COVID-19: Safety & Weddings
I am sure as wedding professionals that our phones are ringing off the hook and our email inbox is flooded with emails asking questions about what is going to happen with a planned wedding, event, or honeymoon. Wedding and event professionals as well as travel agents are being left with concern on what is the proper way to address these concerns. First and foremost, breathe, remain calm, and think things through before preparing an email or a voice to voice connection with your clients.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) is updating their website frequently as they receive information. Please understand that the media is out there to sell news and they do not instill a sense of peace and calmness to situations; hence the shopping hoarding that has been going on nationwide. It is important that before you touch that keyboard to respond to that email or pick up that phone to speak to someone, that you have looked on the website for one of these sites CDC or WHO to update yourself on the latest information vs. listening to the common phrase “fake news.” I say this because your client more than likely is in a panic because they may have a wedding that is coming up and they have to cancel. The clients are being left to figure out what happens next when everything is paid for.
If a client has wedding event insurance and they are cancelling their wedding or event, they will need to contact the insurance company directly because each policy is written with different sets of disclaimers. With so many states that are in complete shutdown, the wedding must be rescheduled to a later date. The states that are in complete shutdown keep increasing as the days go on. Then there are the states that are under curfew from 11pm to 5am. This is a difficult time for our nation and it is understandable that a couple planning a wedding for the last year or so does not want to lose their money or their plans, however safety comes first. The wedding professionals and wedding venues are working with the clients because this is something that is out of their control. This is not like a hurricane that we can move the wedding up and find another location; this is a worldwide pandemic.
Social isolation has us all on alert. As wedding professionals our responsibility is to support the client through the changes and be as flexible as we can without imposing penalties on the client. We do not know what the future holds for us as far as a time frame that they can push the wedding out to so we need to take each client’s date on a case by case basis. Our clients have been displaced as have we, but I can’t stress enough to be supportive. It is a shame that I have seen some posts written on social media and wedding professionals are giving the client three months to reschedule or they forfeit their monies. This is a very sensitive subject and I understand fully that our finances are being affected, but again I cannot state it enough, we need to be sensitive to our clients.
Some of the things that we can do for our current and future clients include being accessible to them through email, face time, or zoom. Do stay connected to the clients and offer them support, check on them and see how they are managing their stress in changing their date. But also as planners, check on your wedding professionals that work with you and offer your support. They may have a client that did not hire a wedding planner and may be calling them asking how to go about changing their date and not having the expertise of being a wedding coordinator, may bring the client additional stress. Be the first to offer some guidance to that wedding vendor and offer your services to the vendor. This may be an opportunity for the client to hire you to do some tasks for them in re-booking their wedding and who knows, they may hire you for the day of when it is all said and done. Be knowledgeable of what the CDC and WHO is stating about the COVID-19 in your state so that you can protect yourself and your family. Finally, be empowered, you are a professional; you can do this and be the rock that your client and the wedding and event community need. Remember that people will look up to you to see how you are handling the stress of the pandemic. We are all in the same position watching the latest news, but it is how we choose to react to it and how we handle the stress associated with it that people will look at. Choose to be positive, follow the guidelines, and be someone that can offer the support, peace, and calmness needed to get through this.
If a wedding is in the summer and the client wants to wait and see what the situation will be like, they can post a message on their wedding website stating that the wedding is taking place pending any precautions that are imposed by the CDC and the WHO. If they do plan on cancelling a wedding, depending on how close the cancellation is to the date, they can hand write cancellations or have them printed with either a new date or date to be determined message. If the wedding is fairly close, then a personalized phone call to each guest is needed.
As a Doctorate of Nurse Practice and Master Wedding Planner, I have been contacted by numerous wedding and event professionals and clients asking what they can do to protect their business and their clients who do not have a date as of yet but are planning a wedding. The options are there and with our technology so advanced, you can do a zoom meeting, facetime with the client, or a phone consult. The clients will understand if you phrase it to them as “due to the coronavirus and the precautions being implemented by the center for disease control we value the safety of our clients and our employees and want everyone to feel comfortable and safe. We are adhering to these precautions, therefore we are opting at this time to conduct our consultation/meeting telephonically or by zoom” (whatever your comfort preference is). I am sure if you do not know how to do zoom there is always a millennial around to call and can help walk you through the set up or our friend google!
I encourage you to cross reference my article called COVID-19 Should I be Concerned for the Medical Precautions to help you and your family/clients stay safe during this pandemic trial time. Rosie’s Nurse Corner
Links to Obtain information:
As a nurse, I have to practice above and beyond the CDC, WHO, and OSHA rules so that I can protect myself and my patients as well as my wedding and event clients; so I understand and get everyone’s concerns addressed right away.
Be blessed and be safe.
Rosie Moore, MWP
27 Miracles Wedding and Event Consulting
March 23, 2020
Tags: ABC, ABC Annual Conference, Association of Bridal Consultants, Miss Dorothy, Miss Dorothy Heart Award, Miss Dorothy Penner, Miss Dorothy Scholarship, Wedding Industry Awards, Wedding Industry Scholarship, Wedding Professional Distinguish Award