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LOVE IS NOT CANCELLED

A COVID-19 SUPPORT GUIDE

What is going on? I feel as though 2020 will be one of those years that we look back on and laugh at, but right now, it feels more like a punch than a punchline.

With our journeys forward rife with uncertainty, I wanted to make a vow to do all I can to make the process as simple as possible. Any worries, concerns, or fears that you have about your day; know that I am here for you. I want to be a supportive teammate, not another obstacle to consider. I want to be a source of useful and helpful information and above all, I want you to have your dream Wedding day and I want to be there to capture it.

This is a quick guide for your Wedding during COVID times with info about moving your date, postponements, and adjusting to government-mandated restrictions.

I might not have all the answers straight away (If anyone does) and things are still changing week-by-week but I want you to know I’m passionate about overcoming whatever comes our way and tirelessly dedicated to telling your story.

Option 1

Staying Positive but Ready to Adapt

This conversation could be quite premature for some and by the time your day comes, this could already be a distant memory. I think even if this is likely to be the case, it can never hurt to be prepared. A commitment to communication and an open-mind to flexibility will be the key to moving forward with peace of mind.

Depending on where your wedding is taking place (and where you will be traveling from to get there) will be the biggest factor affecting its ability to go forward unaffected. Every city, state, and country seem to have varying levels of restrictions.

There has been a lot of cases where the couple have so far been able to proceed as envisioned but with caution, often only making subtle alterations to fit within government regulations.

Here are some options that you may need to consider to meet the mandates for your venue;

1. Downsize the Full Wedding
This most common restriction I’m seeing, all over the world, is a guest limit. Limiting the number of attendees to your absolute nearest and dearest is a very common adjustment couples are making. Largescale celebrations with extended friendship circles can still happen after the fact and having your guestlist culled to your innermost circle isn’t the worst compromise in the world.


2. Elope & Have a Party Later
Moving forward with an elopement on your date. Whether it be with just you two or with a small intimate group. The beauty of elopements is that they are extremely flexible and can happen anywhere without venue restrictions. You can elope at the beach, in the mountains, or even at that picnic spot where you went on your first date, check out Brides.com guide to Elopements. There is something romantic about letting nothing stop you from making that commitment on the day you had planned, letting your love shine through the darkness, and then celebrating it all with a larger scale event once we are all allowed to again.


3. Change your Destination Wedding to a Local One
If you and your guests were planning to travel interstate or internationally to your wedding and this is a source of anxiety, perhaps there is a way to shift the Wedding closer to home. If you need help finding a venue, I’m your man, I have a lot of resources and relationships with venues, vendors and Wedding Planners that I can draw on. There are so many amazing venues all over the place, some of the best are the ones the least people know about.


While all options will require an up to date understanding of current laws and restrictions, safety is no doubt the biggest priority of all. I will be complying with social distancing and hygiene protocols to ensure whatever the date entails, it will be a safe one.

Option 2

Moving Your Wedding Date

If you want to keep your original plans intact and its starting to look like that may not be possible on your original Wedding Date, then it might be time to have a discussion about the postponement. Given the uncertainty, this might not be as bad as it seems and would actually relieve you of some of the stress of keeping up with the regulations, knowing that your date is far enough away in the future that it will be unaffected by the current situation.

If your flirting with the Postponement option, contact all of your vendors asap to see what their reschedule policy is. Stating with your biggest ones first, which are usually; Venue, Planner, Photographer, and Videographer.

If you go down this route, the great news is that everyone in the Wedding Industry (atleast those that I associate with) are passionate creatives who genuinley care about their couples, Wedding Plans, and will bend heaven and earth to make sure they happen as conceived.

If your venue is struggling to offer you your preferred rescheduled date, it can be beneficial to consider off-peak dates like Friday, Sundays, or even mid-week. These dates will also greatly increase the chances of all your original vendors still being available. Your family and friends will be very understanding if it falls on one of these days, I’m sure of it.

When it comes to deposits/retainers from your initial date, every vendor will vary with how they approach this. Small businesses rely on cash flow, so they make or may not be able to roll your current booking (and all the monies paid) over to the new date. Or at least, not without a rescheduling fee to compensate for the multiple dates being takeup from a single booking.

I truly believe most vendors will do their absolute best to accommodate your new plans. However, I do encourage you to be delicate in your correspondence, understanding that this is also a crisis for our industry and livelihoods. Many vendors are currently under extreme financial pressure as self-employed/small business owners, and it may take them a bit longer than usual to reply while they make sense of their situation as well.

When it comes to my personal policy, I will 100% honour my commitment to you, and all deposits paid towards your original date can be used as credit towards your new date with no additional rescheduling fees required.

If it was my own wedding, Post-Ponement would be my preferred personal choice.  No one saw this coming, it’s nobodies fault but what better way to celebrate when all this madness passes than having the celebration of a lifetime, exactly as you planned it.

Option 3

Holding off indefinitely

Though it may feel like it, love is not canceled. The love you have for each other will continue, and eventually, your wedding will too. I encourage you to stay positive and keep an open mind about possible alternatives.

I can completely sympathize if you need a break from it all, but encourage you to not jump to the cancellation conclusion yet. You might be surprised about how smooth a transitioning to a new date might be.

If you’re at peace with the idea of canceling it all. I’m really sorry to hear it. Heartbroken, in fact.

If it’s any consolation, know that your deposit is still valid and available to you in the form of credit towards any photography-related services in the future.  So if after some time passes and you feel re-energized about your wedding plans, I’d still love to be your photographer.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. We have health concerns for our loved ones, what should we do to stay safe at our wedding and in the lead-up?
    In my opinion, health and safety should continue to be everyone’s primary concern. My suggestion would be to closely follow announcements and recommendations relevant to your area. Consider alternate plans for those on your guest list who are immune-compromised or post-pone until it all settles back down. For myself, I promise to continue abiding by all social distancing and hygiene practices on and before your wedding day, and I will inform you of any changes to my own health in the lead-up.


  2. Our plans are changing drastically, how does that affect our photograph package and investment?

    I want these to be fair as possible and so I will handle this kind of scenario on a case by case basis. Ideally, for us both, we would keep things are close to our original agreement as possible. There is room for flexibility though, for example, if the guest size drops significantly enough, I will no longer need a 2nd Photographer on the day and that cost to me can be removed on your end as well, for example.


  3. You arent currently in the same State/Country as we are getting married in, how will you get there with travel restrictions?Thankfully, Australia (Where I am currently based) is still offering Travel Exemptions for those working internationally. I have photographer friends who have already been granted these for creative work and have had conversations with Migration Lawyers that have ensured me it’s possible. Once again, nothing set in stone, and everything could change, but as it stands, I’m confident I will be able to make it to all my international photography commitments for 2020,2021, and beyond.

  4. We are rescheduling, what if you’re not available on our new date?
    I strongly encourage you to keep me in the loop while you’re inquiring with your venue about new dates. Communication about availability will greatly increase the chances of us still working together. If it simply doesn’t line up, I can explain my Associate Photographer options. One of the tertiary benefits I have from always working with over-qualified Second Photographers on my Weddings is that I have a small pool of very talented backup options for the worst-case scenario. These photographers all run their own Wedding Businesses on the side, have worked with me for years, and are attuned to shoot in my style with my same approach and philosophy. I would still handle the planning, editing, and delivery of your photographs in order to keep it as seamless as possible.


  5. We’re having trouble reaching and/or rebooking some vendors, can you help?

    I sure can! I have a large network that goes beyond Australia & London. I’d be more than happy to help you find and secure some alternate vendors if your original ones aren’t able to make it. I can even reach out to someone of them personally if you are having trouble making contact. As I stated earlier, I want you to think of me as a teammate in this process, we are in this together!


  6. We’re thinking about doing an elopement instead, how do we go about this, and can you till be our photographer?
    Absolutely! Send me an email and we can get started 🙂


  7. How can we help you during this time as well?

    I’d love to be consulted before making any drastic changes to your plans, I’m deep in this and may have some helpful insight for you. Beyond that, if you are rescheduling and have the available fund, I’d certainly appreciate you still paying a portion of your final invoice on the original due date, this would be a great help but is entirely optional and not expected.