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THOUGHTS ON WEDDING PLANNING AND WHY YOU SHOULD STILL BOOK WEDDING VENDORS DURING COVID-19
By: Scott Aleman
We are living in some uncertain times, there is no doubt about that, and you may be wondering how to book wedding vendors during Covid-19. Over the last few months, I have been putting myself in the shoes of current and future engaged couples looking to plan for wedding photography around COVID-19 and finding a wedding photographer in Dallas.
COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR VENDORS?
Communication with all parties is one of the most important aspects to remember. If you have to reschedule, I recommend checking with the venue first, as nailing down a new date for next year is most important. I suggest an elopement-style wedding or destination if this is not an option. Many of your vendors will be available as long as you communicate and coordinate mutually to secure a new date.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER IS IMPORTANT!
When planning your new wedding, please remember to check with and partner with your vendors if you are considering a new date for next year. I have some brides asking about my availability first for next year so they know which dates to choose. There is a good chance I am still open to photographing your wedding the sooner you check in and discuss new dates with me.
WHAT ABOUT DEPOSITS?
Most Dallas wedding photographer vendors typically require and work on a deposit or retainer-type schedule for you to be an officially booked client. The deposit is meant to secure your dream wedding vendor and reserve their time and talent for your wedding date. With that being said, you may have a wedding date that you don’t feel comfortable rescheduling, which is fine. Still, I encourage you to negotiate with your vendors and use the retainer as a future credit toward a new date. Depending upon your initial wedding contract, the deposits are only sometimes refundable. Still, I assure you that rescheduling and securing a new mutual date between myself, the photographer, and the venue is a top priority.
TO POSTPONE OR CANCEL?
I recommend not canceling your wedding for a few critical reasons. Depending upon your specific vendor, you may risk losing the handsome deposit you put down many months ago to reserve your date. Regarding my contract, I am honoring the initial deposit towards a future credit of a new date and genuinely assisting my couples in reaching out to their other vendors in collaboration efforts to secure a new mutual date for all parties. Secondly, we understand that financial hardships may be impacting some couples. By still booking and securing weddings with the idea that we can all assume that this pandemic will not last forever as we move forward into 2023. Those venues and dates will begin to fill up quickly due to the current postponements and couples trying to schedule a new dates.
WHAT IF THE DATE IS IMPORTANT TO US?
If this is the case, I would consider an “elopement style” wedding. You may be wondering what that is. In short, it is a small gathering of only close friends and family in a more intimate location. I recommend partnering with your current photographer to keep things consistent and not hassle or stress about finding a new photographer or dealing with a new contract. What about your other guests and family? Well, please remember you can always have a more extensive gathering or social event later and celebrate that way!
WHAT TYPE OF PHOTOS CAN WE SHOOT NOW?
I believe in Dallas, we can begin shooting engagement photos at safe distances starting in May. When you book me as your photographer, we can at least get engagement photographs done, which is an essential part of the overall wedding photography experience.
WHAT TO TELL YOUR GUESTS?
I suggest contacting all of your guests now and future vendors if your wedding date is immediately impacted. The sooner you let them know your thoughts and concerns, the sooner we can work with you to assist and offer our guidance as experienced wedding vendors. When reaching out to guests, let them know you are working on a new date and will be communicating future possible date options. Not only will this keep the lines of communication open, but your guests will understand and be excited about your future date!
ARE 2023 WEDDINGS SAFE?
As things are uncertain and changing daily, the best option is to continue to closely monitor your local and state conditions and focus as much as you can on planning your future wedding or a new wedding. The CDC states we are still in an 8-week window of opportunity, and opening will begin in the summer with phases. Continue to plan as much as possible and consider still looking for vendors. Why? – Because I predict many rescheduled and postponed weddings from 2020 shifting to 2021 instead. Many venues and wedding photographers will begin to book up and fill their calendars with new couples.
THINGS TO DO NOW
Continue to stay safe and focus on planning your new wedding. Use this time to revisit your existing wedding plans, and focus on any improvements or timeline refinements. In the wedding industry, we are all impacted by this crisis, but we also want to offer as much help as possible and want you to know that we are here for you every step of the way. We know that through this, your new wedding will be unique and exactly what you dreamed of, and I cannot wait to be there!