I was once told that being a wedding planner is like being an air traffic controller. You are responsible for many 'planes' being up in the air for a long period of time and them all landing safely in the order they are expected too. As wedding planners, our job is to make sure (like the planes) all vendors, guests and bridal party, are at the exact place they should be at the correct time. We are use to dealing with and making quick last minute decisions for: rain plans, weather issues, guests being late, guests being lost, bridal party attire malfunctions, flower girl meltdowns, intoxicated officiants, power break downs, sound issues, rowdy groomsmen and even refereeing family drama. But today we are ALL facing a new challenge.
Along with everyone else, Wedding planners around the globe are now taking on the new battle of planning a wedding around the Corona Virus.
As the former owner of Tavern on the Green, we survived several horrific times such as 9/11 and the black out in NYC. Although those were very tricky times, like those crisis instances, this is a set of challenges that are changing every day. We must be prepared and stay on your toes to make any and all changes. There is a saying, 'think like a Basset, move like a Whippet, ' and that is how we have to navigate through this type of situation. Think things out slowly and calmly and move quickly.
Many people have been asking how me and my team are handling weddings for 2020 during this most unusual time. They ask 'are people cancelling? What are people doing? Should we still send out or invites?' The answer is: each wedding is reveiwed on a case by case basis. We then make a plan B and a plan C.
To be more specific with what people are doing, it really comes down to a few options. For people who had early May Weddings, we have helped them to move them to a later date in the year. Sometimes a Saturday may not be available, so Fridays or Sundays are an option for these couples. This helps with trying to move their vendors as most vendors are booked a year in advance for Saturdays, especially in the height of season. Others are holding a small ceremony and dinner on their current date, and planning a party for later in the year. Some are going for the super romantic idea of an elopement, but most of our Oz Farm and outside venue weddings are moving to other dates and taking things day by day.
The Trickiest part of moving a wedding is rescheduling the vendors like bands and photographers. I suggest leaving that to the planners to deal as we are like your lawyer, your agent and your bodygaurd when it comes to negotiating with people. During this time the vendors are in this together, and for the most part really are working together to make it work for the brides and grooms.
It being Spring of 2020, we do have a handful of people opting to move to 2021, again it is based on what the couple and families are comfortable with. The most important part is what will settle the bride and grooms minds in this situation.
The bottom line is we as your planners are here to help you through this with every and any issue that comes up. I myself feel very lucky to provide any sort of comfort to people during this trying time. It also gives people something positive to think about - planning something very special for the future.
What I feel the most strongly about is reflecting on the importance of gatherings, no matter the size, whether you are at home around your kitchen table or at a wedding with 300 people, what they do for us as humans to raise our spirits, give us energy, and provide us with the comfort, connection and love we all need.
As I have been telling all our couples for 2020, this I know to be true: when we all get through this together and we can rejoin with loved ones and family members, the 2020 weddings will be more significant then ever.