This week has been one of the most surreal to date.
Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, the world today feels like a strange and unsettling place. We’re being asked to do unnatural things like practice social distancing, self-isolate, avoid gatherings and protect ‘vulnerable’ loved ones.
It is a scary time for all of us, not only because of the physical and mental effects of the virus but also because it has created huge uncertainties about the future – about tomorrow, next month, next year. The things we thought were stable and certain in life have now been given a new shade of precariousness.
The wedding industry, like many others, has been hit hard by recent events. Though necessary to contain and control the outbreak, it means a lot of our wonderful couples have had to make the incredibly tough decision to postpone their weddings. Months or even years of planning, excitement, anticipation, all put on hold.
Speak to any wedding planner, venue, makeup artist or photographer in this industry, and they’ll say the best part of their jobs is working with couples. Getting to know them, hearing their stories and helping to create the perfect celebration with their friends and family. It is heart-breaking that times have called for this to happen and my heart goes out to everyone who has made this decision; I know it has been far from easy.
But in this time of uncertainty, I want to acknowledge one certainty. At the end of this, whenever that may be, love will still be here – in all its forms. Though it is easy to get caught up in stories of stockpiling loo roll and pasta, I think it’s important to tell the everyday stories of love, compassion and friendship I have seen over the last week. NHS workers being offered free wedding dresses, stationers offering free postponement notifications to send to friends and family, and no-longer-required wedding flowers being donated to good causes to brighten up the days of those in need.
Yes, it’s been incredibly tough but I have also had more wine fuelled video chats with friends this week than I care to admit. My couples have shown such incredible bravery and positivity despite being faced with such a heart-breaking situation. And fellow wedding suppliers have rallied round each other and bent over backwards to help in any way they can.
Love has survived wars, famine, poverty, hardships and loss. There are hundreds of stories of love surviving against the odds, and hundreds of stories of couples who have not let the latest news get in their way. Take the man who, unable to travel to Iceland-the-country as planned to propose to his girlfriend, instead popped the question in Iceland-the-store. Or the couple in Israel who, faced with restrictions in terms of the number of guests they were allowed to invite, instead held their celebrations in the supermarket – the only remaining ‘venue’ where no such restrictions applied.
And so I want to say to those couples postponing their wedding, or trying to figure out what to do next, I am still here for you. I am here to talk to through these difficult times and I will be here for you when they’re over. Please let me know if you’d like to arrange a call – I’ll put some wine in the fridge, we can get our creative thinking caps on to come up with a Plan B, Plan C and even Plan D, and let’s raise a glass to better times ahead.