Part 2: Covid-19 and wedding suppliers
From our Tower Hill Barns regular suppliers, here’s all the tips you need to plan your wedding during the era of Covid-19, amidst a country-wide lockdown.
In Part 1, we covered everything you need to know about planning your wedding during the ongoing global Coronavirus Pandemic. From rescheduling dates and managing financial strain (btw, here’s our free wedding planning budget spreadsheet), to virtual tours and the worry of an already full diary in 2021, we’ve done our best to provide you with the answers you most need to know.
Whether you have already booked your wedding with us, or you’re hoping to book your wedding with us, you’ll find all the answers in Part 1: planning a wedding during Coronavirus.
Here in Part 2, we’ve had a chat with some of our regular suppliers. And we offer up their advice to you during this wedding season as it continues to be influenced by the Coronavirus uncertainty. You’ll notice contributions from Elizabeth Louise Bridal, Tab Nab Cakes, Vivid Floral, Richard Miller Photography, and Joe Bickerton Photography.
Covid-19, and FAQs from the suppliers:
The common questions that have come up over the last month for our photographers, florists, venue dressers, and wedding cake suppliers, and how they’ve dealt with them.
Rescheduling your photographer:
Joe of Photography by Joe Bickerton says:
“If you need to reschedule, most wedding photographers [myself included] will simply be happy to move your deposit and original booking to your new date. It’s important that as you go about these communications with your venue, to stay in regular contact with your photographer to keep them informed about your plans. And, so that you can avoid a potential clash of dates, you should check their availability for future dates before you confirm with your venue.”
Another tip for how to minimise a clash of dates:
If you’re keen for an easy life, photographers like Joe, and also Richard of Richard Miller Photography have availability calendars on their website that they update almost daily. Richard says, “it means that when couples are rearranging, they can see when I am available and they can hopefully get it all to tie in.”
But if you are facing a clash of dates…. here’s a super positive tip from Joe:
“You’ll find that myself, and other photographers in the region, will be happy to call upon a trusted associate professional photographer to step in and cover your new wedding date. They’ll then provide the images they take to me [or the original photographer you booked], and I’ll do all the editing of your photos in the same signature style you fell in love with – likely the reason you booked me in the first place. This means that even in the unfortunate circumstance of a clash of dates, you’ll still get that same look and feel from your wedding photos that you’d originally hoped for.”
‘Our wedding was meant to be this Spring, however, we’re now thinking about a winter wedding. How will that impact photography on our day?’
A few couples have made this decision over the last month, simply to try and keep their wedding within the 2020 calendar year. Spring is a gorgeous season for your wedding photographs, with longer evenings and the colour flourishing in the gardens at Tower Hill Barns.
Joe says, “a winter wedding can be just as charming and picturesque! Over the last 5-years, I have shot numerous times at Tower Hill Barns between November and February and whilst it has been a bit chillier, we’ve experienced epic sunsets, blue skies, cosy sessions around the fire pit and incredible white weddings where the snow has provided a stunning vista across the Dee Valley.”
“With a winter wedding, you’ll have to consider that the days will be a bit shorter. However, your photographer will always work with you to maximise the time you have available between your ceremony and wedding breakfast to allow you time with your guests but to also make the most of the light for your photographs.”
Plus, Tower Hill Barns is an all year round venue, with plenty of warm indoor space for your guests to relax, have fun and celebrate with you in style!
>> Your flowers
Vivid Floral explained that their shop is currently closed, but they are still answering all enquiries and organising weddings and events via phone, email, and Facebook messenger. Their shop phone is redirected, so that the number remains the same: 01978 350044. Vivid Floral answers some of our most commonly asked questions:
My wedding date has been postponed, what will happen with my flowers?
If you have already booked your flowers with us, your booking will be transferred to your new date at no extra charge.
Will I lose any money?
Absolutely not, your deposit and any payments that have been made towards your final balance will be transferred to your new date.
What if you’re not available on our new date?
We understand how difficult having to reschedule your big day is, so we will do everything we can to try and accommodate your new date. However, in the unfortunate circumstance where this is not possible, we will offer you a full refund.
Is there a time scale on when our new date needs to be within, to be able to transfer our previous booking?
To transfer the full account, the new date should be rescheduled within 2 years of the original date.
We’re still unsure if our wedding can go ahead, how much notice do you need?
We would need to know 2 weeks before your wedding date, as this is when the flowers will be ordered and the final balance must be paid. If the cancellation is made after this point, a full refund will not be possible. However, any flowers ordered will be yours, and we can discuss options available, such as making them into arrangements for yourself or family and friends to enjoy.
Will I still be able to have the same flowers as before?
Some flowers have certain seasonal availability and may not be available at the rescheduled date. However, the majority of our fresh flowers come directly from Holland and many flowers are available all year round. We have an excellent relationship with our suppliers who will go above and beyond to source certain flowers if possible.
If there is a specific flower that has sentimental meaning to you, or that you feel simply must be included, but is unavailable, there is the option of including an artificial alternative. We use only the highest quality silk flowers, which when incorporated with fresh flowers look extremely authentic. We can order these in advance to ensure you are happy with them before being included in the arrangement.
Can I change the flowers/colours/style/quantities?
Yes, no problem at all! Depending on the season of your new wedding, you may wish to go with a completely different theme, or you might have a bunch of new ideas to consider. We can arrange a further consultation to discuss any amendments including quantities and flower choices, and the different options available.
Will there be any changes in cost due to rescheduling?
As always, we will endeavour to provide the very best value within your budget. However, at this time, we cannot guarantee there won’t be cost increases in the future as a result of economic conditions outside of our control. In particular, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global flower market and potential auction/grower price increases. We can promise we will be as flexible as possible and discuss all options, including any potential price increases, at your next consultation.
> Further links you might like: how to choose your winter wedding flowers
We asked Tab Nab Cakes how they’re handling the current covid19 effects, and gave her our most commonly asked questions.
We had been set to have the busiest May on record this year, and that’s pretty huge, as 2019 was busy! So it is a really strange feeling to look ahead to a clear diary. Although I did manage to do two weddings in the week before the lockdown came into effect. Although quite unexpectedly, I’ve had a number of enquiries and bookings from couples who had been due to get married abroad [later in the year] who’ve now changed their plans and rescheduled their wedding here in the UK instead.
We’ve been advised to reschedule our wedding, but are worried we won’t find a date that all of our suppliers [including our cake] can do…
Essentially, [and quite happily] I’m going to have a very busy 2021. I’ve told all of my couples not to worry. You just go ahead and book whichever date you can get that works for you, and the rest of the suppliers, and I will fit in. I don’t want anyone to have to be phoning multiple people to discuss each date, just to make it tie in. This means I will draft in help if I need to.
What’s your procedure with rescheduling? And what would happen to our deposit?
I’ve been in contact with all couples who’ve booked in and that are affected by the lockdown and restrictions. And I’m in touch with all upcoming couples who might be affected in the coming months. All deposits and payments are safe and transferred to new dates. I’m happy that everyone (except for 1 who’s still waiting on a new date) has re-booked.
We’ve not yet booked our cake supplier and were hoping to secure you. What can we do during this time?
I’m currently still open for quotes, bookings, and virtual consultations or calls. My diary is still looking good for 2021, and I’m happy to send out flavour samples for you to try.
Although we can’t come to you for a cake consultation, can you provide samples?
Yes, I’m still providing lovely cake sample boxes, and favour fudge samples, for local collections and delivery. Or, alternatively, I’m able to send by post. These are chargeable, but fully refundable against the eventual cake price if you do go ahead and book with Tab Nab Cakes.
We had to reschedule our wedding, but still want our original date to be special. Can you provide us with any sweet treats?
Yes! I’ve had requests for everything from a box of personalised treats, to a mini version of their wedding cake. It’s really up to you. It’s a tense time right now for many people. And with all the uncertainty and worry going on, it’s just a shame something so joyous [like your impending wedding] has been delayed. So I think it’s lovely to mark the occasion by celebrating your original date, especially if that involves cake!
> Further links you might like: why we love winter weddings here at Tower Hill Barns
Now this might seem like a tricky one during these restrictions. Generally, bridal boutiques aren’t able to offer virtual appointments at this moment. But Elizabeth Louise Bridal does recommend and welcome brides to get in touch to discuss future appointments, dress styles, designers and collections.
With the global lockdown and reduced business operations, I’m worried my dress won’t be ready in time?
Elbridal responds: First and foremost, communication is key. If you’re worried your dress won’t arrive in time, make sure to check in with your boutique to get an update on your order and the approximate date it’s due to arrive. But also, keep in mind that this is an ongoing global issue. Everyone (including us bridal boutiques) have been affected. So although we (and many others) are doing everything we can to keep business operating as normal, many companies are working at a fraction of their usual capacity. So it might be that things are a little slow to recover, and priority will go to the most upcoming dates.
Any advice to brides planning their wedding at the moment, or to those that have had to reschedule?
Elizabeth Louise Bridal reminds brides to stay positive:
Carry on looking and speaking to suppliers, and see if provisional dates can be booked in. Now more than ever, small businesses are itching to talk about their business and plan with prospective brides. It’s in our blood [to keep on carrying on].
Postpone. Don’t cancel. Your day will come. Hold your initial date close to your heart but look forward to your wedding and your future together. It’ll be just as good, if not better when it does [finally] come around.
> Further links you might like: how to plan a wedding in less than 3 months
And for brides who have postponed…
Elizabeth Louise Bridal reassures all brides going through this tough time:
It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to be upset. Don’t let it consume you or ruin the extra time you now have to plan. We’ve encouraged our brides to find the positives and think about the beautiful memories they’ll make once all this is over, rather than looking back at this stressful moment in time. If you’ve had to reschedule your wedding date, try to turn the extra time you now have into a positive. Replenish funds, tie up loose ends, perfect the little jobs, and just, relax. We often have so many brides who in the lead up to their wedding have no time to enjoy the experience and relax. So our advice is to use this extra time to enjoy the journey.
And lastly, from the THB team, remember that although we’re unable to offer a personal show round at present due to the current restrictions. We do offer virtual show rounds by appointment. And there is lots of information on our website including a wealth of photos and videos in our online galleries. We’re also available by email to answer any of your questions. And we’re happy to give you a call at any time to chat about your wedding plans and what we can offer. Plus, connect with us on social media, @towerhillbarns for all the wedding inspo.
Missed Part 1 in the planning a wedding during Covid-19 series? Click here to catch up on everything you need to know, from rescheduling to refunds, availability in 2021, and everything else in between.
In short, with all your worries about how the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic will affect your wedding plans, our best advice is to get in front of it. Which means you should take action. And the first step is to get in touch with your venue, and loop in your suppliers.
Remember that although you may not be able to have your 2020 wedding day as planned [much to our and your disappointment], your day will come. It’s just a matter of when. And when it does, embrace the season! In the meantime, think outside the box and be flexible when considering new dates.
Most of all, try not to worry. You might not have expected to have an autumn or winter wedding, but we promise you [and so too do your suppliers] that it will be the most beautiful day you could have hoped for.
We’re here, waiting for you, looking forward to celebrating with you. Because what a day it will be!
p.s. make sure you’ve read Part 1: advice for couples planning a wedding during covid-19