What. A. Year. I write this just after the announcement from Boris Johnson, another potential 6 months of lockdown-ish measures. Weddings down to 15 in numbers. So many brides and wedding business owners at breaking point. Some trying to keep momentum but it's a struggle. Being in both the position of bride to be and wedding photography business owner it only felt right to document this time and if I can, offer support to those in the same position.
When we started planning our wedding last year we never would have imagined that 2020, what would have been a memorable date for us, will be a memorable date for the entire world.
We had originally planned a fairly low key wedding at The Matara Centre to take place on 4th September this year. We had all of our suppliers picked and booked pretty much straight away so all of the big things were done, my dress ordered, save the dates sent all by the beginning of 2020. Then came March, LOCKDOWN, everything shut, weddings cancelled, pubs closed, schools closed. My feelings surrounding our wedding spiralled. I lost all interest in any of it. We were in limbo not knowing how long this would last. Whatever fragments of a business I had managed to build after having a baby had just washed away. Neither of us could decide what the best way forward was and honestly, neither of us wanted to even think about it. So we sat on it and waited and things didn't get better. Lockdown was still in place and weddings were still off the table. Then came the day our venue called and said they would postpone to next year and the relief was immense. By this point postponing the wedding was just what we needed. So we moved it to next year and every single supplier was wonderful and accommodating and all of them had the date free. We were very lucky. We could start to feel excited again, an extra year to plan in the knowledge that by the time it came around everyone would be ready for a damn good knees up!
But I didn't come here to just tell you my story, I want to be of some help too. I know that these are strange times and the plans that have been made are being interrupted and cancelled, so below I've listed a few things that helped me through this whole process....
FOLLOW YOUR HEART
Think about the single most important part about why you are getting married and having a wedding. When it came to it, for us it was about celebrating our love with family and friends and we wanted to be able to have a celebration, a party and hugs! But we have had our children and we have been together for 12 years and although I am truly desperate to be married to my Partner, in truth we haven't been waiting to get married to have a family or have our last big holiday for example. If you are waiting, if you want to just be married, maybe the right decision for you is to have a micro wedding? Have a big party later, remember parties won't be cancelled forever, this isn't forever. Do what feels right in your heart.
TALK TO YOUR SUPPLIERS
This is something I should have done from the beginning but I felt so scared of letting people down that I avoided it (so big apologies to my suppliers and also a huge thank you for your understanding). The truth is though, everyone is in this together and we are all people. Talk to your suppliers, tell them exactly how you are feeling like they are a good friend because a good supplier will be understanding and will help put you at ease like mine did. But this goes the other way too, especially now with the new measures again most suppliers are struggling and haven't worked in 6 months with potentially another 6 months again of little to no work. I, like a lot of other suppliers in this industry have had no help from the government and kids to feed so it's a tough time for us all. But that's what makes us so understanding because well... we understand!
HOPE FOR THE BEST BUT PLAN FOR THE WORST
The worst isn't really the right word but what I mean is, think of the best case scenario and if you are able to, keep that plan in mind. But try to be flexible and think about things and dare I say it people that you can take out of the wedding (sorry Uncle Bob!) should the need arise. I can't say for sure but I really can't imagine we will be back to a full lockdown and back to no weddings again so think about whether you would want to postpone again and keep holding out for the big wedding or if enough is enough for you and you want to go for a micro wedding. So many people have gone for a micro wedding and still said it's the happiest day of their lives! I do know that planning a wedding is a big task in itself so planning two options is not ideal but it might be worth just having these contingency plans in place just to put your own mind at ease.
REMEMBER LOVE WINS
I know I know, cliche! But it's true. It's a rollercoaster that's for damn sure, but l still have the love and support of my friends, family, suppliers, fellow business owners and most importantly, my fiancee! And I'm holding on to that dearly! And I am here for you too. I may not be your wedding photographer, you may be reading this with not a clue who I am but I am here and happy to help, provide guidance on all things wedding planning through this absolute crazy time! Being a bridesmaid 8 times and a photographer countless times I have the experience to help, so please get in touch if you need an ear or a shoulder.
MICRO WEDDING OFFER
I’ve put together a new price package to cater for micro weddings and also for parties taking place later. These prices range from an hourly rate to a lower priced day package and also a package to cater for both wedding day and party in one so you know you are covered. Do get in touch by clicking here to request the pricing guide and to have a chat about your requirements.
Listed below are my suppliers and some other local suppliers I am lucky to know or have met if you are still looking for the perfect florist, band etc! These are all Bristol based but if you are further afield get in touch as I can also recommend other lovely suppliers from further afield!
Copper Green Flowers - www.copper-green.co.uk
Clementine Moon Floral Design - www.clementinemoon.co.uk
The Rose Shed - www.theroseshed.co.uk
Oobaloos Wedding Photography - www.oobaloos.co.uk
The Moon Loungers - www.themoonloungers.com
Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique - www.rachelburgessbridal boutique.com
The Matara Centre - www.themataracentre.co.uk
Arnos Vale - www.arnosvale.org.uk
The Little Wedding Helper - www.littleweddinghelper.co.uk
Hunter Gatherings - www.hunter-gatherings.com