Take a Breath: The 2020-2022 Wedding Season

3 negative COVID tests later, I’m feeling great and excited to continue this very unique and beautiful wedding season. Many of our clients have waited so long to celebrate (carefully!) and I’m just thrilled to be able to participate. When I’m able to see the joy and delight of the celebration in my client’s smiling faces, I cannot help but get filled with happiness and gratitude! The celebration may look a little different than the original plan, but any successful event it’s like - let’s not ever take any events or gatherings for granted! 

First things first - thank you to vendors and clients for patiently waiting for my response while I was OOO on vacation!  Secondly…I will have limited email time between 09/18-09/25/2021.  We have 4 weddings, 2 of them are Full Day commitments, 3 in-studio appointments, and both Camille & I are on-set shooting ads (not together, unfortunately! Someday hopefully!), and then 1 fashion show.  A little packed, but I promise it’s not how every week looks!  September-October is peak season, for weddings and other kinds of jobs that we work in! 

What inspired me to write this blog post is that I notice how fiercely competitive dates have been for 2021 and 2022 , which makes total sense considering 2020 and that some of us vendors are still doing 2020 rescheduled weddings for the 2022 season. I’m not kidding when I sent out over 20+ referrals (that I’ve lost track…) for 09/11/21, 09/18/21 and 09/25/21. With postponements, uncertainty with changing rules and laws regarding gatherings and travel, the threat of natural disasters…Couples + Vendors in the 2020-2022 season have gone through A LOT.  Some businesses have unfortunately had to close their doors.  Some venues had burnt down. For the rest of us in the events and hospitality industry, we’re surviving, maybe even thriving, or trying our very best!  To still be running, I feel a lot of gratitude, but this is why I feel it’s really important for Vendors and Clients to take a deep breath when things start to feel a little overwhelming.  I was already thinking about this topic before my vacation and as I was returning to my office, and preparing for next week, trust that I’m also telling myself to take a breath in between 10 hours of office work and client phone calls, 10 hours being on-set/on-location, 2-4 hours/day of commuting, and eating and sleeping and being human!  I see Facebook posts from fellow wedding vendors about the 10-12 hour office days, and while I’m like “OK! Glad I’m not the only one, we’re in this together” but at the same time, whether you are a client or a vendor, I want to urge you to have compassion for yourself and others in day-to-day interactions.  We’ve survived a lot, and we as service providers wouldn’t be here if we were not passionate about what we do.  I’ve never met anyone in the service industry who said they chose this as their career to make a lot of money :)  We have to pay the bills, but there are many other options to pay the bills.  If 2020 has taught me anything, it has taught me to re-examine what I COULD do for a living.  What was soul-crushing was I didn’t find anything I really WANT to do for a living.

If your client OR your vendor(s) are taking a little longer to get back to you, please kindly follow up and be patient and compassionate for your fellow human who is probably inundated with emails, texts and voicemails to get back to, all the while balancing life and working from home and surviving a pandemic! 

I can go on and on about this topic, but I need to get back to preparing for my wedding events (exciting!) and I want to leave you with a book recommendation that was recommended to me by my friend & colleague Aimee Lam! It’s titled Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames  by Thich Nhat Hahn about 5-6 years ago in conversation.  The book talks about Anger as a natural human emotion; suppressing it is not healthy and the emotion and energy simply doesn’t go away.  He posits Anger and Compassion as two sides of the same coin, and if we can have compassion for the issue or person we are upset, miffed, or angry at or about, we can then listen thoughtfully, and work towards resolving the issue.  Whether you are into Buddhist thought and general philosophy or not, this is a truly life-changing book for me and I have to constantly remind myself and practice this life-l converting anger into compassion, which is part of my spiritual and meditation practice.  With the pandemic, there’s just a lot of anger and emotions flying around, and if you interlace that with major life or world events (like a wedding! or a presidential election! or a governor recall!)  It’s not easy!  We’re all in this together.  As an example, there are things that make me very angry, like when I see people wear masks without covering their noses at the grocery store and they are breathing all over the produce.  I have to dig deep…DEEP…to have compassion for this person.   Compassion is a daily practice, and it’s not easy, especially if you are a passionate person :)

With that, if I’m not working on-set or on-location, I will keep striving to get back to you within 24-48 hours, but if it takes longer, please know I’m trying my best!!  I’m so excited to be working on my upcoming weddings and jobs!  If you are reading this, I hope you take a breath for yourself, and have compassion for yourself, and you may realize there’s so many other things to be grateful for, and everything will be all right!!!!!  

Featured on this blog post is A&A’s beautiful intimate backyard wedding, photos by Melissa Atle (https://melissaatle.com/), hair & makeup by Liz, with teammate Angela Womack on the bridal party!  If you know me and my personal aesthetic, I do love my loose & romantic/boho hairstyle :) :) So of course I was excited when A told me on the phone she’s looking for this look for her event! The flowers that we worked together to place in the chignon really completed the look!  

A side-note - I’ve always loved intimate weddings - Elopements and under 50 guests.  I attended my first intimate wedding back in 2017 and it’s one of my favorite experiences as a guest because I got to spend so much time with the bride & groom and their best friends.  With couples possibly having intimate celebrations AND a larger party in 2022, perhaps we can all have the best of both worlds!  :)