If you’re a person who’s planned (and re-planned) a wedding in the past year (hello, ME too!), then I don’t need to tell you what a wild ride all of it has been. Rescheduling, rescheduling again, shifting plans, downsizing, location changes, cancellations, elope now, party later, the potential permutations of the personal roller coaster you have been on are endless.
But if you want to know what’s REALLY been happening BTS, the people to go to are wedding vendors. Because they’ve truly had a front-row seat to this industry’s implosion (and now, to its rebirth). Vendors have seen it all… and been heroes in their own small ways this year, offering more scheduling (and rescheduling and rescheduling), supporting clients for years rather than months, developing an encyclopedic knowledge of ever-changing local guidelines and regulations, and masking up and showing up to the weddings that did take place last year in all their forms.
We frankly wanted to know more about what they saw in that front row seat, particularly as we head back into a reopened wedding season. What happened when we were all locked in our houses? How did weddings change? What did we learn? Well, luckily enough we have the inside line. So we partnered with our friends at Squarespace to find out what our amazing vendor directory members have learned and to pass on the hard-earned wisdom of the past year to you. (And hey, if you’re currently looking for someone to help make your wedding magic, that vendor directory is the place to look!)
With weddings beginning to make a comeback, it can be easy to get caught up in all of the details of (finally!) making the thing happen. (Ask me how I know with only a week-ish to go!) So let these perspectives be your reminder of what really matters at the end of the day—and the end of a long pandemic year.
how covid changed weddings
COVID changed… well… everything. For couples, like so many of you, it meant rescheduling, re-planning, or cancellations. For wedding vendors, it also brought a lot of change. Renee from Moxie Bright Events said, “Well, the pace of my day-to-day is much slower… We postponed fourteen weddings (most of them 3x at this point) and canceled four. So, keeping a positive outlook has been a huge part of my ‘work’ in the last 12 months.” Photographer Vivian Chen has felt similarly. She said, “I needed to give myself the grace and space to grieve how much the world changed last year, and process the loss of the majority of my booked work…”
After the year+ we’ve had, we can all use a reminder to keep giving ourselves grace… am I right?
The lessons we’re left with
No matter what you’ve been up to for the last year and a bit, there’s no doubt we’ve all learned some things that we’ll carry with us forever. I sort of wish I could ask every human on earth what lessons they’ll take with them as we head back out into ‘normal’ life. But since I can’t ask every human, I’ll be grateful that these vendor friends shared their most important lessons.
Raven of Raven Shutley Studios said “Flexibility and problem-solving in droves. 2020 taught me to not take anything for granted and showed me the resiliency of both my couples and my fellow vendors.”
And Suzanne of Toasted Events reminded us “that all of us are more resilient and supportive of each other than we give ourselves credit for!”
‘New World’ Here We Come
This one’s for you APW. We asked the vendors to give us honest thoughts on what they wish their clients knew moving forward. We can’t help but share some of these perfectly poignant thoughts:
“Focus on creating a great environment for your guests to celebrate with you and everything else will follow!” —Jon of JC Lemon
“I would love all of us to move forward with a perspective that trusts in the process and acknowledges the good that’s already right here in front of us.” —Vivian of Vivian Chen Photography
“Know that your wedding and marriage are amazing and valid and AWESOME even if it wasn’t the one you originally envisioned.” —Raven of Raven Shutley Studios
“I’d love for couples to know that they can and should ask for what they need! Every family, wedding, and situation is different… the wonderful thing about so many wedding vendors being small businesses is that we can creatively accommodate so many unique wishes and needs. Don’t be afraid to ask!” —Beka of Foreverie Paper
“I would love to see us all be a bit gentle with each other, and give everyone a lot of grace as we get “back to normal”. A lot has changed in the past year—some vendors may have gone out of business, some are struggling to stay open—and so it might take a minute for everyone to get back in the swing of things. And I think that’s ok; it’s normal. Expecting pre-pandemic levels of productivity and toxic hustle is unreasonable right now, I think. And was it even healthy to begin with? No. And that’s true for clients and vendors alike.” —Renee of Moxie Bright Events
Websites of: Thomas Printers, Devon Rowland Photography, and Toasted Events (left to right)
Websites Aren’t Just For Fun Anymore
If you’ve been around APW for longer than three minutes, you probably know that we are huge proponents of websites. We love wedding websites (which, by the way, are very worth it in 2021!), professional and portfolio websites (Meg says her website was the key to her professional survival in 2020)… really just all the websites. We know, after all this, that a website is going to be the easiest way to get the word out about whatever you’re doing—whether you’re a couple communicating with your guests or a vendor communicating with your couples.
Leila and David from L&L Style Photo told us, their “website and especially blog and social media [were] very important tools to inform potential clients about the way [we] work.” There’s just no doubt that having a website for your wedding (or business!) is the best way to keep all your guests (or clients!) in the loop.
Here’s what we know: Squarespace is the easiest and best way to get a website built in no time (without it looking like you made it in no time). So, if you’re in need of a website, head over to Squarespace today—use code APW for 10% off, and check out all our posts that will help you get an amazing digital presence launched before you know it.
TL;DR: Make your wedding what you want, focus on the love and the joy, ask for what you need, and bring the gentleness and grace we’ve all learned into the world as things return to some version of normal. Oh, and your vendors have got your back.
This post was sponsored by Squarespace. Squarespace makes beautiful wedding websites happen in a matter of minutes, thanks to their user-friendly software (full of features) and modern, minimal template designs (and really great business and wedding-specific templates). Click here to start a free 14-day trial and get your custom wedding website URL today. APW readers can get 10% off yearly subscriptions when you use the code APW at checkout.