I want to start with – I AM 100% HERE FOR YOU! I know right now is such a scary, as well as difficult time for everyone. It may seem like the entire world is at a stand-still. And you might not know what the future will hold for your lives or for your wedding. In this time of uncertainty, I just want to say that I would love to help in whatever capacity that is. All of my April and May 2020 (and some from June and July), wedding couples have been in contact with me and have chosen to either postpone or cancel their dates. Which makes me feel super sad for them, obviously. Because of this, I am also opening up Friday & Sunday 2020 dates to accommodate those who have had to delay their weddings, to stretch them out to later in the year and I’m still booking 2021. With that said, I feel for these couples of mine, who are not getting married this spring and early summer, and I have offered to move their retainers paid to the new dates they pick, if they are delaying dates. Because I know the situation is not exactly ideal for them.
Also, as a direct result of the sudden and very serious situation, my business has been affected extensively. All of April & May weddings plus some summer dates have unfortunately been cancelled/postponed (as stated above), my workshop scheduled for April 5, 2020 was also cancelled. And because I have chronic, sometimes severe asthma, all of my in-person meetings and sessions have been put on hold, so that I could self-quarantine until May 15th, or until the state opens things back up. To date, I’ve had an overall revenue loss of about $20k, which as you can imagine, is HUGE for a small business. There are relief funds out there for some small businesses, but they do not happen overnight, and some altogether do not qualify at all. I have been waiting since the end of March on unemployment and a grant that was applied for, plus a disaster relief SBA loan. They have not been funded yet at this point in time, mostly because it’s a unique situation for the government. So being not able to work for over two months, is very difficult.
I hope that by reading this post, you gain a better understanding of the damage this pandemic has done financially to small businesses all over, across every single industry. And most of us are full time, it is rare for it to be a part time thing. It is not for me – it’s not a “hobby” or “side hustle”, I work so hard for my business everyday and have, for the last 12 years. And I just miss my clients, you all are on my mind constantly.
This is devastation, and I know many of us in my creative industry alone, are feeling the hit. We are wondering everyday things like – “Will we make it out of this?”, “I don’t know if my business is going to recover”. And you know what? These are all very valid questions right now for all of us. Maybe you’re thinking, well what can I do to help out? I’ve got you! Here are THE BEST ways to help any business right now:
- If you are one of the couples affected, work with your current vendors through this. Check in with each one, and ask them how they are doing. You have no idea how much it means to us that you care. If you are rescheduling your date, try to shoot for a date that all your vendors are available on the same date. Another option is looking at non-traditional dates such as Fridays and Sundays or a weekday.
- Even though sessions and things in person right now is not possible, there are other ways to help your local small businesses. Buy prints from your online gallery, purchase a gift card from them or book on their sales (if they are having one), pre-pay for a session in the future, create posts on social media tagging your vendors to give them some love or shower them with a positive review, send them a nice note in the mail, or refer them to your friends that are looking for vendors.
- Comment and like all their posts right now, to let them know you love them and are thinking of them during this difficult time. It really will tremendously help us right now to hear all the nice thoughts that you have for them.
- Text them and tell them how much you appreciate all their help on your big day, wether you are a past or current client. It means the world to us, to know that you love us so much that you want to reach out.
Recently, the state of Iowa opened wedding venues back up at 50% capacity with some restrictions. But hey! We are moving in the right direction, and weddings can happen again at venues. I can’t wait to see you all and I seriously cherish you so much. Stay safe and healthy friends <3