Hear me out on this one: for as awful as the current climate is, maybe it isn't a bad thing after all.
I have a picture of my grandma and grandpa from their wedding. This was a long time ago, and I know things have changed, but look at how things are changing right now. The picture is four (of my most favorite) people from growing up: Margaret and Joe with their people, Betty and Tom. They all wear elegant suits and have on modest flowers to commemorate the day. The smiles are real. The love is palpable.
So I get it. You spent hours and weeks and months planning this big day. I have had the same conversation, though, when those details go wrong (as they tend to do), or someone spills, or the cake goes missing, or your mom is just beside herself with emotion and takes it out on your friends:
Me: What's wrong?
Client: Well, X, Y, and Z.
Me: Okay, and what is the ultimate goal of the day?
Client: I need this, and that, and...
Me: As long as you get married today, the day is complete.
I am not trying to minimalize all the work (and money) that is put into a wedding. I am trying to refocus and find perspective.
The wedding industry is a machine that keeps moving forward at warp speed. Once reserved for the wealthy and royalty, dream weddings are now something we all beat ourselves up over (and often go into debt) to achieve.
COVID-19 sucks. It is seriously killing my business. I know weddings are different, and we are all conscious of how we spend our money right now, but with outdoor photography, in theory, we can stay socially distant (I have a long range lens and a megaphone) and still take beautiful pictures - so let's do it.
Aside from my wedding photography, I enjoy bartending one day a week to get out of my house - mainly because if I don't have enough social interaction, I will undoubtedly perish. My friends who I work with are struggling hard right now, with our tips and their livelihood taken.
My clients are freaking out, and to be honest - I have been freaking out with them.
But, this morning, I had a thought.
What if this is what we NEED to put things into perspective again? What if this is the shift from doing what Pinterest compels us to do (I am guilty af over here) or what society expects us to do (pfffft, whatever), and we start doing what means the most to us.
Instead of cancelling your wedding, let's rethink it. Keep in mind that once all of this passes, we will find you a stress-free day to party-down with all of your loved ones.
Option 1: Elopement
Admittedly, I pick this as option #1, because all the National Parks are still open, we can easily practice social distancing, and you can self-solemnize in Colorado. Picture you and your lover, on a mountaintop, wind blowing your dress, while you read vows to each other. The pictures are always insanely gorgeous and worth it.
Option 2: Small Ceremony
I have a couple doing this. Eight people (plus me) will be doing a small, shortened ceremony. Might I be wearing a mask? Probably. Are we going to limit contact/touching and sanitize everything? ABSOLUTELY. Am I quarantining myself for like 2 weeks afte
Option 3: Postpone
Okay, while I hate this one, I think it is the best for now. We have a duty and an obligation to protect the people we love and take this virus seriously. However, does it matter if you marry the person you are quarantined with in the next two months? They are probably stuck with you for at least another six, and we can make it work. Talk to your vendors. We are here to help and we will figure this all out, together.
No matter what you decide, I just ask that you take a minute to rethink things. Think about what matters most to you. If that is 400 of your closest family and friends dancing around barefoot outside of a barn in a summer rainstorm (because seriously I would love to photograph that) OR if that is 4 of your closest friends hiking a 14,000-foot peak with you to witness your vows...DO IT.
Until then, stay safe, stay healthy, wash your hands, and be kind <3