Well that was one to remember...CHEERS!
Where do I start? I’ve been thinking about what I might write for my end of year, annual blog for a while now. Usually, I celebrate all of the wonderful weddings and family shoots I’ve completed over the year and it’s all rosey and lovely, don’t get me wrong there’s been plenty of moments like that in 2020, it just didn’t pan out how I’d/we’d expected…
2020 was the year I’d been waiting for, with over 20 weddings on my calendar and bookings still coming through, the year was looking exciting and full of prospect: I was looking forward to meeting all of my couples and hearing about what plans they had made so far; I’d booked and carried out some photography training during February and was looking forward to putting my new skills in to action. Who could have second guessed what was around the corner, not less than a month away.
The news was brimming with stories of this new virus; alas, it was over seas and naively, I’d put it at the back of my mind. In the middle of March I captured my first wedding of the season, little did I know this would be my first and last of what we called normal weddings for the rest of the year.
The news broke that following Friday, weddings would be halted, pubs would be shut, school closures were imminent and we were warned NOT to go and visit our mothers at the weekend for what would be Mothering Sunday. New phrases like social distancing and isolating were being more frequently used and I received a heartbreaking phone call from my weekend’s bride to be, who was due to be wed the following day. It all seemed somewhat surreal, how could you be planning your wedding for the next day and then at 5pm be told you couldn’t go trough with it with less than 24 hours to go. Honestly, the scenario is and was unimaginable.
The kids went off to school the following Monday to then be told one would be closing on the Wednesday and the other on Friday, a few weeks were mentioned to begin with and the weeks turned into months. The postponements came in waves, firstly, the spring/summer weddings, then the autumn ones, followed then by the spring weddings of 2021. At first, as an industry we thought we might receive help, maybe the wedding insurance would pay out or the government would pass us a grant; nevertheless, in my case and in many others’ this help never arrived. Our contracts were ripped to shreds and we were told our time was unaccountable, it didn’t matter. It was infuriating and at times made you feel a little worthless, like your efforts didn’t count. Then from nowhere you’d get a lovely email, from a couple or a client being grateful for your time and understanding, for as they put it “bending over backwards” to help them and it all seemed worth it, what else were we to do other than help, after all in my mind the couples had suffered enough, it wasn't their fault. I had past clients and new ones wanting to support my business, by buying gift vouchers for birthdays or booking one of my doorstep/mini sessions. This was what lifted my spirits in what sometimes felt like a dark hole with no light, so thank you for everyone on of you would took the time to do one of those things.
As the restrictions lifted, a new era dawned: optimistic couples crept out of the cracks wanting to make the most of what they could still do; some of them just wanted to be married and decided they could party afterwards, at a later date; some of them only wanted a small gathering anyway; others decided they could really treat their nearest and dearest with luxury meals and drinks because there were fewer mouths to feed. Not only did I keep bookings that had been made, but I got new bookings too from brides and grooms who could afford to do something more glam due to not having to cater for as many. My first post-covid wedding took place between Tina and Clairewyn at The Star Inn where they turned everything on it’s head just to represent the times they were tying-the-not in and had canapés and champagne before their ceremony, it was a wonderful day, getting to see people enjoying one another company once more, be it from afar, it was just like the start of a new chapter- happiness again.
I got to see couples reinventing their day after that!
Rebecca and Iain enjoyed afternoon tea in the grounds of the Church...
Rachel and Karl planned their wedding in weeks and enjoyed a meal with their family around what looked like a medieval banquet table.