Hope You Are All Well and Staying Safe
Firstly, we do sincerely hope you are all staying well and safe in these trying times. We wish you and your family the best of luck and health at this time.
What’s Going On?
We have been in contact with many other wedding professionals, societies, and associations to try and make sense of what is going on.
Here’s what’s happening so far:
- Registrars in multiple districts/authorities are actively cancelling on brides & grooms in line with government advice, and many venues are following suit, but…
- A significant minority of bigger ‘business like’ venues are refusing to allow postponements until forced to do so by the government, and actively promoting weddings to go ahead against government advice (for what we believe are solely economic reasons). This has run-on implications for your wedding insurance.
- The general opinion amongst senior wedding professionals of experience is that ‘postponement’ is by far the safest and most prudent option for all parties at this time for weddings up until and including June (more on this below). This is because…
- It is widely believed that a lockdown quarantine like that of Italy, France, or Spain is expected imminently – and even if this does not happen, gatherings of over a certain size will be banned no matter what which will affect 99% of UK weddings leading up to July.
[Edit – Update – Where Weddings are not be cancelled, Church of England and councils are sometimes enforcing a maximum of 2 guests possible into the wedding ceremony. No photographers/videographers allowed. Reports of this in multiple districts across England as well as Church of England’s official website.]
In other news, Mykey has returned early from his birthday holiday, spending his actual birthday packing in a rush and running to the airport to catch one of the last flights out of Ukraine before that country closed all its’ land, sea, and air borders (with less than 48 hours notice) to all but high-level diplomats for the foreseeable future. Mykey now knows several foreign citizens essentially trapped/marooned in Ukraine for the foreseeable future with no ability to return home for any reason whatsoever… Western news did not report this AT ALL and it is only by the luck of Mykey’s Russian speaking friends letting him know of the breaking news that he was not also marooned there indefinitely.
We Are Cancelling All Meetings
In line with government advice and also after reviewing our insurance details, we have cancelled all non-essential meetings for the foreseeable future. Weddings /Wedding dates are the only thing not affected by this cancellation, otherwise all timeline meetings, engagement sessions, wedding shows/fairs, and essentially anything that is not a wedding is now cancelled. We are unable to contact each client individually so please take this as notice of your cancelled meeting.
We do not know how long we will have to maintain this policy. We are hoping to open our books again to engagement sessions and timeline meetings from July onwards.
For those with engagement sessions before an upcoming wedding, we will potentially discuss an alternative arrangement after your wedding or additional products in lieu, please contact us to discuss.
Postponing Your Wedding – Act Now
Having spoken to multiple sources, industry bodies, and health experts, it is our opinion that the vast majority of weddings up to and including June should postpone. We have already had multiple clients contact us asking about this, and we will state our official policy below.
The reason we suggest this is the best course of action is threefold:
- It’s highly likely your wedding will not be able to go ahead on the original date anyway, postponing it yourself would mean you are first in line for new dates.
- Many wedding guests will most likely not attend anyway, we have fellow friend-photographers telling us of weddings with 50-60 or 200 guests invited and literally no one turning up outside of immediate family and wedding party. The brides & grooms were assured by many friends that they would turn up, and then they just didn’t.
- For genuine health reasons: Weddings are almost the perfect opportunity for viruses to spread – many people from around the country (and usually abroad) are coming together into a small enclosed environment for a prolonged period of time, only to return to the four corners of the country infected. The virus couldn’t ask for any better conditions.
You may not think it a serious risk, but Mykey is someone who is:
- speaking as someone who caught H1N1, and had a friend contract permanent health problems from it, when he was at University;
- is a caregiver with close contact to his parents who are both over 70 – and whose father has underlying lung issues, and;
- has lived in Korea, Italy, and Spain in the past so now has first-hand accounts of friends who have lost loved ones long before their time was due, as a result of this disease. Not just over 70s…
Contact your venue and ask what their policy is on postponement and you may wish to get to the front of the que for a new date.
There will be NO financial Penalty for Postponing / Rescheduling Your Wedding With Us
We are actively encouraging and suggesting postponements and will not charge any extra for a change in date to our clients. This is, indeed, our usual policy. Do be aware that we have many reports of other suppliers and photographers opportunistically charging ‘rescheduling fees’. We don’t agree with such a policy anyway, particularly at this time where it seems cynically opportunistic to us.
First-come first-served for new dates – Talk to us before re-booking
We will offer new dates to our clients on a first-come-first-served basis. After speaking with your venue we suggest you speak with us about any new potential date so we can confirm our availability and rebook for you. For logistical reasons it is impossible for us to list our availability or email ‘potential dates’ so we will work with each client as they come to us.
Whether or Not you Postpone – Original Payment Dates apply.
When it comes to payments, whether or not you postpone we will be asking for all payments as per the original contract dates.
It wouldn’t be a Mykey Day Photography news post without at least one mention of wedding insurance. As of last Friday (and over a week after our last blog post beseeching you to secure adequate insurance for your wedding), there were still wedding insurance companies covering Covid-19. A cursory look today shows that there are some companies still potentially selling cover. Remember, in case of cancellation, postponement, abandonment, most of your suppliers will still expect full payment under any/all circumstances, whether the decision to cancel was yours or not…
Please Contact Us About Your Wedding Plans ASAP
If you have a wedding before 31st May we’re asking you to contact us immediately to confirm your current wedding plans, and what information (if any) has been confirmed by your venue. Remember it is stipulated in your contract to confirm all arrangements with us 7-10 days before the event anyway. If you do not confirm as you have agreed in writing, we may not attend your event with no refund possible.
As you can imagine, with our busiest year on record (and also offering videography now) our email inbox has gone insane and our phone number is off the hook… We’re hoping this message answers the vast majority of enquiries. A few things to consider:
- If your wedding is not in 2020, we hope you will understand that in this turbulent time we must prioritise upcoming weddings and will need to get back to you much later in the year. Nothing regarding your wedding coverage should be affected by this at all.
- Our usual reply time is 1-2 business days, but at this time as we have so much on our plates whilst also waiting for information, this will be much longer – please bear with us.
- Please EMAIL US. We have a million voicemails, text messages, facebook messages, Instagram messages, etc, etc… and we can’t keep track of them all. One client even tracked down Mykey’s girlfriend’s number to call! We always ask that you email in the first instance, and at this time we only have the capacity to deal with emails. All other forms of communication must regrettably go unanswered at this time.
- Don’t forget our FAQ answers most common questions so please check this first and only contact us at the moment in relation to your upcoming wedding.
GOOD LUCK And Please Be Safe & Well
You may think we are overreacting, but with Mykey’s previous experiences (see above) and our ear to the ground in prominent wedding supplier circles, we are probably under-reacting. Indeed, some rumours that we have heard indicate some huge events ahead that will change everything, we will see…
Nonetheless, please be safe, stay well, wash your hands and only leave the house for essential reasons. We look forward to seeing you again healthy and well soon!
International & Kent Wedding Photographer
Your Family memories will never be as important to anyone else as they are to you, but trust us when we say – your moments will be crucially important to us as well! Please browse our website for examples of our work, and we look forward to making your family photographs special too.
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