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How to realistically help your vendors & friends

UGH. Honestly, that’s what comes to my mind when thinking about the state of the world right now. Watching the news leaves you feeling helpless and upset, and now were all stuck inside and can’t even take a quick walk through our favorite stores for distraction.

What have most of us done to entertain ourselves right now? If you’re like me it’s scrolling through social media. We already know this is good and bad on a regular day, but it honestly seems worse now. Small businesses are trying to salvage what they can of their businesses, influencers are trying to get you to still buy products, and others are posting their perfectly balanced lunches and workout programs.

I’ve had two thoughts during all of this. One, a pandemic is sweeping our nation. This is not the time to make someone feel bad about not bettering themselves in one way or another (Do that in home work out! Finish the task you’ve been wanting to! Learn a new hobby!). Secondly, it also doesn’t feel like the time to put pressure on people to buy your services or products if you run a small business. You’re probably wondering why I’d even say that considering I AM a small business owner! Good thought. But here’s the thing, the world is in a complete state of uncertainty (whether we want to admit that or not). Now isn’t the time for small businesses, especially wedding photographers, to push people to purchase sessions in hopes the pandemic issues will be over by the date you’ve picked for your session.

Now, not everyone is going to agree with me on this, but it’s my personal opinion! There has been so much going on in the inside of the wedding world, and I’ve finally gotten to the point that I wanted to share how I feel others can realistically help their vendors and friends at this time!

 

  1. If you need to reschedule your wedding due to the shelter in place orders (currently effective until April 30, 2020), please try to keep your original vendors & pick an off-peak day.

While we know this may not be completely possible, all you can do is try! Trying to reschedule a wedding for a Saturday at this point in the season could prove to be difficult. Vendors are (in most cases) already booked out for Saturdays. Looking at alternative days like Fridays or Sundays could allow more availability options between your vendors. In most cases deposits are already paid and non refundable (even in some force majeure clauses that include pandemics/acts of god), and that way you are 1. not losing money already invested and 2. not losing your vendor! You chose them for a reason and most likely already have a relationship with them. And trust me, they still want to be your vendor at all costs. On the flip side of vendors already booked for Saturdays, choosing a Saturday could really limit who you could re-book as your vendor.  In some cases weddings can only be changed to another Saturday, which is totally understandable!

 

2. Looking to support your favorite photographer? 😉 – Purchase prints or an album instead. 

Instead of trying to book mini-sessions or anniversary sessions at this moment, use some free time to go through your wedding galleries and order some prints. You can also ask about albums! Some printing houses are running slower due to limits of people in their buildings, so there may be a delay in getting your orders. But, this supports your photographer and her album designer! (Also, I’ll be releasing discounts for these this week 😉 ).

 

3. Share your vendors information and social media!

A quick share on Facebook can go a LOOOOONG way! Believe me. You can share your vendor’s page, their posts, or a quick review with your favorite image of the day. This means A LOT to us, trust me!!! Word of mouth is one of the largest streams of revenue for small businesses.

 

4. STAY HOME. 

This should be a given, but let’s be real. People aren’t staying home and our shutdown times are being extended. We want to be at your wedding/event/session as much as you want to host it. We are taking the necessary precautions to stay healthy so we are available for your wedding. Please do the same and follow your governor and President’s guidelines.

 

5. Practice grace. 

Grace goes a long way friends. My heart it heavy with everything right now. While I am extremely empathetic to every single person who is hosting an event or getting married (I also have events I am having to reschedule and postpone and a wedding I’m supposed to be in this June), I am devastated over seeing me and my fellow vendor friends losing THOUSANDS. That’s right, thousands. Deposits are having to be sent back due to specific outlines in contracts, weddings are being canceled or postponed and vendors are losing their jobs. These vendors (including myself) live off of this income. This isn’t a “hobby” or an “extra fund,” so please remember those around you are losing their livelihoods and sources of income for months. We are in this TOGETHER. This isn’t just happening to you and your wedding/event, it’s affecting each and every person and their ability to survive. I’m just asking for kindness and understanding as we navigate losing incomes, jobs, and so much more. We are all nervous and uncertain, and we are all experiencing the same things.

 

 

HOW TO HELP YOUR FRIENDS!

Turning away from wedding vendor talk, I wanted to list a few things on how to help friends right now. I miss mine and even though I am introvert by nature, this is still hard on us all!

  1. Send a quick how ya doin’ text. This goes a long way.
  2. You can make homemade cards and mail them! I’ve always been a sucker for these and enjoy getting mail.
  3. Facetime or call them. Pick up the phone and actually talk over the phone! Just like the good ole days.
  4. Share videos or photos of a happy time you had together. It helps keep the mood light and who doesn’t love being reminded of a memory or time they adored!
  5. Stay home and don’t infect each other!

 

Lastly here’s some kitty goodness to make your day better 😉

 

PS- bring your pets to your weddings or engagement session, it’s honestly the best!

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