First of all, I hope you and your friends and family are all keeping well.
Out of the blue our planet has been turned upside down. Something invisible to the human eye has changed everybody’s life, sometimes in a dramatic way. The coronavirus is causing untold misery. People are anxious. People are isolated, sick, and even dying. It’s absolutely tragic but we will get through it.
Before all this we were all merrily going about our daily life. Going to work, shopping, meeting friends, maybe even meeting the person you would one day marry! You’ve planned one of the most special days of your life and for some of you that celebration will now need to be postponed. It’s obviously very disappointing. Given that most have wedding guests who are elderly or otherwise vulnerable, following the current government advice is absolutely the right thing to do.
(Update 21st March 2020: Although the UK government decided yesterday evening to close pubs, restaurants, gyms etc. and have strongly discouraged social gatherings, I am hearing reports of couples who are insisting that they will marry today or during the coming week. One is expecting over 100 guests! This has surely got to be considered irresponsible. If the couples need any insight on this they should read the reports of 37 guests infected at a Sydney wedding in early March).
(Update 23rd March 2020: Boris Johnson has just announced that UK weddings are banned until further notice)
For those of you who have already booked 2020 weddings with me, I would just like to thank you for being so kind and considerate. You are all special to me. I’ve been in touch with you all to let you know that I will transfer your booking fee and any payments to your new wedding date. All I ask is that you keep me informed of the dates you have under consideration so that I can advise you of my availability. This is particularly important for destination weddings where travel arrangements need advance booking. Thank you!
I guess I’m trying to stress to couples the importance of keeping all your preferred suppliers (venues, celebrants, florists, caterers, videographers, musicians, DJ’s, videographers and photographers) updated of your plans, particularly if you are not using a wedding planner who would usually co-ordinate the suppliers on your behalf. We are all committed to come together to help make the day totally awesome and memorable, even if we don’t know for sure when that day might be!
I am passionate about my weddings and will always do my best to accommodate your new plans so that we can enjoy your big day in as safe and happy environment as possible. As always, just get in touch to discuss your ideas.
For future clients, please get in touch as soon as possible. The current run on postponements looks as if the end of 2020 and 2021 are going to be very busy for us. Please get in touch!
Some other tips
Nobody knows how long the current coronavirus pandemic will last or how long travel restrictions might apply. It’s likely that guests lists may need to be updated as the situation unfolds. It makes sense to keep your suppliers up to date, particularly your chosen venue. They may need to order tables and chairs and work with other suppliers, such as caterers, so any forewarning is most appreciated. Even your seating plan may need to be rearranged – depending on the timing of your wedding you may even wish to incorporate some ‘social distancing’ considerations.
Unfortunately, some of your guests may still not be able to attend your wedding day so why not consider setting up live-steaming using your smartphone and venue wi-fi. The technology is relatively mature and easy to set up. As you know, your photo gallery and slideshow can easily be shared with friends and family so they can enjoy it all at a later date too.
The venue will probably also be making recommendations regarding serving food, particularly if you are planning a buffet during the day. Work with the venue to ensure that hygiene factors are optimised, possibly including the incorporation of hand sanitisers. I have no doubt that this coronavirus pandemic will change all our habits in this regard!
Depending on how long this situation lasts, it’s quite possible that preferred dates at venues will be quickly booked up given that a lot of 2020 weddings may well move in to 2021. With this in mind, don’t rule out having a wedding during the week rather than a Saturday. Friday weddings have become more and more popular over the years. Also, an autumn-winter wedding has it’s own charm too so don’t rule that out, particularly if you decide to opt for a destination wedding in a warmer climate.
It’s been astonishing to see how clients and wedding suppliers have come together to positively deal with such an unprecedented event. Quite understandably, many are stressed over the situation – with unknown cashflow and uncertainty many venues, employees and suppliers will be concerned about the sustainability of their businesses so a little kindness, compassion and understanding will go a long way.
I particularly feel for those of you who have needed to delay wedding celebrations but your day will come around before you know it. I look forward to sharing that day with you all and can’t wait to capture all those unrepeatable moments. But most of all, stay safe!
Updated Monday, 23rd March 2020
The amazing guys at NineDots have just released a free e-book that may be of interest to wedding photographers at this difficult time. Take a look!
I also have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that may also help with other questions you may have but more specifically directed towards wedding photography here