What a year 2020 has been. Not just for me, but the entire wedding industry and of course, millions of couples who had their dreams ruined by Covid-19.
2020 started out as the best year of my career. In January, I had very few open dates left through out the summer and most had booked larger packages including both DJ, photo booth and in many cases, ceremony and up lighting. I had events in January and February and even the first week of March. Rumors were swirling at that time about this new virus and I had no idea what was to come.
Suddenly, everything closed down and we were told to stay home. I began to wonder how this would affect my clients (starting in May). I went from having the biggest income in years to having nothing to support my family and pay our bills. And while my policy has always been the same (deposits/retainers are non-refundable), I did come up with a specific policy for Covid-19.
Clients began to call and I offered them the option to reschedule anytime within the next 2 years. Fortunately, most picked a date in 2021, similar to the date the had in 2020. A few opted to move to the late summer and some, fall. Of all the weddings I had scheduled, just two decided to continue without a large gathering and without entertainment. Both of them were offered credit (their original deposit) towards any future event within 3 years.
Of the few weddings that did move forward, all of them enjoyed an amazing day with those that chose to attend and zero issues that I am aware of.
As a licensed Michigan health worker, I am well-versed in the procedures and protocols to prevent the spread of this virus. We took great precaution to make our events safe, utilizing touch-free photo stations, song requests by text message, sanitizing microphones between use and limiting direct interaction with guests.
Moving forward to 2021, I'm starting the year off with a somewhat full calendar because of all the rescheduled weddings from 2020. My suggestion for those planning any event this year is to first check the policy with your vendors regarding deposits/retainers. You won't find anyone offering refunds, but they should be offering you the option to reschedule or use that money towards a future event. Keep in mind that many of us do not qualify for any sort of compensation for our lost income and if we do, it's not even a fraction of our normal income.
All this being said, I truly hope that those who have put their dreams on hold and those who have struggled to stay afloat during these times can move forward in 2021.