The Wedding Compromise of 2020

Like a lot of other industries, the event industry is taking a massive hit. Events are being cancelled and postponed with a lot of emotions involved. In Austin, we were right in the swing of Spring wedding season. Most wedding vendors have multiple events per a week in the months to come and all of that came to a screeching halt.

Engaged couples are taking a hit too. Some even already obtained their marriage license but couldn’t have a ceremony. Others planned their wedding around a specific time frame to make sure guests from all over could attend. Regardless of the whys and the hows of the wedding, marriages aren’t happening and if they are, it is at a huge compromise.

The wedding world has a huge dark cloud hanging over it and it’s tough. See here is the thing. We thought events would pick back up in June and now that isn’t looking so hopeful. We thought we could get all of the weddings to postpone later into 2020 but now that isn’t happening and we are left with no option but to celebrate in 2021. But celebrating in 2021 comes at a cost.

Here is the thing – there is going to have to be a compromise between engaged couples who want to get married and their vendors who are going to be there to make the wedding happen. I am a wedding planner, so I come from a place of always wanting to defend and protect my clients, the engaged couple. I guide them through the wedding planning process as if I am an attorney and they are my clients. There are contracts that have to be signed, decisions that have to be made, and relationships that have to be navigated. But right now, I feel like I am stuck and backed into a corner. Why? Because I want my clients to get the wedding they dreamed of. I want them to have a perfect day. I want them to have a day where the vendors they handpicked showed up and executed exactly has we planned. I want them to be surrounded by every single person that supports their marriage and relationship. I don’t want them to have to pay more for their dream wedding. I don’t want them to have to pick a new date. I don’t want them to have to move from a Saturday wedding to a Friday or Sunday wedding. BUTTTTT….(yes there is a huge but).

I also want my vendors, the people who I call my co-workers and friends, to still have a job when all of this is done. I want them to still be able to provide food for their family and a roof over their head. I want to know that in 2021 they are a thriving business. I don’t want them to go out of business because every one of their 2020 client’s booked a new date in 2021 leaving them with little room for new income.

Here is what is happening: 2020 weddings are being postponed into Fall 2020 or Spring/Fall of 2021. And although it seems awesome, vendors in the wedding industry are loosing out on tens-of thousands of dollars from this happening. For example, if your wedding was before the end of March. More than likely, all of your vendors were paid in full and you were ready to have a wedding. But then you decide to postpone to 2021 and you expect to not have to pay anything additional to your vendors. Well that March 2021 date that you wanted so bad that you took, could mean that vendor lost anywhere between $3,000-$20,000 (depending on the vendor) just from that one wedding because that date could have been booked by a new client paying 2021 prices.

Now I am not saying vendors should charge full price for weddings postponed into late 2020 or 2021, or that engaged couples shouldn’t be charged anything to postpone their wedding. What I am saying is there needs to be a compromise, for every wedding, for every client. I operate out of the assumption that no two weddings are the same, and I think we need to continue to look at this situation in the same light. Vendors – is there a rate you can book a 2021 Saturday at that can keep you in business to allow your client to have the dream wedding they wanted? And clients – is there a compromise you are willing to make to make sure your vendors stay in business long enough to make it to your wedding but also make sure you are happy?

This is the compromise I am talking about it. We all must compromise together and work together. Not fight, argue, or get frustrated with each other. We have to work as a team but also be open and honest. Empathy and honesty are going to go a long way right now. Vendors of the wedding industry and engaged couples are going to have to come together and work together to find a common ground so that everyone is happy. Maybe it means not having a Saturday wedding but not having to pay more. Or maybe it’s paying an additional $2,000 to make sure you get that Saturday wedding you always wanted.

This time is hard. Wedding planning was already hard before. Add COVID-19 into the mix and it’s close to shit show. But it doesn’t have to be. If we all worked together to compromise with each other and take each wedding on a case-by-case basis and talk to each other with respect and empathy first, and control our frustration, we will be successful and happy. People are stronger together when we lean on one another. Let’s show people how the wedding industry can shine through adversity. After all, this is our job day in and day out. We are problem solvers. We think on our toes. And we make people’s biggest day of their life the perfect day. We can do this and all come out on top.

Choose to understand. Choose to have empathy. And choose to compromise.

Let’s do this!

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