Ways You Can Support Small Wedding Businesses During COVID-19
We have all felt the pinch in varying degrees during this pandemic and some of the hardest hit has been the small wedding businesses. These guys are not only seasonal, but also not an everyday gig. They work at weekends and during the holidays when we don’t want to, the time when we want to celebrate! A lot of the trade for these small wedding businesses can not simply be transferred online, so you’re average wedding cake maker for example is up a creek when it comes to paying their rent. Sure, said cake maker could start selling mini versions of her creations online but if she’s not set up to do this instantly that takes time and money – there is also a lot less dough (dough… baking? Kind of works!?) flying around, so the general public is also unlikely to want to fork out (come on… fork, that works!) on sweet treats for the family when they don’t even know where the next decent meal is coming from. Its hard, and there are many other examples of this for small wedding businesses.
It’s only natural that if you’re planning a wedding right now or have just made the difficult but sensible decision to put your big day on pause due to Corvid-19, you may be feeling an understandable degree of anxiety in this current world climate. With a large proportion of 2020 weddings now being pushed back to the tail end of the year and into 2021, the next six months are pretty scary for the small wedding businesses that make up the majority of this industry. As an industry however, they are a united bunch of people. Behind the scenes, suppliers are all working together to ensure that their livelihoods continue and that the weddings they’ve committed to are going to go off without a hitch!
But I know that any measures of support are hugely appreciated. And I wanted to share some ideas for how you can actively support small wedding businesses during COVID-19, so that your wedding team can kick on in full force once this has all passed.
Support Small Wedding Businesses in this Time of Need
POSTPONE, DON’T CANCEL
This is a big one, that’s why its first! Unless this lockdown has taught you that your soon-to-be better half is not actually the one for you, you’re still going to get married right! So just pause the big day and keep the suppliers you chose on standby ready for the new date. If the pandemic has caused you deep financial problems and really you have to dial back on the big day budget, that’s fair enough. But if not, then please keep your original suppliers in place – they don’t deserve to have the rug pulled out from under them any more than you do.
Work with your local small wedding businesses during this lockdown to see how you can help — they will be extremely grateful that you’re there for them during what could be the roughest period of their career. If it’s financially possible for you, consider sending your payments ahead of time, or, if you postponed your big day, at the same time you were originally scheduled to.
Share and promote on social media.
During this time of global crisis, many of us are spending more and more time on various social media platforms. We share ideas, photos, and connect with each other despite being unable to see one another in person. Use these powerful platforms to support the small wedding businesses you’re working with for your big day.
- Link to your caterer’s website and promote how they’re doing home delivery to help others during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Write a post or review about how fantastic your wedding planner has been in helping you navigate our new, albeit temporary, normal.
- Share everything your wedding band or DJ is doing. Share your DJ’s music or promote the incredible shows your wedding band has played in the past or is doing at home!
- Is your wedding venue one of the thousands that signed up to help the NHS community during this time? Show them some love on your social media channels.
Even if you’re already married, you can still support your suppliers! Sharing your wedding photos and reviewing the great work your caterer, florist, wedding shop or venue did will help them drum up even more business when we’re able to gather again.
Remember, these suppliers have been with you from the beginning, and you want them to still be there when we get back to normal.
Support small wedding businesses with business outside of weddings.
Your small wedding businesses can do so much more than weddings, and a great way to support them during this time is to utilize them for things beyond your big day. Ask your caterer to set you up with pre-prepared meals for you and your loved ones to enjoy while you’re quarantined. If your wedding cake maker has set up an online store, treat yourselves to some brownies or cupcakes to be delivered. Set up time with your photographer to take family portraits or see if they are offering other services like photo restoration. Ask your bartender to send you pre-poured cocktails for your next Zoom happy hour! The options are endless
Not sure if your supplier offers any services during this time? Check! Many business are offering services that they didn’t in the past. A simple peek at their social media or website, an email or phone call could make all the difference to them. Even if they’re not maybe you could inspire them to start.
Support Local with Your Wedding Favours
Often when it comes to wedding favours people buy in bulk online either from Amazon or Etsy, but why not start your search for favours a little closer to home. There’s something special and unique about every wedding location, even if its 5 minutes down the road – often we don’t actually know about all the amazing people working around us. Find a local boutique/shop/supplier/creator that makes something specialised to the area to include in your wedding welcome bags or as favours. This can be something edible, drinkable, a custom label or even gift wrapping.
Choose a Local Print Shop or Designer
There are quite a few stationery needs for any wedding. Instead of giving your business to a big company, find a local stationery designer or print shop to get the job done. From invitations to place cards and programs, all of these needs result in quite a bit of money spent on paper. Alternatively, you could find a local and talented calligrapher to aid in creating some of these items, further supporting small wedding businesses and local talent, all while including beautiful touches that will make your day even more special.
Consider a Mid-Week Wedding
We are going to see a lot of mid-week weddings in 2020 and 2021 when all the postponed weddings finally take place. The talented team putting together your wedding is going to be juggling their calendar constantly for some time to come, while also taking on new clients for peak season wedding dates next year.
Snagging popular days of the week (think Friday-Sunday) and times of the year unfortunately might not be possible, but other days of the week and off-season period (i.e. winter weddings) are still amazing options! You’ll have way better luck locking in one of these dates, and it will likely mean you can get married sooner. Wedding venues and small wedding businesses will want to kiss your feet too – this may mean that the caterer you couldn’t get before may now be free and possibly at a discount!
Sure, a mid-week wedding may not be every guest’s cup of tea but if people really want to come and celebrate with you, they will. Even if it does mean one hell of a hungover at work the next day!
All of these ideas and simply suggestions and of course, as I said above if the Corvid-19 outbreak has put you and your loved ones in real financial peril, please go ahead and cancel the small wedding businesses you have booked. Everyone’s situation is different and for some of you that situation may well be catastrophic, if so, my heart goes out to you. If this isn’t the case then I implore you to stick with the guys you booked and help them to help you have the best bloody wedding when all the dust has settled!