In many ways, we’re (finally) on the upswing of the Covid-19 pandemic that has kept the globe in limbo for nearly two years…and counting.
In many states across the US as well as in countries worldwide, the availability of vaccines and other treatments has contributed to an ease in social distancing measures, mask mandates, and travel restrictions. At long last, a semblance of normalcy has been restored.
However, in the wedding and event industry, we’re not quite out of the woods yet.
Before we go any further, no. This is not a doom-and-gloom article that’s meant to suck the joy out of your wedding planning experience. You’ve already experienced enough of that if you got engaged anytime after January of 2020!
As your trusted guide to and through the wedding planning process, though, it’s our sincere belief that you deserve an honest look at what vendors across the country and the world are currently facing—and what that means for those planning milestone events in 2022 and beyond.
The Reality: Volume is High and Availability is Low
It may seem difficult to believe now that we’re speeding toward the end of 2021, but many couples that got engaged in 2019 and early 2020 are still in the process of planning their weddings. These couples, and their vendor partners, have truly experienced it all—the creation and deconstruction of plans A through F (at least), plus a series of postponements induced by lockdowns, shifting restrictions, secondary outbreaks, destination closures, venue limitations, and more.
Not wanting to compromise their long-held dreams for one of the most important occasions of their lives, many of these couples are just now saying “I do” alongside other, more recently engaged couples with planning timelines that have been less impeded by the pandemic.
After coming to a complete halt, every event scheduled to take place in the past two years is happening all at once. This bottleneck of weddings has led to a massive explosion of demand. From flower farms in Holland to event rental manufacturers in China, the supply chain has not been able to keep up. Shortages and shipping delays are the status quo, and—in every sense of the word—vendors are more stressed than ever before.
Brides and grooms at the tail end of this domino effect have found themselves facing limited options for decor and floral, unexpected design plan revisions, slow vendor communication, and the list goes on.
Now more than ever, you need a trustworthy wedding planner to help you navigate the chaos and determine the best path forward.
3 Reasons Your Wedding Planner is More Valuable Than Ever Before
Reason No. 1 | Your wedding planner will receive the fastest possible communication from all vendors, and act as your advocate at all times
Without the proper guide, you could very well spend months bogged down by shipping delays, planning logistics, and ghosted phone calls. Your planner, on the other hand, has a deep (and in our case, global) digital rolodex of vendor partners who can be trusted to bring your vision to life, even during these uncertain times…plus, the cell phone numbers of everyone you need to get in touch with!
Due to volume overwhelm, even your planner might experience a longer-than-usual lag in response times on occasion. However, he or she will be given priority among all vendor contacts—saving you weeks of frustration and wheel-spinning in the process.
It’s also worth noting that the cumulative effect of these additional stressors has led to a high turnover rate within the event industry. While your catering team members or venue personnel may shift, rest assured that your planner will remain a consistent advocate for your vision throughout the entire process.
Reason No. 2 | Your planner has the experience needed to solve problems before they spin out of control
On Instagram, it’s easy to browse a feed full of gorgeous events and assume that all is well in the world of weddings. What’s not seen in those polished “after” images, though, are the Herculean efforts taking place behind the scenes to ensure our clients’ events run seamlessly and achieve a flawless finish.
At this point, wedding planners are having to confirm details three or four times in order to close the loop. It’s not an exaggeration to say that, if you don’t have a planner, making lists and checking them thrice will quickly become your full-time job.
As your planner, we are constantly tracking the details of your day in order to keep small problems from morphing into a big moment that distracts from the importance of your occasion. We are your intermediary, and have the experience needed to execute immediately and act in your best interest if and when things go awry either before or during the wedding day.
As a point of reference, let’s zoom in on Lynn and John’s recent country club wedding.
When Making a Plan Becomes a Moving Target
As with all pandemic weddings, the theme of Lynn and John’s wedding was: Plan it, plan it again, plan it at least one more time!
Lynn and John had a vision for their wedding at Ridgewood Country Club that was turned on its head when the venue banned indoor dancing due to Covid-19. Under our guidance, a new plan came to light and quickly gained momentum due to an amazing vendor team and a trusting, creative couple.
Following an outdoor ceremony under a Sperry tent, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour overlooking the venue’s beautiful grounds, dinner inside a fully transformed ballroom, and then dancing back in the tent that was flipped into the ultimate party spot!
What you won’t see in these photos, however, are the moments minutes before the ceremony when the power went out in the venue, leaving a portion of the floral team trapped in the elevator, and the chef running to a nearby location to cook the food off-site. Truly, that’s just the way we like to keep it. No matter what happens, the wedding looks absolutely stunning and the couple and their guests are none the wiser of the work it took to pull off a fabulous and memorable occasion for all.
Reason No. 3 | Your planner has an accurate understanding of what your wedding will ACTUALLY cost
Many couples, along with their families, come to the first budget planning meeting for their wedding with a firm, round number in mind. While it certainly isn’t a bad thing to establish a ceiling for your total expenditure, it is your wedding planner’s job—and really, their duty—to inform you whether or not this number is realistic based on the current state of the market.
There are no two ways about it. If your planner is constructing your budget based on pre-pandemic numbers, you will find yourself kissing your financial goals goodbye long before you exchange your first kiss at the altar.
At Julian Leaver Events, we are constantly running the numbers on your wedding to see where we are at in terms of per-person spending. Our clients put their trust in our financial stewardship as we help them celebrate life’s most important events. As such, we are committed to relaying actual market costs right away so that there are no surprises.
. . .
Wedding planners have always been an asset to their clients, but in these uncertain times, the role your planner plays in actualizing your dreams has become invaluable.
At Julian Leaver Events, our journey begins with your vision. When you’re ready to take the first step toward planning a seamless wedding in 2022 or beyond, send us a note here. We look forward to hearing your story!
Photos: John Cain Photography and Lance Nicoll
“IT WAS EVEN BETTER THAN WE THOUGHT IT COULD BE”
“Julian, we’re home and now rested. We cannot thank you enough. It was absolutely perfect. You have been so wonderful through this whole process and I’m so happy we had you. You made our vision come to life and it was even better than we thought it could be. Thank you for understanding us and speaking [and] dreaming for us.
As for your team…they made the whole wedding group/family feel taken care of. Also, they called y’all the FBI! We were so impressed with how organized and chill you all were. Honestly, Julian, it was perfect. PERFECT. You were just the best. Thank you for everything. We couldn’t have asked for a better wedding weekend. Truly.” – Molly and Alex