Thinking Of Postponing Your Wedding?
Wow! What a year 2020 was and 2021 is shaping up to be! Firstly, I’d just like to extend my heartfelt sympathies for any personal or professional impact the pandemic may have had on your life.
In times like these, we’ve all been pushed into new ways of living and working, but if any positive can come of these difficult times, it’s an opportunity to reflect on what truly matters to us.
Like so many other sectors, the wedding industry has been hit hard. Many venues and suppliers have been forced to permanently close, whilst those of us still here are doing all we can to be supportive of couples whilst also gripping onto our businesses for dear life. These are difficult times for us all.
I’ve written this guide to provide as much information as I can to all my couples whose weddings still hang in the balance. If your wedding has been impacted, it’s likely that you made your booking with me back in 2018 or 2019. Having already been forced to postpone your wedding to late 2020, now 2021 and still crossing your fingers, you may now be thinking of a further postponement on account of the ever-changing regulations surrounding Covid-19. For some of you, that’s four years of waiting, and I feel your frustration and disappointment just as keenly.
I understand why you’re considering moving your wedding date as far into the future as seems reasonable to avoid the effects of the pandemic. I appreciate there are many twists and turns when planning a wedding during these Covid times. Nevertheless, when the day arrives, whenever it may be, I have no doubt it will be as wonderful as you first dreamed it would be, and that these difficult times will be far behind us, or at least on their way out!
I’ve had to think very carefully about how to manage my services, particularly with regards to rollover dates, so as to ensure my business remains financially viable. The decisions I have made are in line with other wedding photographers and Government’s guidance. Bookings as far back as 2018 have been affected, which means that dates have rolled over from 2020 to 2021 and now to 2022 in some cases. These rollover dates reduce capacity to accept new bookings, which in turn, reduces several years worth of income, not just the immediately affected months of the pandemic. However, it’s not your fault either, so I want to be as fair as possible.
Despite the ever rising costs of business, and the decline of my income from wedding photography, I have sought to remain buoyant and supportive of couples. After all, I want you to have a wedding day filled with happiness and I want to be there to capture it! It’s still a huge honour and I’m looking forward to your big day!
FOR COUPLES WHOSE WEDDING CANNOT LEGALLY TAKE PLACE
I am, of course, freely rolling over any dates affected by Covid lockdown restrictions, whereby a wedding cannot legally take place.
If you are forced to postpone for legal reasons, I would really appreciate that you get in touch prior to confirming a new date. I have already begun my work and commitment to you and very much want to carry on to photograph your wedding! We’d both prefer to avoid the disappointment of ending our relationship if I can’t attend your new date. However, in this instance, please note that I will honour a refund on any monies you’ve already paid to me, minus a charge for expenses, work and administration I’ve already undertaken. This is in line with Government guidance.
As we’ve become accustomed to short notice changes in restrictions, there is no notice period required. It’s unfortunate for us all but we’ll work together to make a new plan if possible.
There will be no additional fees for a postponement to account for my annual rising prices.
FOR COUPLES WHOSE WEDDING CAN LEGALLY TAKE PLACE BUT FOR WHOM A POSTPONEMENT IS A PREFERENCE
This is for couples whose wedding would legally be permitted to go ahead, but whom are choosing to postpone (for example, due to a wish for greater guest numbers). In this case, the booking fee will be forfeited and will not be rolled over to a new date. This is to compensate my business for the loss of opportunity to book your original date whereby a wedding would be permitted. However, in the interest of fairness, I will return your forefitted booking fee if I manage to secure a new booking on your cancelled date.
Should you wish to proceed with my services for a new date, this will be treated as a new booking. Therefore, a new booking fee for the new date will be incurred.
I fully respect that you don’t want to have to compromise on your hopes and plans for your wedding, and that a postponement is entirely your choice to make. Therefore, to show my support, I will offer a 10% discount on the second booking fee (only) if you’d like to make a new booking with me, and you can book at my old prices despite my annual rising prices.
IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY CONSIDERING A POSTPONEMENT
I understand the tricky position you are in and the difficulties of making a decision without clear guidance for your date yet in place. We can only speculate as to what the future holds. The only thing you can do is hold clear in your mind your priorities, and what your wedding day means for you.
If you are considering postponing but are leaving it until close to your wedding to decide, please bear in mind the information above. If it transpires that your wedding cannot legally take place, then of course we have no choice and you’ll be able to roll over your booking. However, if restrictions do allow your wedding to take pace but you decide to postpone due to a desire for fewer restrictions, you will unfortunately lose your booking fee (any additional monies paid will be returned).
Therefore, my best advice is to consider now what you’d be willing to compromise on should restrictions be in place on your wedding date. Some couples already know that they will not be content to proceed with their wedding at the kinds of numbers that tier restrictions have so far enforced (ie. 6, 15 or 30 guests), for example. Whilst we cannot speculate on the future, we must at least consider the possibility that restrictions for social gatherings may remain in place. The historical restrictions might give us some idea of what these might look like over the coming months.
In the interest of fairness, please note that any potential postponement remains unsecured without a booking fee. Whilst I thank you for letting me know, unfortunately, I can’t commit to an alternative date whilst also retaining your old date. This is because it limits my capacity to accept another booking on one or the other date. I’d very much appreciate the opportunity to accept bookings so as not to turn away any custom unnecessarily at this time. It’s just not sustainable for my business to reserve dates in this way, especially in the popular summer months when I have to maximise my income to last through the quieter winter months. I will, of course, be courteous and let you know if another couple come forward in the meantime, by which time I would need a decision.
As a new booking, there may be additional fees to account for my rising prices.
FOR COUPLES WHO ARE PROCEEDING WITH THEIR WEDDING BUT FOR WHOM RESTRICTIONS ARE IN PLACE
If you are proceeding with your wedding but your day is severely impacted in terms of time and numbers, we will discuss the possibilities for a reduction in your coverage and fee. I don’t want you to worry about paying full fees if your day looks completely different to when you initially booked me under non-Covid regulations.
I hope this helps to clarify the situation and I’m very happy to discuss anything with you.
Let’s look forward to a brighter summer in 2021 and beyond!
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