2021, not quite the start we hoped for

We finally said goodbye to 2020, but not to the COVID-19 pandemic that is still taking over all our lives at the moment. We all hoped 2021 would start a bit better than a 3rd national lockdown and a ban on weddings other than exceptional circumstances but here we are. With all of that negativity I've been reminding myself daily that we really are in the thick of it right now. The winter is always worst for flus & viruses anyway, we knew this second peak was coming, and we have the repercussions of allowing households to mix on Christmas Day. It was always going to be a challenging time.

We do have so many positives on the horizon though. Our industry are really being listened to it seems, with MP's engaging with the wedding taskforce for a plan for reopening & support for wedding related businesses from Easter. The vaccination program is rolling out on target and we should have the majority of the vulnerable protected by Spring when the warmer weather will ease the burden of the virus too. By Spring we'll know the effect the lockdown has had on stopping the spread. All of these things mixed together really do give hope for late Spring/Summer onwards weddings to go ahead and for people to be able to celebrate together again!

Amelia & Marc's Summer 2020 wedding

More postponements was something I expected this year sadly but one side effect of this whole situation I didn't see coming was the loss of confidence from new couples planning their weddings, in the wedding industry and us small businesses. I totally get it mind you, the internet & social media is full of stories about rogue businesses running off with people's money or suppliers refusing to move dates or charging huge disproportional fees to do so. With all of this talk and no way to get wedding insurance now that will cover COVID-19 I completely understand why couples are so unsure about securing suppliers.

The problem from our point of view though is we can not hold dates with no deposits. It's never been a feasible way to run a business but certainly not at the moment when we're already down a year on income and every single date in our calendars is so precious. With all of the 2020 couples trying to get married in 2021 or 2022, on top of those couples planning for those years originally it's creating a huge demand for dates and suppliers are booking up faster than ever.

I am so passionate about my couples & my business. I have gone out of my way to make it as easy as I can for my couples, I spent night after night on the phone to brides last year facing all this for the first time. I tried to reassure them where I could and offer advice while I dealt with my own uncertain situation. I have 2 small children, one who suddenly couldn't go to school anymore and found that adjustment so difficult. A 2 year old who demands attention & needs me. A business where suddenly all my income was taken away with no recovery point to rely on. It was such a difficult year but we really did pull together to make it work for me and my couples. No one was out of pocket, I certainly have no plans to run off with anyones money and I am just as excited as them for when they finally tie the knot.

So I wanted to put some of their stories out there to counteract some of those scary stories you might be hearing on social media. Every wedding supplier I know, trust and work with are there for you and on your side. We're all working together to make this as easy as we can for you, and you can have full confidence that we'll be here when you need us, even if things don't quite go to plan!

Laura & Andrew

Venue: Crondon Park, Stock

When was your original wedding planned for?

23rd October 2020, then 11th February 2021 and now 27th September 2021!

What was your biggest stress about postponing?

When I booked my wedding in 2019 I never dreamt a global pandemic would come along. The biggest stress for me was not knowing how long this would go on for. Naively at the beginning I thought our October 2020 wedding would be fine! Usually planning your wedding is completely in your control and this has been something that no one knew how to deal with! I was so worried about losing my favourite suppliers and how to pick a new date when you have your heart set on certain choices!

How did you find the process of postponing?

We have been so lucky to not have any issues at all with any of our suppliers and we have rearranged twice so far. I have been really open in communication with everyone right from when we knew a postponement was likely and everyone has gone above and beyond to move our bookings across at no extra cost.

Sophie has been so easy to speak to - both about the wedding and just as an ‘inbox to cry on’! She has been so flexible especially during my first postponement when we left it as close as possible to make the call. She also gave me advice on holding back up dates and she has an online diary which meant that I could check her availability at any time before changing my date - this has proved invaluable and such a time saver as it meant one email to hold a new date - not all suppliers have this and it’s hard when you have to email back and forth trying to find a date you can all do!

What would be your advice to couples who are facing this for the first time?

It’s hard to remember that you aren’t the only one fearful at the thought of postponing your dream day - your suppliers are too! We are all going through such a horrible time and no one really knows when ‘normality’ will resume and that’s why it’s so important to book with someone you get a good vibe from. Don’t underestimate the power of good communication - I genuinely believe that the more open and kind you are to suppliers you will get the same back!

“I also wouldn’t trust everything you read on social media - I only ever seem to see ‘horror stories’ when actually nobody posts when their suppliers were easy to speak to and flexible!”

What would be your advice to those planning weddings right now and having worries over COVID & booking suppliers?

If booking suppliers for the first time, I would check to see if they have an online availability calendar in case of postponements - it makes your life a lot easier! I also would check what their policies are should the worst happen - would they be prepared to move your date across/what would happen if they were not available etc. That way you know where you stand right from the beginning.

COVID aside, my reason for choosing Sophie in the first place was the warmth we received from her when we first met. It was as if we had known each other for years! Her enthusiasm for her job was so obvious and I knew she was the type of person that I could see being there on the morning of my wedding when I was getting ready with my bridal party. That initial feeling has been proven over the last year with several postponements - she has been so kind and the type of person I know I will keep in touch with even after my wedding for family shots or similar in the future!

Chelsie & Joe

Venue: Hatfield Place, Chelmsford

When was your original wedding planned for? 

The original wedding was planned for April 2020. It was then rescheduled for April 2021 and is now August 2021.

What was your biggest stress about postponing? 

Making the decision to postpone, especially the second time. We knew we would have no choice in April 2020 but it was a more difficult decision this year because progress is being made in some areas and we just want to be married. However all our family live 100+ miles away and with travel being uncertain we decided to move but just by a few months as summer is looking brighter to us.

How did you find the process of postponing? 

We have been so lucky on both occasions. I cannot fault our venue at all for their understanding and willingness to bend over backwards to help us. The same can be said for all of our suppliers who understood the situation we were in and tried their best to help with advice, recommendations and a really simple transfer process. Again, our most stressful part was making the decision. Once we had, everyone was willing to help and no issues arose meaning it was really easy for us.

Sophie was the one supplier that we were not willing to lose. She has been absolutely amazing since we originally booked back in 2018 and we weren't willing to consider moving to a date she couldn't do. On both occasions we postponed our wedding, I got potential dates from the venue and then we worked those around Sophie's availability to make sure we ultimately picked a date she was free. Once we knew she was free on a few dates, we sent those options to our other suppliers.

She made the process so simple by being willing to work with whatever decision we made. Sophie shared her availability with us and was then on hand if we wanted to provisionally book a back up date whilst we waited for others to come back to us. Once the decision to postpone was made, the booking was transferred so quickly and it really helped knowing that Sophie was on our side and there to support us as best she could.

“Communication is key to finding an option that suits everyone. It is a difficult time for couples and suppliers but with a little trust in each other we will get there!”

What would be your advice to couples who are facing this for the first time? 

Ultimately you know what's important to you and you need to base your decision on that, not what everyone around you thinks. When postponing, I found that having more than one potential new date from the venue helped in terms of then approaching suppliers to make a decision on which to select. This meant we could ultimately pick a date most, if not all of our original suppliers could do. If you do choose to move a date, I'd recommend just reaching out to suppliers as soon as you can. They're willing to help and know that this is not an easy situation.


Booking anything right now is a leap of faith to a degree as things are still a little uncertain. However, our view has been that this isn't a reason to feel like we are putting our lives on hold. If you have found a supplier that you want at your wedding day, that is for a reason. We found it was usually because of how open and friendly they were as well as them genuinely caring about making the day as special as possible. If you found that in the process of deciding who to book then the likelihood is that they will do whatever they can to help should anything change in future.

I really hope it helps to hear some of their stories about what it's really been like to plan a wedding through a global pandemic. There are thousands upon thousands of stories exactly like theirs, where postponing has been as easy as it ever can be and they've done it successfully taking all their suppliers with them. As always, the best way you can protect yourself when booking suppliers is go with your gut, don't be afraid to ask questions, check over the contract & ask about their COVID-19 policy. Don't be afraid to put your trust in businesses like me, we are here on your side and so excited for weddings to return. We're not going anywhere!

Sophie x