BECAUSE EXPERIENCE SHARING IS THE BEST KIND OF WORD VOMIT

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An Open Letter to Couples during COVID-19

WOW! What a time. Guys… I’m so so sorry this is happening to you.

How crappy.

I want to start by saying that your feelings are real, the cost is so heartbreaking and the loss of a dream or expectation is more than fair to grieve.

Simply put, it’s awful.

As an old married lady (well, only 9 years in but I swear that makes me feel old at this point) with 2 kiddos, I want to also encourage you. It’s really rough to put this on paper. Like painful really… mainly because no one wants to hear from the ‘been there done that’ crowd but I think what I have to say is true, important and healthy to hear. Though, I know it will be hard to compute with your current (real and fair) emotions. I want to ensure you feel validated at this moment and that my encouragement in no way dismisses the tragedy on your plate. Because it is absolutely tragic.

What I want to share with you is that I too have had tragedy and heartbreak knock on my door. Not my wedding, but with things of equal importance. It’s hard to convey that other things could be as equally important as a wedding day. But as life progresses, the realities of this truth unveil themselves. That being said, I want to tell you that someday, you will be able to celebrate your love and commitment to each other in really unique and special ways. I have several friends and many clients that were not able to have the wedding they planned – tornado, hurricanes, loss of life, and the list goes on. While changes today are happening on a mass global scale, with perspective, this actually happens to couples every weekend. They all find wonderful and beautiful ways to put one foot in front of the other to find another way to celebrate. Some wait for anniversaries. Others shift the vision and keep going. But all are overwhelmed by the love they feel in the new moment they design and plan.

Does that mean you have to be able to picture that right now? Does that mean you should just get over it and accept this truth? No. You are allowed to grieve. You’re allowed to be really mad. You’re allowed to lose your mind on this.

This is a strange and unprecedented time. Words I’m sure you’re tired of hearing. You just want the nightmare to end. In these moments, you are desperate for refunds and an available Saturday in the foreseeable future. And it all feels like a pipedream.

Please know that vendors across the world are broken for you. We are doing our best to keep a strong front but behind closed doors, we are crying with and for you. We are also having to consider couples getting married in the fall or next year and the harsh truth here is that the decisions we make today about refunds and leniency in our contracts have a long term impact on if our companies will even be here when the postponement rolls around, much less for those that already booked for 2021 prior to this all coming unglued. Everyone truly is doing the best they can. Industry leaders are begging vendors to stick to their contracts. Plain and simple, it’s the only way we will be here as an industry a year from now. We are also talking non-stop about ways to be creative, flexible and helpful. It may not look as desired but it’s really from the heart. Any amount of flexibility is backbreaking for vendors. We are small businesses, we are not recession-proof.

Here is what I really struggle to share with couples but I do hope it brings balance to the conversation. I would like to be the bad guy so your planner or vendor doesn’t have to be. This message is not personal. It’s not meant to cause pain. It’s meant to help our economy stay afloat. You see, it’s hard to understand how ingrained the event industry is to our economy, but really and truly, everything from corporate meetings to t-ball field assignments are all handled by the events community. Wedding planners are ranked in the top 5 highest stress jobs in America, year over year by Times magazine… above C-Suites and among first responders. So at this time, it’s exponentially higher. With that being said, I hope to create some understanding here that wedding budgets are created independent of paying bills, buying food or medicine and diapers. On behalf of vendors everywhere, I beg of you to keep your promises. Comply with the agreement you made when going into this. We didn’t foresee this any more than you did. Though, we have already paid our bills with the money paid to us. It’s not there to return. Vendors aren’t being mean spirited; they are keeping the lights on and feeding their children.

Again, rest assured, we are all doing everything we can to be flexible and give breaks where possible. You may find one vendor on your team in a position to give more than another. Please don’t bully the one that doesn’t or can’t. Quite honestly, your most prominent and most financially sound vendors are likely the ones sticking the strongest to their contracts. They are in a position of success because they have been smart in their business. But they will still come out of this in a hole.

There is no winning. For anyone.

I want you to know your vendors care. I care. The world cares. And we give you permission to come undone.

Then make a choice.

Decide that it is wonderful that you GET to marry the love of your life whether that is today or a year from now. You GET to have wonderful friends that would come to your wedding whether they can now or not. You GET to have the financial means to throw a party in celebration of your love, which is 100% a luxury. You GET to have a dress that you can wear around the house and eat a romantic candlelit dinner in while you shift expectations.

Writing this sucks. Reading it sucks even more. It just sucks y’all. And the only way I know to end is to reiterate just how sorry I am.

With all my love,

Amber

COVID-19, Email Templates, Resources I Love, Wedding Planners

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