Coronavirus resources for wedding vendors

Updated Apr 23 2020
Guest post by Elisabeth Kramer

Last week, we did two posts for couples whose weddings are being impacted by Coronavirus. Today, we're sharing this post by Portland coordinator Elisabeth Kramer, with advice and resources for wedding vendors. Please leave a comment if you have additional links to share!

Is this a wedding coordinator, suiting up to work their next gig? This custom gas mask is by RubberMasking.
Well, shit.

My current mental state right now yo-yos between “panic” and “anxiety” with a nice undertow of “dread and foreboding.” I’m fortunate in that a lot of that panic, anxiety, dread, and foreboding are tied to my business, rather than my health or the health of my loved ones.

Still, shit shit shit.

I’ve encountered a lot of great resources for wedding vendors and small business owners. Here’s my attempt to compile them for your reference. If you have more to add, please email me. To the best of my ability, I have tried to include links and credit wherever I could.

Onward.

Relief funds, trainings, and calls

Weekly

On March 17, 2020, I hosted a vendor hang on Zoom and it went so well that I’m making it a weekly thing for the foreseeable future: Every Tuesday from 5 to 5:45 p.m. PT. Free to join: https://zoom.us/j/109529200

Thursday, March 19

Lisa Johnson in the U.K. is hosting The Resilience Summit on Thursday, March 19. The summit is free and, per Johnson, “There will be no selling or launching during the summit. We just want to pull together and help.” Shared courtesy of Jonelle Shado Beni.

Templates you can use

I created a template from the email I sent my own clients to inform them of their rights. You can view that here.

Cindy Savage of Seattle’s Aisle Less Traveled expedited an episode of her podcast Super Gay Wedding and also created this super comprehensive guide to all things coronavirus and weddings. The article is mainly client-facing and you do have to subscribe to a newsletter to get additional resources but the advice is worth it.

Meg Hotchkiss of New York-City based planning company LVR Events kindly shared these email templates. They’re a great place to start as you correspond with clients, vendors, and guests.

Note that as of publishing, Meg doesn’t include a template for if your clients want to cancel their wedding so I created one. I also created a template for clients to use for more immediate, less concrete updates for any wedding party members, immediate family members, or guests who need an update more quickly than other guests.

Articles worth reading

I’m a big fan of Mike Michalowicz’ work (“Profit First” radically improved my business). He recently released this article and video on three ways to strengthen your business right now without getting grubby. Nothing in it was like “woah! million-dollar idea there” but I found it a much-needed dose of rational optimism.

My lawyer, Cooper Warner of Namaste Law, wrote up this super helpful article about what the hell force majeure means and other terms to look for in your contract.

This website is a treasure trove of resources for freelance artists, which many of us vendors are. Shared courtesy of Corey Torpie Photography.

I also wrote up my experience as a wedding planner about steps I’m taking for my couples and my business.

What other vendors are doing

Everybody’s situation is different because we all have different business models and demands on our time and money. That in mind, I thought it be useful to know how other wedding vendors are handling this situation:

  • For me, you can see the email I sent my clients here. I’m handling each wedding on a case-by-case basis but, to date, have offered a 50 percent refund of a final balance for a couple that canceled their late March wedding. I didn’t have to do this — their balance was non-refundable — but I felt like it was the least I could do and I’m fortunate to be in a place where my I could do this.

    Also, as of March 17, 2020, I’m gifting 5 percent of every new booking to a fellow wedding vendor randomly selected off this list.

  • Here’s what Christina Wachspress of Novella Theory is doing: “We are converting our deposits for floral orders to be refundable up to 3 weeks prior to wedding day for 2020 weddings due to the uncertainty of it all. I am hoping this helps ease financial concern for those still planning their summer and fall weddings. There may be caveats for certain special orders when it comes to materials (vases, etc.) but we will be as flexible as possible and working with local floral product that allows us to.”

  • Here’s an idea from Marissa Solini of Marissa Solini Photography: Write a review for vendors whom you’ve enjoyed working with, even if it’s been a bit since you worked together. Google My Business and Yelp are great places to start though a quick Google search of any vendor’s name and business will usually show you where they collect reviews.

For your couples

I’ve created a separate article specific to resources that vendors can share with their couples… because your couples need you!

We'd love to hear from YOU, wedding vendors — how can we support each other and our clients during this challenging, confusing time?

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