So Covid-19 has screwed up the last few weeks up for pretty much everyone, and on so many levels it's overwhelming. I was supposed to be meeting lots of lovely couples at wedding shows but sadly all had to be cancelled. Not to mention navigating my way through wedding postponements and cancellations. The long and short of it is Covid-19 is a little bitch and it looks like she isn't going anywhere for a while so we are going to have to get used to it!
So the practical part of my brain has been thinking how I could help couples during these weird and unpredictable times...so first up I thought I would write a little post to all the wedding couples out there. Those who have had to cancel or postpone their wedding and to those couples planning on getting married in 2021 or 2022 as to why now is not to the time to hesitate on the wedding planning. In fact its the best time to plan your wedding. Here's why....
2021 is booking up fast! The majority of my 2020 cakes that were booked in for the first half of the year have moved to 2021 dates. I am a team of 1 and I put my heart, soul, and a heap of time into each cake, so in order to maintain quality and individuality of each cake I make, I can only offer a limited amount of dates each year. You will probably find your planned suppliers or venues will be experiencing the same thing and therefore getting your preferred suppliers and even wedding date will be more of a challenge than ever before. Don't despair though many of us are small independent businesses and we can be flexible. We will do our best to accommodate you wherever we can. Whilst we can be flexible it also really helps us if you can be flexible too...if a venue can't offer your planned date can you move to a different date or day? Why not get married on a Friday or a Monday, you may find this cheaper too!
Lock in your prices now! The Wedding Industry (like many others) has taken a massive financial hit. The postponement of weddings is absolutely necessary and every wedding supplier will be grateful for postponement over cancellation, (I can guarantee we all still want to make your wedding an incredible experience for you) but a postponement is, from a financial perspective, still a cancellation. Moving to a new date prevents us from taking another booking and in some cases we have been unable to offer our services for your new date and so have to refund you anyway. None of this is anyone's fault and hundreds of thousands of others are in a similar position in many other industries. I am not not looking for sympathy here, everyone is taking a hit in some form...the point is somewhere down the line wedding costs are without a doubt going to rise. Industry experts are expecting costs to increase by at least 20% if not more due to the huge financial impact on the wedding industry. Combine this with the extra demand for dates in 2021 and 2022 and its extremely likely that the cost of your wedding is going to go up. Now is the time confirm those bookings.
Got your date and venue sorted? Great stuff, but don't rest on your laurels...get those key suppliers lined up while you can. Caterers, celebrants, photographers, florists, cake makers (me!), bands, planners, wedding dress makers are all seeing increased demand for dates in 2021 and 2022 and you might find your dream suppliers are no longer available. Granted you can't meet them in person right now to plan your requirements, but you have already set your heart on them being part of your special day, if you can afford to, pay a deposit to secure them in place. Not only does this give you security and lock in your price, its gives us small businesses cash flow to keep going! Trust me we will hold you in our hearts forever as the couples who helped us.
Still not sure about planning your wedding? Here are a few ideas to help you plan with confidence.
1. Get help! Seriously if you have budgeted for one, seek out the assistance of an established and professional wedding planner. If you have booked a venue already or have one in mind they may well provide you with a coordinator. Planners have loads of reliable contacts with all kinds of wedding suppliers and will be able to help you pick out the ones most suitable for your wedding. A great place to start is The Wedding Industry Awards Directory here you will find a UK wide trusted network of top rated wedding suppliers (I'm listed in here too).
2. Do your research If you're not using a wedding planner then be prepared to do your own research and I mean more than scrolling through Insta feeds (although this is a good place to start)! Have they got a website and an easy way to contact them or are they just listed on Facebook? Nothing wrong with that but generally speaking a professional business will at the very least have a website. Have they got the necessary insurances in place (usually public liability and business insurance but they may need other specialist insurances or industry certifications depending on what they supply). Lets face it if you're at home 24/7 there has never been a better time to head down the wedding research hole! Another great site to check out is Magpie Wedding Directory All suppliers on here hold true to their values which focus on love, ethics, wellbeing and equality.
3. Read the Terms & Conditions One thing that 2020 has taught us all is to read those thoroughly dull but thoroughly important T&C's. Actually this applies to any contract you are entering into not just for weddings! A professional supplier will provide you with a copy as a matter of course and many now have them available to read on their websites. If you have any queries in relation to the terms and your contract, talk to the supplier as they should be able to explain to you how it may or may not affect your booking.
4. Insurance Another lifelong lesson courtesy of 2020...get insurance...and not any old insurance, proper, decent insurance designed for weddings. Again do your research go with a reputable provider even if its more costly. Check who the underwriters are and read the terms and conditions (see above!) You may find the package you pick does not provide enough coverage or excludes certain elements that you need. It's also crucial that your venue and suppliers have public liability insurance.
5. Pay your deposits Peace of mind comes when you know you have your key suppliers in place and the only way to do this is to pay your deposit. It's tempting to hold off paying for anything right now, especially if money is tight. If you have saved for your wedding and you have checked all the things above, spoken to the suppliers and feel confident in your choices then it's time to pay your deposit. If you haven't got enough money to secure everything you want then pick the big ticket items which you absolutely cannot do without and pay the deposits for them. Alternatively talk to suppliers and explain your situation some may be willing to offer a reduced deposit rate or a payment plan to allow you to spread the cost out over a few months. As a supplier adapting to this uncertain world I know I can be flexible with payment plans so if you absolutely want a cake from me but can't afford the deposit right now just let me know and I can offer an alternative payment option for you.
One final thing to leave you with... this isn't going to last forever, the world will seem much brighter on the other side and we will all be more grateful and thankful for your weddings when they do come around. On that note I am signing off with a little thank you of my own. From today all NHS staff & Care Workers getting married in 2020, 2021 or 2022 will now receive a 15% discount on their wedding cakes! It's not much but I just wanted to say thank you. (Only one of the couple needs to be employed by the NHS or as a care worker, proof of employment will be required)
CONTACT ME if you are looking for an extraordinary wedding cake!
photo credit: Nik Bryant Photography