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3/16/2020

Getting a Handle on COVID-19

Surreal.

Thats’ really the only word I can think of that really describes everything that is happening presently in the world right now, am I right? An immensely efficient and mysterious sickness is gripping the globe, and fear and uncertainty are among the myriad of emotions the majority of us are currently experiencing. I wont lie to you, my anxiety has been high. Yesterday while I was talking to Derek, we discussed how this virus would be a defining moment in the boy’s childhood memories. Its a lot to wrap our heads around.

Y’all, when I go into panic mode, I tend to go into problem solving mode as well. That basically means that I overcompensate by doing more. Am I driving to Costco and buying all of the TP? uh, no. But my house has been spring cleaned…twice. Today I am developing a plan for homeschooling my two children because if things go the way I think they will, I am going to have to. I just get into hyperdrive to make sure the ship is sailing smoothly. It’s my Enneagram Three, ENFP, Oldest child, Virgo sun self going into hyperdrive. With that being said, here we go.

Spring Weddings

Sheesh. If you are getting married this spring, I am feeling for you, truly. I cannot imagine the emotions one might feel with everything that has gone on here over the past six days. What a horrible position to had been placed in. The situation has been a massive, rapid downward spiral in the US and I definitely sense the anxiety of my couples who have weddings in the next three or four months.  My heart is with all of you in this category. Measuring your options, constantly on the lookout, and having the potential of being shut down regardless of all your careful planning has to be one of the worst feelings, and I feel like in this position I would be in straight up panic mode. Having to weight the investment you could potentially lose, the safety and well being of your most beloved friends and family, and the feeling of sadness when a day you have put so much thought and anticipation into getting lost in the shuffle of everything else that is happening worldwide.

At the time that I am writing this, I’ve had seven weddings message me in the past 48 hours looking to reschedule. I hear you, I see you. I support this choice that it feels like you are being forced to make. I hope this post offers you some answers.

Postponement Protocol

  • No cancellation or change fees will be applied to any new or existing weddings for 2020. IF the wedding absolutely has to be moved to 2021 due to venue availability or something like that, then the change fee listed in my contract will apply as it would take a Saturday and thus prevent me from being able to book another wedding in a new corporate year, which equates to a massive loss of income. I know that you all know, this job is how I feel my family, and is my primary income. Preserving as many Saturdays as I can in 2021 from being collateral damage is essential to the survival of my business. Nearly all of my May weddings have asked to rebook for may Saturdays in 2021–I have current inquiries and quotes out for each of these Saturdays. I know its inconvenient, I know its not the news you wanted, but I have got to maintain protocol.
  • Weddings who have paid up their full balances (within their 30 days) will not be refunded as I have full intentions to shoot their rescheduled wedding. HOWEVER– if it ends up being that I cannot shoot their wedding, they have the option to have their wedding photographed by one of my   Associate Shooters. An Associate Shooter is someone I have personally vetted, trust implicitly witht the standard of my brand, has PROFESSIONAL abilities who has proven that they are CAPABLE of running a wedding day by themselves. All files will be turned over to me for culling, editing and delivery.
  • Weddings that need to postpone will be provided with alternative dates and scheduling options via Calendly.
  • And finally, any couples with existing bookings will be offered the aptly named ‘In Sickness and in Health” package- for those who still want to tie the knot regardless of the current health and economic climate. This will allow them to convert their existing wedding package into a series of smaller events that they can mix and match depending on what their current package is. The basis is this:

In Sickness and in Health

3 Hour Elopement (getting ready, vow exchange, portraits)

I am actually an ordained minister. All you need is your love and two witnesses of legal age to sign, and a marriage certificate.

Party/ Family Photos (must be scheduled on a Thursday/Friday during a time in the uninfected future)

And a future session of your choosing, such as:

  • Another Bridal Session
  • In Home session
  • Anniversary Session

My goal is to give my couples as many options as possible. Options that still allows you to get married. Of course I will take everything on a case by case basis. But I am also choosing to be as flexible as possible. I have been watching and considering over the past week, and it strikes me during this time to see how people are adapting. To say that all of this was happening around you and to still get  married during this never before seen time in our history is a unique story that few other people will have. It’s not ideal, but again, I am here to give you all options.

You all know by now, I am a sucker for a love story. One of my favorite movies of all time is Moulin Rouge, and through the entire film you hear “The Greatest thing you’ll ever Learn is just to Love and be Loved in Return”.

This is me trying to give all the love I can in these crazy times.

Here in Service.  Here in Empathy.

Nobody can tell you at this crossroads what will transpire next. Everything feels uncertain, unknown, and that my dear friends is scary. I wish I could offer more in the way of reassurace to my clients, to my colleagues, to my family.
This doesn’t have to be all bad though. In every struggle, there is opportunity for growth. We may be forced to slow down, but this is providing us with the space so many of us so badly need in order to take a deeper look at some of the things we may have neglected for the sake of business. We now have access to our most valuable and precious resource: Time.
Start your blog or podcast. Make dinner with your children. Revel in meditation. Clean out your closets, both literally and figuratively. This pandemic has turned us on or heels, yes, but it is also returning us as humans to a more intentional, mindful place.

And as a fellow human, to my fellow humans: I implore you to remember that we are all suffering right now. Try and meet each other with empathy and compassion. One thing I know: we are just at the beginning of this pandemic. Things will likely get worse before they get better, and kindness and love will go a long way in the current climate. I am hoping to do my part to bring peace of mind and reassurance to anyone that needs it.

We are all in this together.

 

-GB

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