Questioning whether to go ahead with your wedding because of COVID-19 restrictions? We all hoped this was behind us back in March, however New South Wales and Victoria have taken a few steps backwards…
But fear not, we are here to help you decode all of the information out there, so you can make your most informed decision. A few days ago, our Founder and Director, Wendy El-Khoury, joined Genevieve Lehunt-Alderman of the I’m Getting Married podcast to chat all things weddings in the time of COVID-19. From finances, guest lists, compromising with vendors and looking into alternatives, they cover it all.
Here are some takeaways for you, Fairies…
The reality of it all…
“As time has gone on, I think people realise that the only constant is change. And it will be that way until Australia successfully rids itself of COVID. So, I don’t like to think of it as a waiting game because that’s almost setting us up for failure, in thinking: ‘Oh my goodness, what’s next?’. I think we need to be very mindful that we are in the middle of a pandemic and go with the motions in terms of these changes… If you can’t get married under these conditions, then by all means – postpone.
From an Industry perspective, it’s important to understand the need for postponements right now, the need for being transparent and picking up the phone and giving answers. At the start, no one really knew what to say, but I think that the Industry now realises: ‘Okay, well, postpone to when’. I was speaking to a planner who has had a couple postpone twice, and now they’re simply considering moving to November of 2021. So, I think that from a supplier perspective, the difficult part is knowing how many times you can change dates. Should they be charging? There are so many different circumstances playing out.
But, the waiting game is now over. I think we are aware that things are going to change, and we’ll just roll with it. Let’s be conservative in our decision-making, moving forward.“Wendy El-Khoury, Director & Founder of Wedded Wonderland and Wonderland Media
What are some recommendations you’d like to give to couples?
“I think with anything that you plan in life, that is a really large milestone that is very costly, and so on, you need to think about your top 5 non-negotiable priorities, and negotiate around everything else. That’s the same with buying a house, a car or booking a trip. Right now, we can’t have everything that we want and with the restrictions, it comes down to your choices.
Some people are happy to have their ceremony now and push out their reception, others are happy to have an intimate dinner and light background music. For others, the no-dancing restriction is a huge component that’s really the talking point. If you can’t imagine getting married without dancing, then I would say that you should look into postponing, because that’s something that will be one of the last conditions to drop. This is why you should decide what your top 5 non-negotiables are – it really is coming down to what your wedding experience really means to you.”Wendy El-Khoury, Director & Founder of Wedded Wonderland and Wonderland Media
How do we reach compromises when it comes to the financial side of things?
“I think the financial side of things is again unique to every business. Product-based and service-based businesses operate quite differently in the wedding market. I find that the larger the business is, the more difficult it is and the more processes there are. I encourage communication and meeting and trying to come to an agreement with your couple, where both are feeling that they’re making the better decision.
I think that having a hard and fast rule is tough – there’s a huge difference between a couple that’s had to cancel their wedding that’s in a few weeks, versus a few months. There’s a difference between a wedding that was for 20 people, versus 600 people… It is also important to remember that while you’re losing your deposit, that venue or supplier is losing an entire booking. A lot of the industry relies on cash flow and deposits, while 85% of the wedding industry is small businesses and sole traders.
I really hope that couples can be empathetic, but also as an Industry we need to be very mindful of overly-communicating. Answer your phone, check your emails and let your couples know what’s happening – even if you don’t have an answer. Say that you will get back to them next week. Think about the current situation, and if it was to continue into the new year – what would that mean moving forward?
We need to empathise from both sides and meet a middle ground. This time won’t last forever, but the legacy of your business and the way you’ve treated people right now, is what’s going to live on.”Wendy El-Khoury, Director & Founder of Wedded Wonderland and Wonderland Media
Do you want to listen to the full podcast?
Click here to listen online.
Click here to listen on Spotify.
Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.
Digital Content Coordinator: Zoe Kanlis
Featured Image: George John Photography