Dealing With The Unexpected
However much time, effort and money you spend in planning your wedding, there will always be aspects that you simply can’t control or predict, especially this year. The key to a stress-free wedding is building in contingency plans to cover every situation. Will fuel shortages affect your wedding? Have you planned for a disruption to your plans?
Wedding professionals know to expect the unexpected. They will quickly and quietly adjust their plans to deal with situations that arise. In many cases you won’t even be aware of the change. It’s part of their job to ensure that the day goes smoothly for you, no matter what. The one exception was during Covid. When the government made it illegal for couples to get married, there wasn’t much that venues and suppliers could do.
For any other situation, there will be solutions. The reputation of every wedding professional relies on them resolving those situations.
Wedding professionals look ahead, assess the likelihood of disruption to your wedding plans and then think about how to reduce the risks. But there is a part you can play too. Here’s how:
Disruptions to weddings from fuel supply failure
It’s a short term issue, but it’s not the first time that chaos on the forecourts has caused stress for couples and wedding suppliers. It’s understandable to be concerned about getting supplies, staff and guests to your wedding.
What the wedding pros are doing: Your suppliers will have factored in plenty of additional time for your wedding. They’ll be able to use some of that time to find and queue for fuel. They will also have a network of other local professionals to fall back on if needed.
What can you do to help? Book local suppliers for your wedding. Use local produce when it comes to flowers and food. It will minimise risks of fuel failure, fuel prices rises, driver shortages and other delivery dilemmas. It also reduces your wedding’s carbon footprint.
From the experts
Remember that the fuel disruptions are a short term issue and although it is getting a lot of news coverage, it's highly unlikely to impact your wedding plans.Alison Hargreaves, Wedding industry expert and Guides for Brides CEO
Lack of hospitality staff to work at weddings
The event and hospitality industry has relied on recruiting staff from Europe for many years, but with rising wages in Europe and concerns around Brexit, many employees left the UK during 2020. This has left huge, ongoing issues recruiting hospitality staff and rocketing costs to retain good staff. It comes at a time that demand for weddings has never been so high.
What the wedding pros are doing: Hotels, wedding venues and catering companies are struggling to find staff. However, they are doing all they can to ensure that staff shortages don’t impact on weddings. Some venues are closing their restaurants or limiting hotel guest numbers to prioritise existing wedding bookings. Many are relying on their existing team to help in other roles. This can mean non-critical admin tasks being left until later. If you are wondering why emails might not have been replied to as fast as you’d expect, this could be the reason!
What can you do to help? Most couples can reduce the workload on the hospitality staff involved in their wedding. Be mindful of the pressure they are under when emailing or calling with non-essential requests. Simple steps such as including a coffee station instead of waiter service after the wedding breakfast can help. Asking guests to check out of their rooms before joining you for breakfast can make a big difference to over-stretched teams.
Think twice before leaving a negative online review; be aware that so many across the industry are over-stretched, over-tired yet still working over-time to ensure your wedding happens as planned.
Predicted supply chain issues
The UK is preparing for significant disruption to the supply chain over the next few months. Shortages of HGV drivers, covid disruptions and the long term impact of Brexit on imports will cause chaos in the weeks before Christmas.
What the wedding pros are doing: Florists, cake suppliers, caterers and bridal boutiques are ordering what they can with far longer lead times than usual. Many are advising couples to have a back up plan if they are ordering late or relying on products imported from overseas. Caterers and venues are building flexibility into their menus. They need to guarantee large scale catering without relying on fresh or imported produce.
What can you do to help? Use locally sourced seasonal produce, such as flowers, food, wine and beer. Using local suppliers helps support rural economies, reduces your carbon footprint and reduces reliance on the supply chain. Although many wedding dresses are imported there are some great British designers who still manufacture in the UK.
Failure of a wedding supplier or venue
If you have found your venue and suppliers on guidesforbrides.co.uk the chances are that you have booked reputable suppliers and a well established venue. However even with the most careful, professional businesses, there is always the risk of unavoidable emergencies ranging from fire to floods, injury to illness. It is, however, incredibly rare for reputable wedding businesses to simply close without notice.
What the wedding pros are doing: Every wedding business has a clear contingency plan covering every eventuality. When it comes to weddings, simply cancelling and refunding isn’t an option. They know they are a crucial part of your day and must supply the service agreed. Reputable companies will always have a network of other professionals that they can fall back on. Alternatively, they’ll find available professionals on the late availability checker.
The business owner will generally pay the additional costs in subcontracting at late notice if your insurance doesn’t cover it. Their reputation is worth far more than the costs of putting a problem right, regardless of the cause.
What can you do to help? However frustrating it is when plans have to change, try to be as flexible as you can in working with the business to find a solution that works for you. Minimise your risks by booking the right businesses. Anyone can add a ‘business’ to Facebook or Instagram, set up a web page with someone else’s photos. They’ll take a few deposit payments and disappear again.
Only book businesses that are clearly investing in their future. The WeddingSafe Industry Standard is one way to identify those that have the correct insurance and contracts in place and are known in the industry. We carefully monitor the reputation of every supplier listed on guidesforbrides.co.uk to help you make the right decisions.
If a business isn’t listed, it is worth asking us why!
Thanks to the total determination from every wedding professional to ensure your wedding can take place as planned, it’s rare for a wedding to need to be cancelled. A few destination weddings were impacted by the 9/11 terror attacks, SARS virus or the Icelandic ash cloud but it has only ever been Covid-19 that has closed the UK wedding industry.
What the wedding pros are doing: During Covid, wedding professionals came together to form a government backed, industry led UK Weddings Task Force. It is working with government to reduce the risk of future closures. TrustedTrace software has been used for wedding pilots in England and Wales. We now have measures in place to reduce risk at weddings if infection rates rise.
What can you do to help? If you both live in the UK and your wedding wedding is in the UK … relax and enjoy planning a day to remember!
If you are planning a destination wedding during a time of travel uncertainty, align your travel plans with any crucial guests. You’ll want to ensure they are there on your wedding day to celebrate with you.
Our Final Tip
Add any suppliers you have already booked, or are planning to book, to the online wedding planner.
Why? If there is a sudden change of plan, you or your bridal party can instantly access their details and contact them all in seconds. If we hear that a supplier or venue has closed, or a rogue company is targeting weddings, we can check to see if they are on your list.
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