I asked on my Instagram stories if you wanted a little insight into life as a wedding vendor experiencing the effects of Covid and for advice on how to postpone in the most considerate and easy way possible. So if you are reading this, you are awesome. It means that you care and love us for the humans we are and not just as someone providing a service like a little minion.
So here's a quick little reality of the effects of Covid from a vendor's side of things. Overnight I lost all of my income without any notice. I work for the love of it but I also work because this is my job too. A job that I need to feed my family with, pay our mortgages with, put clothes on our back with and so much more. Just like you have an income, this is mine. Not only has Covid affected my business it has also put my personal life on hold too in such a big way. I will touch more on this below. Times are tough for all of us right now, we are here for you.
Plain and simple, the best way to look after yourself and your vendors is to postpone, not cancel.
If you are to cancel, a non refundable booking fee may cover the work to date but what it doesn't cover is income we had projected for that date. Often we can't fill a booking in a short amount of time and there's no way to make up that income on such short notice. And for you, you lose out too as you will loose your money paid to secure that booking but also you miss out on having a vendor whose fully invested in you creating a service that you had longed to have. You booked them for a reason right?!
If you are to postpone what it means is we get to complete the initial task: Provide you with a service that's going to help to make your day everything you had dreamt of. This is what we live for, we don't want to build a great relationship and ride the planning journey with you only to get dumped before the big day because you jumped the gun when picking a new date. We want to be there to see you enjoy your day just as you had planned from the very start (or with a few tweaks). Postponing also means that we do not lose our income from you that we need to keep this business thriving. The more you consider your vendors the more chance they are still going to be in business when your wedding day does come around. Unfortunately a lot of businesses won't make it through this second wave so please look after yourself but also your team too. Disclaimer: We are your team. We got you.
So here's where our side of things come in. Let me explain the long term effects of Covid on a wedding vendor. For every wedding that postpones we most likely will miss out on income for that date as it's generally too short of a time frame to secure another booking. Given that most of us book 18 months in advance we are already booked out on a lot of future dates. If you are to postpone to a peak season date or a Saturday there is the chance that we will then not be able to take on another booking on that day therefore lose income for that day/week. This means that multiple postponements will affect our income for up to 2 years after every Covid outbreak. If choosing a date in a peak season or a Saturday is important to you we will always do our best to fit you in so that you can have the day you have envisioned. However when this happens we over extend ourselves trying to fit everything in and generally will have to pay for more staff in order to take on the extra work load. That is if any staff are even available in peak season due to the already increased work load. So to summarise, a postponement to a popular date can equate to loss of income from 1x potential booking with pricing reflective of new date + negative health impacts + loss of income due to staffing requirements.
A lot of vendors had the most intense workload over the last 12 months trying to play catch up with bookings. We did not foresee this happening and neither did you. With this increased workload so many of us have been affected so greatly mentally and physically. We all have different circumstances outside of our jobs that you also don't often see. People have experienced deaths, marriage breakups, financial pressure, miscarriages, the list could go on yet we have had to push through and just get the job done. That’s just what we do to make your dream day a reality. We do this because we love you and we love what we do.
So you all asked for my personal experience with Covid. Here it is. My now Husband and I were due to get married 1 year ago when Covid First hit. We were going to try for a baby straight after but chose to put this on hold until we were married. We have our beautiful boy Hugo but we have also been pregnant before this too. When I first opened my retail shop I pushed myself so hard to run the business, keep up with the workload and put my best foot forward. I didn't want to say no to anyone as I was so new in business and felt it would set me back or I would get a bad review. Ahh that dreaded bad review fear. My shop was so successful so quickly. I was doing 14 hour days 6 days a week just to keep up with the demand. I was pregnant and didn't tell anyone because that's all I knew to do from those around me. I pushed myself so hard that I had a miscarriage. I put my work and reputation before my body and our baby.
Being a florist involves so much physical labour, stress on the body and mind and long hours. Taking on this increased workload due to Covid was as much pressure on my body and mind as was this time running a successful shop. We are now married but are yet to fall pregnant as I have been working like crazy trying to keep up with the demands of increased bookings and my greatest fear is that if I do, will I have a miscarriage again? This is just my personal experience and I can confidently tell you we all have things going on in our personal lives that we put to the back just to keep our business running and be professional. This isn’t an easy thing to share but I feel it is so important to share story’s like this in order to encourage others to speak out if they are struggling and to know they are not alone.
So here’s what you can do to have the smoothest postponement possible and look after yourself and your vendors too:
Be open to rescheduling to a week day or off peak time. Don’t know when off peak times are? Ask your vendors and they will let you know. This will help with our workload by spreading it out and helps prevent us from having burn out come the time of your wedding. We want to give you our all and it’s pretty hard to when we physically and mentally can’t. Not only does it help with our sanity it helps with our finances too meaning that we will be able to have regular income and fill gaps in order to try and recoup some of the money lost. Speaking of finances, it gives you the better opportunity to have a date where all of your vendors are available so that you don’t lose any of your booking fees.
Consult with ALL of your vendors before postponing and give them date options to choose from. Try your absolute hardest to find a date that works both for you and your dream team. The easiest way to do this is to create a google doc. This is a live document that allows you to edit and everyone see it. You can create a column running down one side with all of your preferred vendors and a column running the other way with your preferred date options. Your vendor can put in red or green to let you know if they are available. This is really easy to read and this way saves all of the emails back and forth. We are emailing multiple couples right now so the most efficient and easy way possible to do this will make sure that we can be as responsive to you and others the best that we can. We understand that securing a new date may be top priority to you so the more time we have to do this the better. Plus, just remember we are not getting paid to move dates etc so your consideration on this is always well received.
Sam from The Wedding Social Co has created a document for you to use to help you book in a new date without the headache. Click on the link below.
Be kind, patient and considerate to your vendors. Please try to remember that we are humans too. We are here to do the best we can for you and that is what we will do. If you give love, you will receive it back. We feel for you so much as from personal experience I know postponing sucks. The more positive mindset you can manifest the better the postponement experience will be and the wait will make it even better when the day comes around.
Lastly, pour yourself a wine and take a deep breath. Reside in the fact that you are marrying your person because you love them, not for the wedding. Your day will come and it will be amazing in whatever shape or form.
To all of my amazing couples reading this I am giving you a big virtual hug. You day will come and it will be the best day of your lives. From the bottom of my heart thank you for being beautiful humans and working with me and your other vendors to make your day a reality. #covidsucks