As the novel Coronavirus continues to unfold, wedding industry professionals are facing uncertain times while couples are doing their best to remain afloat through the unpromising, forced changes. Couples who have the mindset that “The Show Still Goes On” are thinking outside their original dream plan and having celebrations on their porch, in the backyard, along the waterfront and even an intimate apartment ceremony while family and friends watch from the worlds leading video conferencing platform, Zoom.
Planning a wedding requires one to have patience and an open mind otherwise you may find yourself having uncontrollable spurts of lashing out, taking advice from the wrong people and constantly itching with panic. I’m a soon to be bride and I am guilty of lashing out at times due to the uncertainty of plans moving forward and the ever changing guidelines from the CDC and our Governor.
To wear a mask outside or not to wear a mask outside. To stand 6 feet apart or 10 feet apart. Social distancing or is it really called physical distancing. To quarantine or to isolate yourself; what do they mean ?? To strip down and wash clothes on high heat or walk through your house with the same clothes on you’ve been wearing all day. Anti-bacterial should have 60 % alcohol, no wait 70% and even 90% is better! If sold out of the good kind, settle for the 60% its still effective if you lather up! Oh, wait… anti-bacterial does not work anymore so you should wash your hands with HOT, soapy water. And, the list goes on and on and on. Folks on social media have become sudden experts while YouTubers are becoming famous for their 2-3 minute hand washing videos explaining how to kill germs.
Couples are faced with tough decisions whether to cancel or postpone their event due to a number a factors while industry professionals are becoming advocates for the ” Postpone. Don’t Cancel #SAVEEVENTS ” movement. As a soon to be bride and floral professional, I see this from both sides. I’ve had clients cancel even 2 weeks before their wedding and no, I did not make them pay their balance because services were not complete. Many have had brides turn into bridezillas over this pandemic and mothers itching for answers like many of us are. Unfortunately, there is no good answer because everyone is in the dark. No one knows for certain that a second wave will not sweep the nation in the fall or the flu will spread rapid and government officials will force citizens to go on lock down mode again placing a pause on gatherings.
As we know it, this outbreak could forever change the wedding culture. On the contrary, the fact is that this outbreak has helped put things into perspective. This shift in society is going to be one for the books so I hope many are keeping a journal or photo blog of events occurring and how those are adapting. While it is easy to say or think ” Just cancel and get married because at the end of the day it is about YOU TWO” it is not that easy. Things have been put into motion, deposits have been made along with re-occurring payments that according to contract are not refundable. At times, cancelling one plan and starting over is more stressful depending on the extent of Plan B. Oh and did I mention hundreds of clients have LOST XXXXX $$$ ?!
With 10 weeks left, couples like me and my fiance still do not have answers and therefore are unable to just cancel and book something new. We need to find a Priest because though my cousin can marry us, his ordination wash pushed to the end of August and not June as originally planned due to the Virus. Despite what you’d think it’s not been a walk in the park to up and find a Catholic Priest to co celebrate either. Gathering sizes will not be determined here until Phase 2 ends on June. 26th and that is if they do not extend it. Going from a wedding of 125 + guests that received Save the Dates to Immediate Family only receiving an Invitation is difficult because we want everyone to share in our joy. And though many could gather for the ceremony, the number is unknown for a reception gathering. Life still goes on and there is much to be done in the months ahead moving passed a wedding. For me, I’ve got goals of evaluating for AIFD again, attending a National Symposium which helps me keep my CFD otherwise if not, I get suspended from the industry! Yes, it’s true so I’m doing everything in my power to prevent that, keep up with trends, continue studying and move forward with online education until we can gather. Also, representing the State of North Carolina in the Arkansas Design Competition. In addition, my fiance has summer conferences he’d like to attend and we’d like to start a family. No, there is no real rush, but time is valuable and how you spend your time dictates your future.
We do not want to put anyone at risk or make other uncomfortable wearing gloves, masks and having a hug-less and dance-less wedding. We want to kiss and say I love you to our family and friends along with the numerous handshakes. It’s tough and there is no easy way to figure this out, but please know that Every. Single. Day we discuss a back up plan. Right now the wedding industry may be taking a cutting, but I do believe we will be the first to THRIVE again once all can safely gather. The determining factor is out of our control, so what we can do is take control of our health by protecting those around us.
Perhaps our Plan B will not mirror Plan A; therefore, we are going to do our best to communicate with one another, industry professionals and our family to figure out the best decision possible. Lastly, if we post pone everything to next year, we risk loosing out on our fabulous vendors and they are true GEMS in our lives.