This post has been brewing and brewing simply because I did not want to jump the gun. My weddings that were all set to occur in the past few months involved me speaking individually to the couples affected. Like much of the midwest, “wedding season” when not counting these summer months, is in the fall. The weather is much more bearable and everyone loves the colors in their photos.
I, like many other people, have been taking in as much CDC, WHO, & medical expertise/anecdotes day after day in order to know what the “right thing” is to do. I’m not a scientist, I cannot predict the future, but I have always been the type to err on the side of caution and safety. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything clear cut and a lot of things are still a guessing game. Therefore, I will be making updates to this as needed.
I cannot imagine how hard this must be to have to make these difficult decisions right now. Please know that I don’t take this lightly and above all I want you to be happy and healthy as well. My goal isn’t to shame anyone and it isn’t to change your mind. It’s to let you know that there are options and hopefully give peace of mind.
Here are the proactive steps that I am taking:
- I am no longer taking any additional weddings for 2020. I do not feel as though it’s responsible for me to be in large crowds any more than necessary as every job I take could lead to me contracting COVID and therefore bringing it to my next job. As of now, my weddings are reasonably spaced with the exception of a few jobs.
- All sweetheart sessions will take place outdoors. I will be wearing a mask/will have a mask readily available in the event that we are somewhere social distancing cannot be achieved.
- All weddings that take place indoors I will also be wearing a mask. I ask that my safety be respected and everyone take reasonable steps to not hug, high-five, etc. This is heartbreaking for me too as I love all of my clients and know we have become friends.
- I have a list of backup photographers who I will contact in the event that I do contract COVID-19. Hopefully, this does not happen but I have done my best to ensure there are backups upon backups.
Here are some alternatives that you *can* consider if you are concerned:
- Downsize your wedding. Every wedding I have photographed so far this year since the outbreak has chosen to downsize their wedding from 150+ people to 50 or less. It has allowed for easier social distancing and the ability to have an intimate gathering between those who matter most and them. Downsizing your wedding collection with me may apply.
- Postpone your wedding. Over half of the weddings I had scheduled for this year (10+) have moved to 2021. This way, they are still able to celebrate at the size they want while hopefully decreasing risk. Everything will need to be continuously evaluated. I am allowing postponements at no additional cost.
- Get married anyway and celebrate next year. This is very close to just postponing but if you picked a certain date, it probably holds significance for you. Get married on your original day. Celebrate. Have the day for yourself and then next year party with all your friends and family. Photographing next year’s celebration would come at no additional cost. If requested, for an additional fee I could photograph y’all on your intended wedding day as an intimate celebration to capture those moments.
- Move your wedding outdoors, have a plated meal instead of a buffet, require masks. Basically do whatever you can to lessen the chances of a spread. You can only control so much, but if you know you’re doing everything you can, it’ll take a load off of your shoulders as well.
The most important thing we can provide each other right now is open and honest communication. It’s a hard time for everyone involved and being a small business owner means that we have to make a lot of tough calls right now.
I wish more than anything we could pretend this virus wasn’t happening and go back to having grand celebrations and that nothing else would matter. Clearly, we know that’s not in our immediate future.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns and if you’re looking to move your wedding or book me for 2021, reach out.