We’ve all been hearing about how the world has changed in various ways and how everyone has had to get used to “the new normal” due to COVID-19. Restaurants and other businesses were closed for months and are still not open to full capacity. Tons and tons of people lost their jobs and couldn’t pay their bills. And of course, many weddings were postponed. Today we wanted to shed some light on the challenges Vision in White and our couples have faced, what we’re doing to keep our team and couples safe, and how the event industry as a whole has come together in this crazy time.
Challenges and Changes to Weddings from the VIW Side
I used to have a running count of how many weddings we had postponed. I started to lose track after number 23 and when we started to see couples who had postponed from spring to fall, postpone again from fall to 2021 (and some even 2022).
On our wedding tracker for the number of weddings we book per year, I’ve had to make notes on 3/4 of our 2021 dates that they were actually 2020 weddings so to not think we are booking tons of new weddings and have a false sense of our business numbers and projections. Not to mention, most of our 2021 business is not new business, causing some struggle and concern on how business will proceed next year.
We’ve spent many extra hours contacting vendors to find out new dates that will work for everyone for each particular wedding. Once a new date is chosen, then the process starts of gathering all the new contracts and keeping on top of our couples to get the new ones signed. Next is figuring out if the sun sets at a different time on the new date, meaning the timeline for the day will need to change. The time of year is likely to be different, so do the colors and design we had finalized need to change now? If it was an outdoor spring wedding, do we need to move everything inside for a now December date? It’s basically replanning an entire wedding and trying to think of things we have never had to think of before, because who has ever had to postpone 30 some weddings?!
Another change we have seen is the popularity of elopements and intimate weddings. So we took advantage and launched our all-inclusive Elopement and Intimate Wedding Packages with some of the most popular venues in town. We’ve seen a ton of interest and are super excited about offering this to couples indefinitely!
Challenges and Changes From the Couple’s Side
Of course this isn’t an easy decision for our couples either. Their options are to deal with the heartbreak of postponing something they have been planning and dreaming about for the last year or continuing with their wedding as planned and potentially putting their guests at risk (and that’s assuming they are even allowed to continue with the event per the venue, county, state, COUNTRY).
Our couples have faced lots of tears while accepting that their wedding date is going to need to be pushed back. They have had extra costs come up that they didn’t expect or originally plan for. Some of their original vendors that they loved, weren’t available on their new date so they had to settle for someone else. For the weddings that have happened, couples have seen a smaller guest count than they wanted and while they’re saving money, they are still missing some of their favorite people in attendance on their big day.
Like we mentioned above, some couples have opted to have a smaller elopement style wedding this year, while saving the big celebration for 2021. It’s a great alternative for those who don’t want to wait to make it official, but are ok with waiting to celebrate.
And sadly, some couples have just decided to straight up cancel their wedding. You can only imagine how heartbreaking that is.
How We’re Helping Our Couples
Aside from everything we already mentioned that’s involved with postponing a wedding, our couples are coming to us for advice and guidance. Our team is laying out the options to give them all the information they need to make the best decision for them.
We are constantly watching as the Davidson county (Nashville) phases of reopening change and updating our couples on how many people they are allowed to have at their wedding. We are helping to suggest options and move to venues outside of Davidson county when our clients don’t want to reduce to a 25 person wedding at their original location. Now, we are required to submit plans and get approval from the county to hold our weddings so add that to our final details checklist!
But most importantly, we are a shoulder to cry on, a level head that isn’t as emotionally involved with their day, someone to bounce ideas off and ask advice about on a subject that no one knows anything about, the dreaded coronavirus. We never want our couples to feel like they have to go through this alone.
Our COVID Precautions
Our team is required to wear a mask at all times during our events. We are keeping a social distance from all other vendors, guests and our couples (when possible). If we are notified of a positive Covid case at a prior wedding, our team is all getting tested right away and must be cleared with a negative test before returning. We are doing temperature checks of our team when they arrive at the venue and have a solid supply of hand sanitizer to use regularly.
As far as events, we are spacing out our ceremonies to be socially distanced as well as reception tables. Tables are kept 6′ apart and follow guidelines for the number of people allowed per table. We are suggesting to only put people at the same table if they are in the same household or have already been in contact with each other. And we are recommending to have masks for guests to pick up when they arrive as well as sanitizer at the entry table or each guest table. Buffet and self serve dinner stations are now being served by masked and gloved catering staff.
And for the planning part, we are offering phone or Zoom meetings instead of in person meetings to keep contact to a minimum. Thanks to Zoom, we can share our screen so everyone can still see the same thing we are talking about.
Event Industry Support During COVID
It’s been amazing seeing our local vendors all coming together to help and support each other during this time. Not only that, they are going above and beyond to help our couples too. Some companies are adding new offerings such as live streaming for guests who aren’t able to attend and hand sanitizer stations. There is even Covid screening services from a Covid trained nurse. Many of us have helped local caterers who also have a storefront by ordering to-go meals from them. There was even a chain going around on social media, sharing what we can do to help our event partners during the lockdown.
The Future of Weddings
We are all ready to get back to normal and put Covid behind us. VIW can’t wait until we are able to get all of our sweet 2020 couples, our new 2021 couples and even the couples we haven’t met yet married and off on their honeymoons!
We do still have availability in 2021 (and lots of fall dates!) and are starting to book into 2022, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re looking for a partner in your wedding planning journey. We would love to work with you and bring your dream day to life!