BY TABATHA RENEGAR (With a Little Help from My Friends)
Covid 19. Coronavirus. Pandemic.
It wasn’t all that long ago when these words were not a part of our daily vernacular and certainly were not a part of wedding industry language. And yet, even as I write this, the constantly changing status of an International pandemic is affecting hundreds of weddings right here in the Triad.
Let me begin by saying, on behalf of the Forsyth Woman Engaged family, all our contributors and advertisers that we are so sorry if you are a bride or groom affected by this unprecedented world crisis. We can only imagine how surreal it seems and the tremendous level of disappointment you must be feeling. It is our sincere hope that, if your wedding has been rescheduled due to the changes brought on by a world trying to heal, you will find tremendous joy on your new day!
So, what, as an industry, have we learned from this upheaval in the event world that could be helpful to future brides, grooms and their families?
For some thoughts on this, I reached out to my fellow wedding professionals with that very question. I think you will find their responses both heartfelt and interesting, as well as sharing a common thread!
Allison Watts, Director of Sales at The Brookstown Inn
“As an industry, I have learned that it is helpful for future brides, grooms and their families to be flexible and calm throughout the process of wedding planning. It can become very overwhelming, and staying positive, optimistic and having some flexibility is always good when planning a wedding. Also, most venues do not offer wedding coordinating services, so I would highly recommend hiring a professional to coordinate your wedding. They can help direct you in the right direction, especially when certain situations arise. Lastly, ask your venue about their force majeure policy and make sure to fully read through the contract for all wedding vendors prior to signing. Again, the main thing is to stay calm and have some flexibility. At the end of the day, you are still going to get married, and it will all be well worth your hard work and efforts that come with planning a wedding.”
Jenny Ford, Owner/Designer at Wild Things
“I think, as a person and not just a wedding and event professional, my biggest takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic is how intertwined and connected all of our individual lives are, and how important empathy is to existence. I think times like these really help us come together in understanding of each other’s stress, hardships, joys, fears and so on. I hope that long after this is all just a crazy fever dream, wedding professionals and couples are able to love more completely and extend more grace and understanding to each other in every situation.”
Jon Stewart, Account Executive for Party Reflections Special Event Rentals
“Nothing is a given. Not in events; not in life. Plan your team accordingly so that if things go unforeseen, you have confidence in proactive re-planning and follow through. Being grateful is an understatement with natural disasters such as these times, but it is still valued, and a good team will hold true to those values.”
Eliana Nunes of Eliana Nunes Floral and Event Design
“Don’t overlook the importance of wedding insurance. I know it seems like an unnecessary extra cost when you are in the excitement of planning all the fun and beautiful things that weddings are made of, but it will make all the difference when the unexpected happens. Also, having a reliable, trustworthy team of vendors on your side has proven its value now more than ever before, especially when it comes to wedding planners.”
Ashley Murray, Wedding Planner with Charming Carolina
“I think we have learned that it really is all about community. One of the things I love about the Triad is that it’s growing and quite modern, but it’s also remained a community with a strong sense of responsibility to each other. The benefit to our couples is that they can rest assured that when they engage with wedding professionals and related businesses in this area, they are entering into a circle of people who have their best interests at heart. Moving forward, we must continue to invest not only in our clientele but in each other. Since the COVID-19 crisis began, I am reminded how unique and special our community is. We are working together to assure our engaged couples that, although their wedding vision has been disrupted, we will make sure they have their special day.”
Flexibility, empathy, gratitude, trustworthiness & community.
Although none of us in the wedding industry could have foreseen how the Spring 2020 wedding season would be altered, it is clear that lifelong lessons have been learned. And, above all else, a true sense of being in this together – as ONE family of professionals, passionate about making a positive impact in the lives of our clients.