Love is not canceled. That’s the message the wedding industry is sharing with their couples during this unprecedented time. It’s that energetic creativity and tireless devotion to their work that is helping the wedding industry keep hope alive — and spread a little joy during COVID-19.
At the beginning of 2020, few of us could have predicted what the world would look like in just a few short months. Within what seemed like days everything came to a grinding halt.
Amid historic circumstances and anxiety over the coronavirus itself, couples were left scrambling with the day-to-day, sometimes hour-by-hour, announcements and trying to determine what to do about their impending nuptials.
At first, the announcement was that weddings were limited to 50 people, then 10 people, and quickly after the situation went into lockdown and shelter-in-place orders around the country. It was heartbreak after heartbreak for some couples with their wedding just days or weeks away having to cancel or postpone until they had more information.
These have been unprecedented times, but we’ve also seen unprecedented responses from the wedding industry. It was at seemingly the darkest moment that wedding vendors stepped up to show that while the original design for weddings and events may be canceled or postponed — love was not!
There were still plenty of reasons to celebrate!
A REASON TO CELEBRATE
At Wed Society, we’ve never been more proud to be part of the amazing wedding community! While the worldwide wedding community is a massive industry — it’s made up of little individual businesses and entrepreneurs working hard and doing what they love.
There aren’t many industries that are mostly filled with people fulfilling their passion and doing what they love for clients who often become new friends, but that’s the hallmark of the wedding industry.
Here’s just one example of the passion wedding pros have for their couples and their craft. In the throws of their own personal life changes, they made sure couples knew someone was there for them. One group even made this encouraging video to share with couples in the early days of COVID lockdown with the help of Paper Heart Films.
Wedding vendors have been working overtime during this season to help couples find ways to make this moment something special because they still have a reason to celebrate. That reason? People are still falling in love, still getting engaged, and still ready to start their happily ever after, no matter what the future holds. Love is not canceled, it just looks a little different.
A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER’S SURPRISE FOR HER COVID COUPLE
Amelia and Ryan’s big day may have looked much smaller, but with the help of their wedding photographer, it was a day they will never forget!
Photo by Emily Nicole Photo
“After looking at all of our options, we decided that it didn’t matter what or who was coming to our wedding, as long as we were still able to get married. We had a small, intimate ceremony of seven people, then we began to take photos inside of the church when our photographer mentioned she wanted to take a few photos outside; we thought it was odd since it had been raining all day, but we agreed to tackle the weather and head outside. Waiting for us outside was one of the best surprises we will never forget – a long line of cars with family and friends honking their horns and screaming our names to celebrate from afar. Even though nothing went as originally planned, it’s truly a day we will never forget, as it turned out more memorable than we could’ve ever imagined!”
AN INTIMATE CEREMONY STILL GETS THE SHOW-STOPPING FLORALS IT DESERVES
Madison and Chase had to cut their original guest list of 350 down to just their immediate families, but with the help of their florist, their more intimate ceremony still had show-stopping flowers.
Photo by Mark Boatright Photography | Flowers by Ever Something
“We made the decision to postpone our reception, but still get married on our original date. It felt so good to know exactly what our plan was, rather than to wait and call it at the last minute. Our wedding ceremony guests included my husband’s parents, my parents, and all of our siblings. It was a very intimate ceremony size compared to our original 350 guest-count projection! My florist created a stunning installment for the ceremony and a bouquet for me to carry. Afterward, we had a delicious, home-cooked meal together! It was actually better than what we had originally planned and I wouldn’t change a thing. We definitely won’t forget it! For the reception, we’re trying to stick to the original plan as much as possible, using the same vendor team, bridal party attire, and special detailing. I’ve been thinking of ways to create a vibe that makes guests feel as if they’ve entered our reception space after attending our ceremony just before.”
BRIDAL PHOTOS IN THE PARK TURNS INTO AN UNFORGETTABLE WEDDING
Allison and Jared were headed for Georgia before COVID struck. When their plans were canceled, the couple worked with their wedding vendors to turn a park photoshoot into a unique wedding story they will be talking about for a long time.
Photo by Ricki Thompson Media | Flowers by Uprooted Designs
“I am from Georgia, so we decided to stick with tradition and have our wedding there. We set the date for March 28, 2020. About two weeks before the big day, Athens was starting to show signs of shutting down due to COVID-19. Over the course of the next nine days, we went through innumerable different plans that quite honestly, changed every hour. We came up with a plan to do a first look and bridal portraits the Wednesday of our wedding week due to non-essential businesses closing at midnight that night. We did our first look, read each other letters and took photos at Bluff Creek Park in OKC, and then decided to have our wedding there as well! With our parents, siblings and officiant surrounding us and all of our friends, bridal party and extended family watching from their parked cars and FaceBook Live, we FINALLY did the dang thing and got married! It was definitely not what we had planned nor what we had been working on for the six months prior, but man it was so sweet and simple. It stripped away all of the non-essential things that you typically see in a wedding and made it all about the marriage. That is one thing we will never forget and will always be thankful for. If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that we have one heck of a story to tell for days to come.
WEDDING INDUSTRY GETTING CREATIVE WHILE SPREADING JOY
It wasn’t just couples affected by COVID. From florists with truckloads of flowers to planners having to deal with navigating rescheduling and more, our industry was impacted almost immediately.
However, with their trademark creativity, we’ve seen so many great examples of wedding vendors turning lemons into lemonade — and bringing a little joy to their community. We’ve seen florists working to make bouquets of canceled wedding flowers so couples wouldn’t have to deal with any cancellation costs and venues creating CDC-approved mini-weddings with a 15-minute ceremony that’s as beautiful as the much larger day they had planned.
We’ve seen DJs hosting free virtual dance parties to bring smiles to people’s faces and restaurants offering take-home cocktail kits to enjoy or send to a friend. And stationery designers offering free downloadable date change notifications for couples trying to get the word out quickly.
Most of all, we’ve seen thoughtful collaboration between vendors around the country who have banded together to help COVID couples have a celebration that’s even more special than the one they had planned.
In uncertain times, it becomes all the more important to celebrate the little things, life’s truly important moments, to enjoy beautiful things — and spread joy wherever we can.
To the wedding industry professionals all around the country — and the world — we thank you for helping bring beauty and celebration to uncertain times — and for reminding us all that love is not canceled.
Written by Corrie McGee
Photo by Emily Nicole Photo