So let’s just start this post off the only way I know how—to be honest and say this effin’ blows. There is no easy way around this and the uncertainty is damn well terrifying.
To my couples and ALL couples of 2020 who are planning their wedding, plus my fellow wedding industry friends and colleagues … I am sorry. My heart breaks for everyone as a collective.
Planning a wedding, big or small is already super stressful … let’s add in a world wide pandemic and we have ourselves a real mess. I’ve come up with a few honest words of advice to hopefully ease the process for the next stages of life and to let you know you are most definitely not alone.
Some of this advice has come from other industry professionals and some include thoughts I have had while laying in bed in the middle of the night thinking “how can I help my couples through this without completely tanking my business”.
Ok so, what the fu*k do we do now?
• It’s ok to be stressed and freak out for a bit … this is a totally normal reaction.
You are allowed to yell obscenities and eat a bag of mini eggs in one sitting. Right now, you are probably thinking, this is terrible advice Carissa. Are you going to sing me soft kitty and tell me it’s all going to be ok? (Side note, I do feel like I can say, yes it will be ok) I also think it’s totally normal to feel stressed and worried.
Let’s not pretend, we are ALL freaking out here. We are walking into something unknown and something we have never dealt with before. My advice? Let yourself have those feelings of panic and stress and sit with them. Sit in that uncomfortable mess of feelings you never wanted to feel and then … let them go … and pick yourself up and keep moving forward…. but, ok… don’t forget to bring the mini eggs with you…..and ok, maybe some hard liquor – just incase.
• Connect with your vendors!
I can 100% tell you that I have your back – TRUST IN THIS. I want to help you in whatever way I can but I cannot help you if you don’t communicate with me. None of us can really say what it going to happen in the next week let alone the next month—it is all up in the air however; chatting to your vendors early on to see what they are willing to do, what concessions we can make or what our suggestions are might not only help ease the burden of figuring out this shit storm but communication is fundamental right now.
This is also the best course of action for YOU, if you want to keep any non-refundable retainers that you have made while planning your wedding.
• It’s time to get creative
We are being told right now that events of 15 people or less are allowed (but please continue to check in with Alberta Health Services and follow all guidelines that are being asked of us)
If your wedding is coming up, we have the potential to scale down the guest list -a lot – and keep your original date. I know it sucks to not have everyone you wanted with you but the option to FaceTime or livestream your ceremony for guests who cannot attend is a very possible one.
Elope and celebrate later—if you have the mindset of ‘married is what matters’ then let’s do it! Let’s elope and throw an epic party another day … or, now hear me out … don’t throw a party. I cannot tell you how many couples I have talked to who second guessed their decisions so if that’s you — now is kind of your get out of jail free card.
You can say “sorry—COVID-19″ and do it exactly how you always wanted!
Postponing or rescheduling, I know boo, not what you wanted to hear and I am sorry but as I saw another photographer say, you have to be flexible … so that might mean changing your wedding date. Whether that’s on a week day, a couple months later or a year—if it means you still get to have all your loved ones celebrating with you and the wedding you put blood, sweat and tears into planning—then that is what has to be done my friend.
What I ask of you:
If you are thinking of rescheduling please reach out to me prior to confirming a new date with other vendors and if possible a list of other potential dates so we can work together to find a new date that works for you and me (thus allowing you to keep your non-refundable retainer) The reason why I ask this is I have several other couples who are doing the same thing, as well as 2021 couples looking for a photographer and the more options we all allow for the better. Remember, I want to work with you but I need you to put in the effort as well.
Fun Fact: I got married on a Wednesday and you know what … it didn’t change a thing. It was still an awesome day! Check it out here if you want!
Lastly, BE KIND
This relates to wedding stuff but also just basic human decency – can we all just agree to be kind to one another. Please.
As my pal Laurken Kendall said, “Let us always try to bear in mind that everyone is hurting. It’s better to speak from a place of empathy even if you don’t agree with their decisions. Things are just going to get more complicated and kindness goes a long way. Find betterment, not further depression, in your quarantine. We’ll get through this.”
I know you are going through a roller coaster of emotions right now. This pain runs deeper than “the wedding” and I know things are scary right now. It’s ok to grieve and be sad but while you do so —be kind not only to others but to yourself.
Remember, we are all doing the very best we can and if Joe Exoctic’s eyebrow ring has taught us anything – just keep hanging on.