Your wedding and coronavirus (COVID-19)

By now we’ve all been affected, in some way or another, by this entire coronavirus thing:  not only is it throwing around our social and economic comforts, but it’s also jarring the event industry, including professionals, event guests, and of course event clients such as brides, grooms, and their families.

We know emotions are high, and it’s not fun to feel on edge about an event that is so important to you.  I can’t help but think how appropriate Elsah’s debut of “Into The Unknown” is now an empathetic pat on the back for us **adults** more than for the children it was created and performed for.  Thanks, Elsah and Anna, your words of wisdom are sinking in deeply.

This is a time of massive adjustment, and the team at This Is Feeling wants to share what we’re doing to reassure and work with our clients through this together.

(don’t want to read the mumbo-jumbo of our thoughts, and you want to know what This Is Feeling is doing in the face to COVID-19? Jump to the last 3 paragraphs)

If you do not know, Ben, the owner of This Is Feeling, has a background in analytical research, so he kinda instantly geeked out on Friday, March 13th, and dove right in to figure out exactly how to handle ALL-OF-THE-THINGS when it came to a pandemic like this.  He reached out to old-photography-farts who mucked through the 2000 and 2008 economic dips, jumped onto live broadcast Q+A’s with other event professionals, and spoke with wedding planners who are currently working with couples in need.

And he discovered the most amazing thing:  people were actively working together to do everything they could for one another to keep afloat.

First:  if you are not actively working with a tried-and-true professional wedding planner (not one of those weekend warriors), you might feel a bit of uncertainty, because most of this is going to involve contract-reviewing, strategizing with other event professionals, and dealing with thoughts and feelings:  this is basically the life of a wedding planner summed up (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH AN VENUE COORDINATOR!!!)

Your other resource:  the internet.  And, just no, don’t believe most or any of it because it’s so very impersonal.

Right now could be a really great time to reach out and find a wedding planner who is willing to work with you through this mess.  We’ve found that the smoothest transitions and adjustments have involved working directly with couples who have hired a professional planner (high-fives!)

Do you need some recommendations for planners that we work with and love?  Please reach out to us and we’ll get you connected!

This isn’t to say that you can’t do it on your own – you do not need a wedding planner in order to face the unknown and adjust your wedding plans, you simply have to take it day by day, and be practical about the steps you are making.

Step 1:  Review your venue and vendor contracts.  We all signed them for a reason – they keep a sense of integrity between everyone involved with your wedding.

Step 2: Consider your options.  If your event is effected by a government mandate, you essentially have a just a few options moving forward:

  1. Reschedule your wedding date – just move it all over to a date that won’t give you anxiety.
  2. Keep your current wedding date for your ceremony, significantly lower the guest list, and do something like a living room or back-yard ceremony.  Then reschedule the reception for a later date.  Please note: professional photographers are considered **non-essential** businesses, so we can’t promise that we can photograph these smaller ceremonies – but at least you can still get married!
  3. Cancel your events completely – clients and event professionals both have the choice to change plans, but this would involve breaching the agreement to work with one another, and there would most likely be some form of financial loss.  Most contracts do have clear cancellation terms and consequence (for both parties involved).

 

Step 3: Strategize.  Get back to the spreadsheets and the wedding binder/bible.  This is going to be work for everyone involved, but nothing in life comes easy!  This is both an emotional and financial investment.  We highly recommend choosing 3-6 NEW wedding dates based on your venue’s availability – send these dates to all of your vendors, and then see which one is a good fit.  As of March 23, we do NOT recommend choosing any date BEFORE November 2020.  Why?  Because most of the 2020 busy season is booked up for wedding and event professionals, and you do not want an overworked vendor at your wedding.

We KNOW it’s hard, but have you ever heard a wedding story that didn’t come with some kind of nutty challenge?

So you’re working with This Is Feeling or ZippyBooth.  Awesome.  We got ya.  Now is our time to reassure you and let you know what we are doing to make this work for you.  Our contract together is a mutual agreement that protects both of us from all sorts of interesting situations, circumstances, and choices.  In an unpredictable situation that we are facing with the coronavirus pandemic, everyone is taking some kind of loss, so we’d like to minimize that loss as much as possible with you.

To make things as smooth as possible, we are allowing contracts that are effected by government mandates to reschedule to any of our available 2020 dates, and also any non-peak 2021 dates (non-peak essentially means all dates January-March 2021, and also MOST Fridays and Sundays in 2021, excluding holidays) without any kind of re-booking fee.  Yes, 100% of your investment with us will transfer over to the new date.  That is a LOT of options.  We know, as a company, we can survive on taking a loss of new 2021 Friday and Sunday bookings, and get by on Saturday bookings.  Yes it is a company loss.  Yes we are willing to do this for our booked couples, because as we said, we are all in this together.  We are also closing our 2020 books (no more bookings for 2020!), and for new 2021 contracts we are modifying our contracts to include these changes.

Right now the entire team has decided to work remotely.  We are not holding meetings at the studio.  We are self-quarantining and practicing social-distancing for the safety of the public, doing our part to help the world get through this as quickly as possible.  We get it – these times are uncertain and challenging – but if we’ve learned anything from the past ups & downs of our economy – it is that people will continue to get married, the celebrations will go on, and things will get back to normal eventually.  We all just have some epic stories to tell in a few years.  All of our love to you.  Call or email – we are here to help.

2 Comments

    • Ben Chernivsky

      Thanks for reading it Richard, and I hope it was helpful to you. All of our love from Chicago to San Jose! – Ben

      Reply

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