Wedding Pro Heroes? Perfect Wedding Guide asked for input from some Wedding Pro’s around the country—– what were they doing to help couples and their fellow wedding vendors and community at large during this difficult time of Covid-19. What we heard warmed out hearts and we happily share some of their stories.
Angela from Angela Needs Shipps Photography says “I have seen the many changes and trends that have really shaped the Kansas City Wedding Market and this time is just about the most unimaginable obstacle any Bride could ever face. Not only does it affect the Bride, but every single person that works in this wedding industry. Being a photographer, I am in a unique place to help guide my Couples thru this time with a collective and positive energy that hopefully leaves them feeling blessed and satisfied.
Each Couple has had a different approach to this crisis, but they all have one major issue in common… they still WANT to be married by the end of the day. Every single couple I work with has decided to still get married, even if they have to reschedule their celebration. They desperately want to be husband and wife, husband and husband, or wife and wife as planned in 2020. They are not willing to put that off a year and I applaud them for that! It warms my heart to hear each of my clients say, their MARRIAGE is their first priority and the celebration is 2nd to that.
Some couples have simply rescheduled their Ceremony and Reception for dates later in the summer. Some couples have continued on with their marriage ceremonies and followed CDC guidelines of 10/25 guests or less, and some couples have even scrapped their original plans entirely and have “eloped” and we have turned their wedding day into a fun filled day of photography!
These new plans have made this couple feel so special and more importantly… they are EXCITED for their new wedding! Instead of sadness, they are feeling blessed to be getting MARRIED to their best friend in the presence of their closest family and friends. It isn’t the wedding celebration they expected, but they are so very very happy for these new plans, that they don’t regret cancelling their prior plans.
Runway Images Productions based in Atlanta Ga has worked tirelessly through the Covid-19 pandemic by working with many organizations to provide meals for doctors and nurses at Emory University Medical Hospital along with offering all Frontline workers no matter their wedding date 50% off all wedding services as their way of giving back to those who are helping to save lives during this unprecedented time. Rodney Daniel owner of Runway Images Productions says that he has taken the word COVID and with his team has made it a positive word -Create Overcome Visualize Identify and Deliver(Covid).
Brides were thrown into a “pause period” with the Covid-19 restrictions, so Sophia’s Bridal and Tux knew they had to do what they could to help from a distance when possible! Their mission is to create an experience that helps brides feel loved, empowered, and beautiful – and now they had to work double time to make that all happen virtually! The stylists at Sophia’s kicked into over gear reaching out via text, email, phone calls and video conferences to make sure everyone had what they needed and put into place virtual appointments for bridesmaids, tuxes, wedding dresses and accessories! They worked with brides throughout the whole process, over video, to make sure they had everything picked out to dress their whole party, as well as even helping brides find their dream dress! After an initial phone call, Sophia’s stylists setup a video call with them, and all their friends, to walk through the store, look at dresses, and find their favorite 3-5! From experience, they knew the feeling of having a dress on is so different then seeing pictures, so Sophia’s arranged curb side pick-up or delivery of the bride’s favorites so they could try them on in-home and fall in love! How amazing to be able to deliver an experience they’ll never forget, even from afar! Sophia’s also hosted a VIRTUAL Sample Sale on their website where they had over 200 dresses ALL marked $500 (regularly $1000-3000) to shop and buy from home and had such a great response from brides who needed a little extra love right now.
Irene Tyndale Weddings and Events based in Atlanta, GA. has over 20 years of experience planning, designing and executing weddings and events. “As you know, many couples have had to get creative or delay their wedding plans until there is a more solid governmental plan in place. Our mission right now as a company is to “Keep them DREAMING”.
“I have been conducting Instagram Live informational sessions called “Plan from Home with Atlanta Wedding Pros” with local vendors AND “Behind the Clipboard” at @ityndaleevents to assist couples with wedding planning. These sessions are designed to ease the stress by providing tools and insight they can use in their decision-making process moving forward.
Wedding planning is a stressful time and to add the uncertainties we are experiencing doesn’t make it any easier for couples or local event professionals. I have a private FB Group for new and aspiring planners who have been in business for less than 5 years and I go in weekly and do mini-trainings about different topics Pricing, CEO Journey, Showing up in your business and life. I am always encouraging my colleagues and mentees that showing up well for your clients and company now will yield higher results when this all ends. ”
At The Brim, we believe marriage matters. It is our heart and mission to offer a place for brides and grooms to say ” I Do” without having to go into debt. We care so deeply about this that we even offer free ceremony options at our space, along with affordable tent reception options. We hope to give couples the most amazing wedding day, but we hope even more that they will have an amazing marriage.
“With the emergence of COVID 19, a new problem presented itself- people were not allowed to have weddings with over a certain amount of people present. Brides were postponing with their original venues, but many of them did not want to wait months, maybe even years to tie the knot. So we “opened” early, and offered our outdoor ceremony space to COVID brides, for free. Shortly after their first wedding on 3.23.2020 they were able to partner with Boulevard Brewing Company and Torn Label Brewing Company (both local to Kansas City) to offer free beer and free ceremonies for up to ten people. Now, with our county allowing up to 50 gathering outdoors, we have been able to offer small cake and toast reception options for gatherings of 50 and under. It has been a joy to step into this hard season with brides and to offer them an option that allows them to continue their later, larger celebrations with family and friends, while also giving them an affordable, even free option to celebrate now. It has been an amazing blessing to partner with incredible vendors who have stepped in to offer photography and videography services to our brides as well. Even once we build our chapel, we will continue to offer free and affordable wedding and reception options. We hope that we will be able to impact our community in a positive way for years to come. “
Gulf Beach Weddings says, “It’s time to get back to work! Now that the Florida Beaches are open…we expect most businesses, restaurants, etc. that service them will be reopening in the coming days/weeks. To see up to the day status, please visit a page dedicated to this.
Yes, we have been proactive in nature. A lot of couples have Questions that do not have Answers…yet. So its more about referencing specific orders and recent examples until they feel comfortable (Beaches are Open, Hotels are Open, Airlines are Flying, Sports Teams are Practicing, etc.). I think nearly every wedding in the next 90-days will have some type of asterisk. March 20th – May 3rd, we refunded the balance portion above the deposit amount to all couples that wanted to cancel. This was a heavy sum, but the right thing to do. Fortunately, many couples Postponed to the Fall of 2020 or Spring 2021. We will see how it all plays out as we are currently working with another round of cancellations, this time it’s financial for couples but using COVID-19 as an excuse. This is another reason to go with a larger company, sound financial plan, and strategic in terms of resources given a Hurricane, Pandemic, etc.3) “
“COVID-19 has forced so many couples to reschedule their destination weddings. One of our couples was scheduled to get married in Turks & Caicos in early May, but their resort decided to close due to COVID-19. Within a few days of the resort’s announcement, we were able to reschedule their entire wedding for January 2021.
Our bride was so thankful that she just needed to pick a date and we took care of the rest!”- Andrea Norfolk from Shoreline Destinations
The team at Adventures in Dance has stepped up to the challenge. During the shelter in place we got technology savvy and offered Zoom group classes and individual lessons. We offered streaming line dance parties on Facebook to keep spirits up, and shared our historically accurate princess dances with Denver Free Fun. With the new orders we are offering one-on one coaching for weddings with all the necessary precautions.
Violet Vintage Rentals has been serving the greater Indiana region since 2012 with unique items that allow couples to create the perfect wedding ceremony and reception.
“Despite the challenges we’ve faced—love is still happening. Regardless of when a wedding is, there is so much unknown. We have removed any fees and penalties for changing the date of a wedding during these times. As long as the item requested is in stock, we’ve given our couples complete flexibility (and if something isn’t in stock, we’ve got a huge inventory and can usually work with them to find a replacement!) We’ve also reduced our rental minimums and delayed the remaining balance due dates. We are offering steep discounts on small wedding packages (50 or less) for those couples who are shifting to more intimate settings, as well as discounted elopement packages for those who are having a private, couple’s only affair (yet still want great photos!) Especially with so much in flux right now, this is just one less thing to have to worry about!”
Lisa at The Trolley Barn shares “Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are adapting to a new normal. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to our clients and our community to provide a safe and healthy space in which to celebrate, plan, fund raise and gather. As events began to change dates and cancel, we decided it was our moment to open our space for a bigger purpose.
We hosted a Red Cross blood drive (and have another planned in July). We opened our gardens for clients who had to move their wedding dates to allow them to get married on property and celebrate with a reception at a later date. We understand that some clients cannot postpone and to those people, we have issued a full refund. We are hopeful when people are ready to gather again, they will consider the Trolley Barn. We can’t wait to see everyone again!”
Lynnae Vosberg from Fort Worth County Memories says—-“Do the right thing! Do the best you can! Show people you care!These are exactly what we have been doing. As a wedding venue, it is tough being closed, refunding, rescheduling, and just waiting. I have heard lots of complaining about having to refund couples because they just cancel. Yes, it hurts but even though we could keep their money in good conscience how could we?
This has also given us an opportunity to give back to the community by creating 100 food boxes to hand out. We just all have to hang in there! Do the right thing! Do the best you can! Show people you care!”
Meg from Managed by Meg shares “I’ve worked with brides beyond their contract – for example: if they’re a Day of Coordination I wouldn’t normally help them find vendors, but if they were affected by COVID I’ve been doing my best to help anyway I can. I’ve been rescheduling no questions asked. I gave my March bride a refund even though she had to cancel a few days before her wedding, it wasn’t her fault she couldn’t go through with it.
I’ve been staying up to date with other vendors as well so I can let my brides know when bridal boutiques open back up and who might be available for their reschedule, etc. Reminding them to review their contracts so they know when the last possible date is for them to reschedule without losing any money.
I just ordered a bunch of Mr. and Mrs. luggage tags and I’m sending out a personalized card to all my 2020 weddings to remind them that I’m here for them during this crazy time. I haven’t sent them out yet, but the plan is to make it cute and funny to give them a bit of a laugh and reference the Mr. and Mrs. luggage tags for when we can all travel again 😛 “
Jodell from Starry Nights Events says “The Covid-19 pandemic has actually given me time to slow down and readjust several aspects of my business. As a wedding planner, I am now attending multiple webinars, Zoom meetings, etc. on specifics subjects that will help me with the way I do my job. During these meetings, I virtually meet with other vendors from all over the country and within my local area.
This has given me the opportunity to build a closer relationship with more vendors, especially closer to home. I now know them by their face, instead of just their name.
I learned that my business contract was a bit out of date. So I updated my contract to reflect language referring to Covid-19, postponing weddings, and cancellation fees, among a few other details. I also started a new process of touching base with my clients once a week to check in, basically to see if they had questions or wanted to update me on anything. Of course, I am meeting with all my clients virtually, using either Zoom, FaceTime, or SKYPE, their choice. Once our state opens up, I will meet with my local clients face to face, if they would like. But I will clean my studio thoroughly, wiping all surfaces, social distancing, along with wearing my mask. I plan to follow whatever rules the Governor of my state requires, so I am not liable for any missteps. It is my plan to be very understanding during the pandemic and work diligently with my clients. They are special both to me personally and in my heart.”
Rene from Fete Perfection says “I am proactively reaching out to all of my clients (who have booked weddings that are in need of being postponed/rescheduled) to ensure that they are watching the ’90 days out’ clause in their venue or other wedding services contracts to see if they will be financially penalized for cancelling or postponing their wedding, and what exactly are the terms for doing so. For example, we are seeing more venues stipulate that the client can postpone/reschedule, but at only a percentage of the venue’s capacity, in most cases 25-75% of total guest count.
For some clients that really want to move ahead with their wedding, this is acceptable, particularly if they had a padded guest count to begin with. However, for many clients, it doesn’t make sense to rebook with the venue that originally was for a guest count of 300, but now would be a guest count of only 75. And this rebooking would be at the original fee that was charged for the 300 guest count.
So in these trying times, with so much in flux, I want to be the voice of reason for my clients, and remain available by phone anytime, to answer their questions and allay their concerns. The focus should always be on what is best for the client and how does it meet their expectations and satisfaction.”
Caitlin from Concetta’s Italian Catering adds “We have offered refunds to customers that have had to cancel their events. If people have put down our non-refundable $200.00 deposit we have taken them food in the amount of their deposit so they can still get there moneys worth. We have transferred deposits to new dates and offered current brides ANY DATE that they choose to move their event to. We have also reached out to all venues that we work closely with in order to let them know we would be more than happy and willing to take care of any bride they have that may have lost their previous caterer due to the pandemic.
Concetta’s has also changed the way we will be doing things at weddings in the near future including wearing masks and gloves. We have afforded the brides we work with the opportunity to let us know what we can do to make them more comfortable in order for their events to be as safe and fun as they could and should be. Concetta’s is committed to serving our community and our brides during this trying time. We are family owned after all and that’s just how we treat our brides, vendors, and other clients… just like family!”
Lisa from Kentlands Mansion reports that “Being part of a municipality has it’s own unique challenges but in times like these, we know how lucky we are to have the support of a larger organization. Most of our local wedding vendors are independently owned and really count on the spring season of events to stay solvent. The insecurity of how to move forward was stressing everyone out and we worried that with all of these cancelled events, fantastic vendors would be forced to make hard decisions- which could be a real blow to great people and our wonderful community.
To support them AND help our couples look ahead to happier days, we held the Kentlands Mansion Virtual Bridal Show in April. We reached out to the vendors we’ve had top notch experiences with (and from previous live bridal shows), and from April 8-30, we featured one each day on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest pages. We sent the attached invitations to our couples and posted them on all the free calendars we could find and even got a little extra exposure from local newspapers and other media! A virtual bridal show isn’t usually news-worthy stuff but it was gratifying to see the local media step up and lend a hand to help small businesses get some much needed exposure. The willingness of others to help us support our vendors showed that we are truly all in this together. Also, the vendors were really grateful for this opportunity to be showcased.
In my opinion, the best part of our virtual bridal show was that it was FREE for the vendors and the guests! Anyone can put on a bridal show with paying vendors but our guests could see wedding vendors who were chosen because of their excellent work, not just because they paid to be there. Believe me, we have had our share of lost revenue due to cancelled and postponed events but we felt like this was one little thing that could help spread some joy and create good karma during a difficult time. It took some work but we felt great to be able to help our community of businesses AND our couples. A great by-product was that we ended up getting some social media exposure from vendors sharing our pages – proving that what goes around, comes around and staying connected and supporting one another is the best way we can move forward – in good times and bad!
Swalarue Events contributes “For brides whether my client or not- I created a free checklist for them to download with the steps they must take if they decided to postpone or cancel their wedding.
I also hosted a free call to go in detail about the 3 options COVID couples have and the pros and cons of each. Both are available to listen or download.
Thanks to everyone who is trying so hard to make a positive difference in the wedding world during Covid-19. Your work is appreciated!
Wedding Pro Heroes