I’m on day 5 of self-isolation in support of social distancing. You too? The whole world is on pause.
I’ve left my house each day only to walk around my neighbourhood – it’s quieter than usual. I’ve left once for groceries. That’s it.
All anyone is talking about is the Coronavirus. It’s in the news, it’s flooding our social media, and even if I ignored both of those outlets (which I can’t) every second email I receive is from a company sharing their new COVID-19 policies.
It’s heavy… it’s blurry. It reminds me of the first few weeks after losing someone close to you. You sort of live in a fog for a little while. Nothing quite registers beyond your own little world where everything’s been flipped on its head. Except now, the whole world’s been flipped on its head.
As with any sort of loss, we know that it’s going to get better. It can be hard to imagine when you’re in the thick of it, but life will get back to normal, you guys.
When you’re in that fog, part of getting back to normal is going about your regular activities. I know we can’t do all of our normal activities right now but there’s definitely stuff we can be doing.
Yesterday we had a Team Sage meeting via Zoom and MAN it felt so great! It totally shifted my energy and got me thinking and planning. I seriously have THE BEST team!
Later in the day I shared a glass of wine (or three) with some industry friends (again over Zoom… dude, they’re going to make a killing for the next little bit, haha!) as we discussed the implications of this pandemic on our small businesses as well as our daily lives. We talked through our fears and we also dished out a whole lot of hope and encouragement for the future.
Meet up with people, virtually of course, it really does help.
Another thing that happened yesterday is that a bride who is planning her wedding for October 31 asked me: How can I still plan my wedding when everything is closed?
Honey, PLAN. YOUR. WEDDING. Please!
We vendors may not be in our regular locations (we’re hunkered down at home in our PJs and our top-knots… likely with a kid or four hanging off us at any given time…) but we are still working, I promise. An email from you would make ANY vendor’s day! We want to be working on your wedding as much as you want to be planning it!
You still have some concerns, I can tell… let’s discuss.
1. Does anyone even want to talk about my wedding right now?
YES!! Dear god, yes! Can we please talk about anything else (aside from you-know-what) but can we especially talk about your wedding.
Remember, the people who do this for a living LOVE weddings and events. They love what they do and they want to get back to doing it as soon as possible. Reach out… send your ideas, ask for information and availability. Set up a phone call or a chat via Skype (or Zoom).
Your wedding is going to play a really important role in helping your friends and family get back to feeling normal again.
Let’s plan for that!
2. Money is a little tighter than usual. What if I can’t afford deposits?
This topic has come up in a few conversations now. Most wedding businesses are women-owned and operated and women are much more touchy about money than men tend to be. And by touchy I mean that we see that some people are stressed out and struggling (hell, most of us are stressed out and struggling… so maybe we’re projecting)… but know what people may be going through is causing business owners to feel guilty about asking people for money.
Suffice it to say that we get it. 100%
If you’re in the situation where your income has been altered temporarily you may be nervous about sending out deposits to your vendors.
Discuss your concerns with them. Communication is key. Most vendors will completely understand and will work with you to adjust the deposit amounts or set-up a custom payment plan for you if that’s something you need. Don’t let money be a barrier to your planning right now.
If your income is not likely to be affected by this and you can afford a regular deposit your vendors will very much appreciate it. This is how they buy their groceries and pay their bills after all.
3. Ok, but what if my event has to be postponed?
By far this is one of the most pressing concerns with anyone planning a wedding or event right now. What if you do all of this work and then have to move the wedding date? Will you lose your vendors? Will you lose your money?
Postponing events in this industry is something that happens all the time. We’re used to it. Maybe not mass-exodus style, like all events in an entire month at once… but we’re definitely used to it.
We can do it fast, too. We’ve moved outdoor events to the indoors 30 minutes before a ceremony was set to begin. When tornadoes hit Ottawa we moved 2 weddings to entirely new venues HOURS before the weddings began.
Friends, if your wedding is postponed (I’d say we’re all looking about 4 weeks out at the moment) – it’s totally doable. Man… if we can make massive adjustments just hours before a wedding is set to begin, imagine what we can do with a full month’s notice. I’m telling you, we’re ninjas.
If you’re looking at May or beyond for your wedding date DO continue to plan. Have a conversation with all of your vendors about what happens in the case of a postponement so that you know exactly what to expect.
If you’re not working with a professional planner our friend Shannon, from Kennedy Events, shared this great resource for coordinating your vendors’ availability for new dates: it’s called Doodle (https://doodle.com/en/) and it allows you to poll your entire vendor team to figure out which dates work for everyone.
Ladies, gents… we want to talk about your wedding right now. Let’s help each other out of this fog and do some of the normal things we love to do. Let’s make some beautiful plans for the future and look at pretty pictures on Pinterest again. It’s been less than a week but I’m antsy to get to work!