UPDATE: Save Our Weddings

Given the current uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on the Wedding and Events Industry, we have decided that it is imperative for us to take a stand.

On behalf of all our Couples and Industry Peers who have reached out to us, we are requesting clarity on whether Weddings will play out (particularly with over 100 guests), in 2020. 

Wedded Wonderland’s #SaveOurWeddings initiative has received enormous support and has been re-shared hundreds of times by both Couples and the Industry.

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On behalf of all our Couples and Industry Peers who have reached out to us, we are requesting CLARITY on whether Weddings will play out (with over 100 guests in particular) in 2020. Couples are now having to postpone their Weddings FOR THE SECOND TIME. With unclear parameters around the easing of restrictions the following industries are affected in direct relation to Weddings: – Entertainment – Production – Hospitality and Food Services – Retail – Beauty Services And more. We understand the need for restrictions of course, however the implications of uncertainty are driving anxiety in a market that is meant to be about celebrating LOVE and PLANNING. Suppliers are currently unable or unwilling to postpone dates after August 14th without a service fee (considering this is the current legislation), this means a complete exposure to an unknown date, issues with the consumer who has 10-500+ guests they need to consider in the process, plus another 20-30 Service Providers who all need to be AVAILABLE on the next chosen date. This for businesses means a staggering loss of income and potentially losing whatever bookings they currently have. For the Couple- a potential loss of Service Providers (due to availability or otherwise), a potential loss of monies exchanged for a set date, and this again stems across multiple industries and categories that work within the Wedding industry. HOW CAN WE SAVE OUR WEDDINGS? Clear advice on WHAT WILL COME (if the current status of cases continues) to ASSURE our Couples and Service Providers postponed dates will in fact take place. To assure this incredible industry that pumps billions of dollars in the Australian economy their BUSINESSES WILL SURVIVE. Our Couples who have planned their Wedding for up to 18 months, they can actually be Wedded. Future proof our Couples and Suppliers!! TAG YOUR PREMIER, SHARE THIS POST! WE NEED CLARITY! Give us a roadmap #saveourweddings

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The Update

Last night, our Founder, Wendy El-Khoury went LIVE on Wedded Wonderland’s Instagram, with Diane Khoury, Steven Khalil and Melissa Sassine.

The foursome provided viewers with some insight in regards to what Couples are saying, how the Industry is feeling, and an update from Wedded Wonderland’s perspective.

“We now have four states in Australia that have announced 100 pax weddings – Western Australia, Queensland, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory. In saying that, the average number of attendees at an Australian wedding, is 178. We will in fact hear a 100 pax restriction ease over the next week or so. But, for majority of weddings, particularly the cultural and luxury weddings – this does not enable them to have the Wedding that they initially planned for.”

“We heard tonight, that New Zealand is easing all restrictions in the next couple of weeks. This has given us incredible confidence that we will potentially hear the same thing.”

“Having a wedding with a square metre rule, and without dancing, is not a wedding. It means that somehow, couples that were planning on having 200 or 300 people, should have had the foresight to cater for a square metre rule. in conjunction with the fact that 99.9% of weddings have some sort of element of dancing – it’s a celebration. What we have been essentially pushing for, is that a wedding is not a wedding if it’s not a celebration. It’s a rite of passage – you can’t take the core out of a wedding.”

Wendy El-Khoury, Founder of Wedded Wonderland & Wonderland Media

What does the square metre rule mean?

“This is dependant on legislation. For the 4 square metre rule, it basically means that the size of the room is so important. If a room is 400 square metres, it means that only 100 people are allowed in that room. Social distancing means 1 person for every 4 square metres in that room. Usually, a 400 square metre room can take up to 400 people – so it’s all about capacity and distancing each other.

Dancing is the biggest issue – we can all agree that we are all willing to be safe, but the minute you start telling people you can’t dance, you can’t hug. This when it becomes too confined.”

“I think we’ve seen in the last two weeks, the confidence slowly building up. People are seeing the beauty industry, the gyms opening up again. My advice to clients that have events between late August to December that want to hold on to their 200+ people weddings, is let’s just wait a couple more weeks and see.

The concern for this is waiting it out and missing out on particular postponement dates. Every client I have spoken to is going through the same thing – but I do think that we’re seeing a lot of changes happening quickly, and I think a lot more are coming in the next couple of weeks.”

Diane Khoury, Founder of Diane Khoury Weddings & Events

What To Do

“My suggestion to Couples and the Industry is to follow the legislation announcement by your Premier. What you need to do is contact your local MP and let them know how COVID-19 has financially impacted your Wedding or business, and how it has effectively put your life on hold.

Your local MP has a powerful voice to put this forward to Parliament. We know that the roadmap is there, we’re aware that the considerations have been made. We just want them to tell us, so we can tell you, and you can move forward with your plans. It’s all about communication.”

Wendy El-Khoury, Founder of Wedded Wonderland & Wonderland Media

Where Are We Headed?

“We are next. There are a whole range of hotel chains and privately owned venues who are all very actively working behind the scenes to get updates. New Zealand, the reopening of gyms and recreational activities have given us major hope.

The Shadow Health Minister, Chris Bowen, told us that another big focus has been the reopening of the Queensland borders, and the one thing we stressed in that meeting was that there is a massive issue with not letting the couples know what the roadmap is. Because, if their wedding is in August, September or October, they need to make sure that they have all their bookings in place, and they know that they’re going ahead. This is the one unique thing about weddings, as opposed to corporate events.

This is something that we have made super clear – the Industry is suffering massively. I have thousands of emails from you guys, and I appreciate you for sharing your stories and thoughts with us. The whole Industry can’t wait – when the green light comes on, it’s go time!”

Wendy El-Khoury, Founder of Wedded Wonderland & Wonderland Media

Advice To Suppliers

“Now is the time to over-communicate with your clients. Acknowledge the fact that a client email has come through, and let them know that you’ll get back to them when you can. Let clients know that you are hearing them, and that you don’t have all of the answers. We don’t know about when we’re going to hear about Step 3, but it’s coming.”

Wendy El-Khoury, Founder of Wedded Wonderland & Wonderland Media

“What happens if I postpone, but my vendor isn’t available on the new date?”

“This is something that could happen. What we’re doing is giving a 12-month voucher. You need to be prepared to negotiate with the supplier, you can’t force a refund and what suits you, on the business. As long as they’re offering something of equivalent value to you.”

Melissa Sassine, Founder of Melissa Sassine Makeup, Melissa Sassine The Academy & Melissa Sassine Cosmetics

“A lot of couples have an emotional attachment to that date, and to the supplier. And you need to be prepared to let go of that, in order to move forward and make it happen.”

Steven Khalil, Founder of Steven Khalil

“We need to be fair with each other. I don’t think there’s any supplier out there that’s out to get anyone. The amount of suppliers that have said “I’m bummed I couldn’t do her makeup, or I wish I could photograph her wedding.”. They’re trying to do everything and trying to cope, so let’s try understand both sides.”

Diane Khoury, Founder of Diane Khoury Weddings & Events

On the Road to Recovery

“We’re on the road to recovery, and this means that there’s an element of flexibility and trust that needs to play out. You wouldn’t have thought you needed to consider all of these things when it came to your wedding. It’s about having a level of empathy come from both the Couples and the Industry.”

Wendy El-Khoury, Founder of Wedded Wonderland & Wonderland Media

“If you’re planning on moving your wedding to next year, settle on a date quickly. Next year is going to be extra busy.”

Steven Khalil, Founder of Steven Khalil

“At some point, things have to give. Work out what’s important to you. Prioritise. Don’t make a decision while you’re very emotional and remember why you’re getting married…”

Diane Khoury, Founder of Diane Khoury Weddings & Events

Digital Content Coordinator: Zoe Kanlis

Featured Image: Wedded Wonderland

Posted in Advice, Fashion, Trending, Uncategorized by wedded wonderland

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