Well, it’s 11 pm over here in my office. I’m sitting in a dark room with a lonely desk lamp on, brainstorming on what to write about for my weekly blog post and…I…have nothing. Writer’s block is real ya’ll. So what I’ve decided to do is this. I’ve realized that we’re almost halfway through 2020.
In the interest of always being candid about myself and my business on this blog, I’m going to instead give a personal update on me, my business, and my thoughts on the impact of COVID-19 on the wedding industry. Let’s dive right on in.
Wow, where to start? Well, let’s not mince words. The last 5 months have been weird. I went from kicking off the New Year at my favorite bar in the city with all my friends, to wearing a surgical mask on the way to my friend’s bachelorette by the end of the January, to finding empty meat sections at Costco by March, to now physically jerking when someone gets too close to me at the supermarket. At first, news of the shelter in place was disappointing for sure, but it felt temporary, so things still felt light. I was feeling productive; cooking every day, working out, and working on my business.
But then sometime around mid-April, things felt grimmer and grimmer. The novelty of the zoom happy hours and Instagram challenges had officially run its course, and eventually, I and the rest of the world were left thinking, “what the hell is going on?” Slowly, the news starts trickling in, and we all share the sinking feeling that this virus isn’t going to be going away any time soon. It was a tough pill to swallow. For a period of maybe a week and a half, I felt unmotivated, tired, and moody. It felt like a drag getting out of bed and getting to my desk.
And then one day, I took a baby step. I decided to schedule calls with other creatives in the industry within my accountability group. I figured, now is a better time than any to network and meet people in my industry. Turns out, misery really does love company. For some reason, talking to other people in similar situations as myself and commiserating in that fact, gave me the push I needed to move forward.
For a while, I felt really alone. I felt like my business was finally getting to the place I wanted it to be, and then suddenly, the virus came and ripped it away. And then of course, I felt guilty for being sad because I was safe and healthy at home, while essential workers were risking their lives on the front lines. Or thinking about brick and mortar businesses that were failing and closing. And then I went back to feeling sorry for myself. And on goes the vicious cycle. Sound familiar?
I finally realized that I wasn’t alone. Everyone had high hopes for this year. Teenagers missed their proms. College students missed their graduations and are joining the workforce during a recession. Couples were supposed to get married. At the end of the day, it’s not just you. This was a random and isolated event. No one saw coming. All we can do is move forward.
And move forward I did. I worked with my brides on rescheduling to next year. I did a deep dive into my business and identified weaknesses. Dove in deep with marketing and photography courses, created connections with industry vendors, started working with a creatives attorney, found a better CRM, created an entirely new business model, and finally registered as an LLC.
My business feels stronger now more than ever and I feel confident again that I will hit the wedding season next year, guns blazing. That’s not to say that I still don’t have my days. Some days, I literally want to sleep all day or do nothing. My morning routine is still a mess and there are days when I’ve worn the same sweatshirt 3 days in a row. Either way, I give myself a bit of grace. Like the band, Hoobastank sings, “I’m not a perfect personnnnn.” Now that we’re halfway through 2020, what’s next?
Through everything, I am still super optimistic. Even though the world is on pause, I know that there will always ALWAYS be cause for celebration. I’ve seen more love, compassion, and community than ever before. Even though this has been a trying time in our lives, I think now, more than ever, we’re stepping back and realizing what’s most important to us and not taking things for granted. Despite it all, there will always be milestone moments to be captured; new engagements, new mothers, and newborns!
For the rest of 2020, celebrating love will look a little bit different. Under CDC guidelines, elopements and micro weddings will likely be the way to go in the year 2020. In case you’re thinking, “Monica, what’ s the difference between elopements and micro weddings?” Well, in the simplest explanation, elopements are more about the marriage itself and exchanging vows between the couple, and therefore, can either opt to include guests or not. Micro weddings, on the other hand, are essentially a smaller and more scaled-down version of regular weddings, usually with a guest list of 50 people or less.
For more information, check out this article here. Either option is beautiful and intimate! But ya’ll. Elopements and micro weddings can be as epic as you make it. If you’re thinking about planning one this year, just go for it! Celebrate with the ones you love and start the next chapter with a bang! One of my favorite weddings to date is actually a sweet little backyard wedding from last year in Menlo Park, check it out here. If you’re thinking about booking either with me, feel free to reach out for more details about packages.
For brides in 2021 that are new or rescheduled from 2020: have no fear. You’ve heard it by now. Love isn’t canceled. It’s just postponed. Which is just a clever way of saying, you deserve to celebrate your love in the way YOU want it! We are here to celebrate you. You should excited to be engaged and you should be allowed to daydream about your wedding. Just feel all the feels! If you are newly engaged and you haven’t booked a venue or vendors yet, my advice would be to start ASAP! Venues and vendors are currently rescheduling brides for next year and weekends are booking up. Act fast if you want to secure your ideal date.
All in all, things will always work itself out. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” No one has a magic crystal ball that can tell us what next year holds. All we can do now, is just do everything we can to stay safe and hope for the best. Until next time, friends!