As we all know so many industries have taken such a hit during the lockdowns and weddings are certainly no exception. Not only the cancellations and the need for couples to re book but also the weddings that have been able to go ahead with the restrictions in place. And that is really what I was wanting to write about. We are so fortunate to have been able to open our studio after the first lockdown and be able to shoot close families, babies etc. I really feel for the guys and girls who are solely shooting weddings and, if couples haven’t been able to fit in with the restrictions, they have had all of their couples move dates and haven’t been able to shoot anything!
I think most photographers would agree that we are in the business of ‘people’ and weddings & portraiture are all about that. And that’s the thing that we’re missing. I’m not suggesting that it is worse for us than it is the couples that have had to postpone weddings! I remember planning my own and, to be fair I didn’t do a lot as the groom, I wouldn’t fancy having to do it twice or in some cases three times!
We have, however, been fortunate enough to shoot four weddings since the first lockdown ended. With the uncertainty of when weddings will be able to go back to the way we remember them, so many couples are facing the decision of weather to go ahead with some restrictions or move to 2022 or beyond to edge their bets that things will be sorted by then! This has led to a lot of couples asking what weddings have been like at the moment and people in general are interested. Pretty much everyone had plans for going to a wedding in 2020. We are all so familiar with the excitement, fun and lovely feeling you get with going to weddings. The venue looking amazing, fingers crossed for great weather, good food and drinks and above all, the people. Seeing the couple having a beautiful day and being able to see family and friend all together are all the elements that make for a wonderful wedding day. And I think that’s the worry for couples at the moment. If you can’t have everyone you want there and you have to put restrictions on what can be at your day then should you go ahead?? And I get that! I really do. The idea of having to restrict any part of your big day is traditionally something that should unleash a ‘bridezilla moment’!! The last time I can remember unforeseen circumstances causing disruption to weddings was the volcanic ash cloud (remember that?!) which meant family couldn’t travel from overseas, weddings abroad were cancelled etc. That seemed weird enough but all weddings across the board being stopped just seemed unthinkable.
All that being said, the weddings we have been able to shoot have been amazing! And here’s my honest thoughts on lockdown weddings. Is it a little odd seeing the congregation wearing masks? Maybe a bit but we are all getting used to seeing people in masks these days. Does the reduction in numbers allowed change things? Well this is the main issue for me. The weddings we shot this year were always going to have under thirty guests attending anyway so in that respect no! The venues were all popular venues and looked no less spectacular. In fact, I think they enjoyed being able to host a wedding again and really went all out to make sure the days went perfectly. Rudding Park, The Feversham Arms and Gommersal Park all did an amazing job in sticking to the restrictions without negatively impacting on the day. As photographers, we were also forced to change things slightly but nothing to impact the finished images for the couples.
So, for what it’s worth, this is what I think. Honestly, the restrictions made no difference to the actual feel of the day. They were still as amazing as they would have been anyway and the couples genuinely loved it! It almost felt even more of a big deal because so few were happening and it felt really special to be even at a wedding! I can however understand couples’ reservations on booking if they are planning on lots of guests. Not only the money involved! Parting with a chunk can be unsettling if you are uncertain of the venue’s future. I cannot recommend wedding insurance enough! This is often overlooked and is not very expensive. Now more thank ever it seems a good idea. If you need pointing in the right direction for wedding insurance, our governing body the SWPP has some trusted suppliers we can give you.
So, for what it’s worth I would have to say that if you are planning a wedding and are worried about the restrictions, the big consideration is the numbers. The actual day is not really affected at all! It will still be an amazing day and the venues are really doing everything possible to accommodate couples. Pictures, video, flowers, dresses are all still perfect, it’s really just up to you if the number of guests allowed is what you are wanting. There is certainly no reason to not start your planning!
To all future brides and grooms and all wedding industry suppliers… hang in there!! We will be back to normal soon, I’m sure. And even if there are still a few restrictions we will all get used to them. Remember when we were told to take our own carrier bags shopping? That seemed a right pain but its no big deal and I’m sure sticking a mask on during a wedding ceremony will be no big deal too!!
The very best of luck to all venues, suppliers and everyone involved in the wedding industry and let’s help each other out where we can. Looking forward to seeing families and friends all together and celebrating a loved one’s wedding. Its always been a privilege to be a part of and all the wedding photographers I know are missing it. Not just because of the lost revenue but the fact it is a fun job!!! And fellas…. Just think of the extra time this affords to plan the stag do!!
Have fun planning your wedding guys and we will see you soon!