the time to slim down your Christmas card list)
Firstly, it is not "only a wedding" it is "your wedding" there is a huge difference. If someone has said that to you, and you refrained from screaming, shouting or drink throwing, then I salute you. When you have planned your wedding for so long, been crossing the days on your calendar and reciting your vows in your sleep, your wedding becomes more than just a dream.
A wedding is more than just one day, it is the start of a marriage; a promise from one to another, shared in front of everyone you love, bundled into a big day full of fun and enjoyment. That is something special and the feelings you are experiencing are completely normal. Trust me, all is not lost and you can rebuild your perfect day together as a couple.
The confusion that surrounds us as a world right now, means that rescheduling is not an easy task, both practically and mentally, which understandably is causing a great deal of confusion and stress for many involved. Most venue's are trying to accommodate requests for date changes but as you can imagine, many peak dates have already been taken. It is at this point that you may have to compromise and perhaps choose an alternative day of the week or season to celebrate your love.
Here at Luke Granger Photography, we are rescheduling our couples to a new available date, free of charge. So far we have managed to accommodate everyone who has requested us to do so. Some have postponed to Winter 2020 but others into Spring or Summer 2021, all it took was a little faith and a handful of emails. Although our schedules are filling fairly rapidly, we are determined to do everything possible to help our couples, if you need our assistance or have any questions please get in touch.
So, how do you begin to start rescheduling your wedding? Here are some handy tips that might help you
- Write a list of all the suppliers you have booked for your day and prioritise them into what means the most to you as a couple. This may be a hard task but try to think about your must haves first. To 90% of couples, your venue, and photographer will take the top 2 spots but there may be other things you are keen to have that are high on your list. Entertainment can be very important for some or perhaps your chosen honeymoon needs to be in a specific season.
- Contact your 'Top 3' and try to find a date that is suitable for all, this may take a few phone calls or emails back and forth but I promise it will be worth it. Getting your top 3 booked in will help you find a bit of clarity and reassurance, being proactive will give you a sense of achievement and a new wedding date to communicate to all of your guests..
- Next, make your way through the rest of your list contacting each supplier you have booked. It will likely be easier to write one base email and change your wording where appropriate. Ask politely if they can accommodate the date change and if not, what alternative options can they offer or what their cancellation policy is. If they do have to cancel, the likelihood is that your deposit or booking fee may be lost, this is where hopefully you can refer to your wedding insurers for reimbursement.
- It may take a few days for suppliers to respond but when they do, be sure to update your list to keep track. I hope you feel the same sense of achievement that I get from ticking off lists.
- For those that are not available, don't rush finding replacements immediately; just because you can no longer have your original supplier does not mean you have to settle for someone that is second best. Take time, do your research and make sure you are happy with whoever you choose to share your day with.
There will be some things on your list that probably don't need to change at all, some may require just a little shuffling.
Here are a few examples -
- You can delay your final dress and suit fittings, but you may still need to collect them as planned, after all there is only so much room available at the store. You would then arrange to return for fittings at a later date and take your items back in. If you are doing this be sure to find a space to store them safely, you may need to rope a trusted family member in to help you.
- Your hair and make up artist may be booked on your new date but they may be able to pass over your booking to someone they recommend. This may seem a little strange but is actually fantastic; it shows not only that they have solid contacts within the industry, but also that they are keen to support you during such a difficult time.
Remember - There is always a solution to every problem, you just have to be a little open minded to find a way to make it work.
A few other points to remember...
- Finances - You may still be contractually required to make final payments to your suppliers in line with the original wedding date. If you feel you may struggle to do this, it is important to be open and honest, speak with them to come up with a suitable arrangement. If your own income has suffered as a result of Covid-19 and you are unsure how you can afford to continue with your booking, then don't panic. Some of your suppliers may be able to suggest an alternative solution such as reducing the package you have chosen or creating an affordable payment plan.
- Wedding Insurance - Although some insurance companies do not cover against 'Force Majeure" situations like the Coronavirus, they will likely cover accidental damage or loss for any wedding related items such as your dress or rings if. As you may have to place these into storage it may be worthwhile getting a policy in place if you haven't already.
- Guests - There may be a selection of guests who are unable to attend your new wedding date. They may have a holiday booked or an event they have already committed to. Although this is an awful shame try not to be too disheartened.
Although this process will be difficult, remember you have each other to lean on. Love cannot be postponed, even if your wedding day has to be.