Dear 2020 Bride,

I have thought long and hard about this post. I spoke with fellow Whatcom County vendors, and gathered advice.

The first thing we want you, our "covid brides" to know is this: we are devastated along side you. We are grieving our own losses too, and praying working with you - our hand picked clients - won't be added to the pile. For most of us, 2020 seemed like it was going to be THE year. The year we would reach some huge goals, and set ourselves up for a beautiful and full wedding season. The rug has been ripped out from under us too. Our hearts are heavy for our clients, and our businesses that we've worked so hard to gain momentum with. If you have cried, know that we have too. It's absolutely okay. You are not alone, and we are here for you.

Here are our tips, advice, and wisdom's for you during this time:

1. Pivot + Keep Dreaming

We are all learning to pivot, and as my sweet friend Kristin, owner of Forage Floral Studio's said, "Having to give up what you dreamed of for your wedding day can feel like a gut punch. But just because you may not be able to have it all, doesn’t mean you have to give up everything. Maybe you can’t have the 150+ people you wanted, but when you have a smaller guest list (or no guests at all), you can really indulge in all the beautiful details. When you aren’t paying for a plated dinner for 150+ guests you can afford to have your favorite restaurant cater. You can afford to have that dream cake that you’ve been drooling over for a full year. You can now have that brilliant bouquet and all the sumptuous dripping blooms. You can most definitely have that award winning photographer. Downsizing does not mean you have to give up having a beautiful day. Nothing can replace being surrounded by all the people that you love and care about, but you can still have that dream wedding. And really, the most important thing about your wedding day is that you get to marry the love of your life. No matter how much downsizing or pivoting you have to do because of this crazy pandemic, that is the most important thing to remember."

You're day might not go quite as you dreamed, but that doesn't mean it can't be even better.

2. When You Can't Downsize

When you can't pivot and downsize your day...then what? Some of you have already chosen to postpone, and some of you reading this are still on the fence. If you are in the process of postponing or considering it, STOP. Grab a piece of a paper and a pen, sit down and take these steps:

1. Write down your vendors. Venue, Photographer, Floral, Hair and Makeup, Cake, Catering, DJ, Officiant, Decor, Rentals, etc

2. Re-write them in order of priority. Which ones are you most excited about? Which ones can you not imagine your day without?

3. Contact them! BEFORE you set a new date. This is so important. Something you haven't had to think about is a wedding season that isn't yours....the wedding season after what you thought would be yours. 2021 brides have caught on to all of these changes, and they are inquiring and booking vendors much earlier than we normally see. This means if you are planning to postpone to 2021, you need to be prepared that your venue, or some of your vendors may already be booked for a lot of the Summer dates. We are all doing our best to accommodate everyone, but it is a serious juggle right now. We don't want to lose you, so reach out!

Communicate so we can help you! We are ready to answer your questions.

3. Weekday Weddings

Saturday's are historically the first day of the week to fill up, but did you know as vendors some of our favorite weddings are on weekdays?! They fill up slower, often times venues give discounts, and the people that love you and want to be there will absolutely still be there. Friday's are such a fun way to kick off the weekend celebrating with your friends and loved ones. With 2021 filling up twice as fast and extra early, choosing a Friday or a Sunday can help insure you keep all your dream vendors.

4. Shortcuts are tempting, but not worth it

Elizabeth, owner of Beauty by Elizabeth Marie, shared some great and specific advice about what brides should know moving forward this 2020 wedding season, and beyond.

-Firstly, if you are keeping your wedding date, and the Stay Home order hasn't been lifted (or the ban of non-essential business), you are also asking your vendors to risk their license, huge fines, and even possible jail time. We do not want to say no to you, so keep a close eye on mandates with us.

-Second, every business is handling things differently. Ask about policies and rescheduling fees. We are all doing our best to work with you, while not taking an even bigger hit than we already have.

-Thirdly, HMUA specific - "As beauty professionals, we already are trained in, and follow strict sanitation policies. However, when things open up there are a few extra things to keep in mind while planning your wedding day hair and makeup! If anyone is showing Covid symptoms, advise them to stay away. Consider giving your hair and makeup team more space than usual for their set up. We are used to making spaces work, and in general being part of the party, but for the few months after we are allowed to return to work having a separate area will help keep any cross contamination down. Plus it’s not a bad thing to have a little moment of peace for yourself on such a busy day!"

-Lastly, taking shortcuts when your vendors aren't available is tempting. Vendors from across the board can tell you horror stories of "budget" or "family friends" being asked to step in. Sometimes they don't show up, sometimes they deliver less than stellar work, and often times they are not licensed nor have professional contracts in place. This is a day that you cannot ever get back, so please just trust us when we say your dream day deserves your dream vendors. Having experienced professionals there to help make your day magic is worth the investment...every time.

Don't Settle For Anything Less Than Magic On Your Wedding Day

5. Chin Up!

Whether you postpone to 2021, or hope for the best for your 2020 date, it will still be beautiful. Deep breaths. Promise it will be worth it in the end. It might not be exactly what you envisioned or pinned on pinterest, but a the end of the day...and 20 years from now, I swear to you it will warm your heart all the same. It will be YOUR day to look back on and hold onto to. It will still mark the start of a beautiful new chapter in your lives just the same. Whether there's 300 people or 25. For this one day, everything will revolve around your love, and when everything is stripped down that is what matters.

Bellingham, WA | Wedding Photographer | PNW | Meraki Photography NW

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