How Covid-19 Has Rocked Our Businesses & How Weddings Are Resuming In France
Many couples’ plans have been halted because of the coronavirus pandemic. Those with destination weddings have faced some of the greatest levels of uncertainty, with flights cancelled, guests unable to attend, and quarantine restrictions among the stumbling blocks.
Anna Walmsley is an experienced overseas wedding planner and has shared her experiences of how the pandemic has affected her business and the wider destination wedding industry, as well as how France have begun resuming weddings. Here’s what she had to say…
Image: Richard Hadley
All of us who work in the wedding and events industry have been hit hard the pandemic. Gatherings are, of course, at the core of what we do and 2020 has undoubtedly been our toughest year yet.
Although we are moving forward and countries are starting to slowly build up their economy, the events and wedding industry has been particularly affected.
Events seem to be in the final phase of what is now the new ‘normal’, and for some countries, that still means waiting for a vaccine or a cure. France, however, is slowly resuming events and weddings, but is still of course taking into account the associated risks and keeping a close eye on health analysis. By 2021, it’s currently expected, things will be rolling at a much more normal pace.
Despite the pandemic, there has been a silver lining during these unprecedented times. Specifically, the collaboration between the different event organisers and those providing venues. Countless discussion groups have been created, with a focus on how we can work together to address any issues and help each other problem-solve. Hopefully, we can inject a solid dose of life into our industry, which has suffered. In turn, this has led to the shared experience of testing virtual events. These virtual experiences have reminded us how the need to share our joys in person is so fundamental to our wellbeing. In time, I believe, they will become virtual components of otherwise live events, rather than a replacement for them.
Image: Pholio Photographie
Those of us involved in the industry are all aware that we’re not in a position to go straight back to the way things were before the pandemic. Instead, we are working with the local governments collectively to ensure we get it right and that it is all being handled with care, particularly from a health standpoint, so our clients will feel confident and safe to celebrate their special event with us and know that they are in good hands.
There are definitely positive aspects and I believe we are going to see the long-term benefit from some of these process changes. I think hotel rooms, aeroplanes, and venues will be cleaner than ever before; there will be a lot more consideration given to general hygiene.
I know the recovery will be long and hard, but I think as long as we continue to keep the collaboration going strong within the industry and with our clients that we’ll all get through it – and importantly, we’ll learn from one another.
We want to remind our clients that, although we are facing unprecedented times, the magic of our area and quality of work hasn’t faded. We are working hard to ensure your dreams can materialise safely under the correct conditions.
Image: David Pullum Photography
‘We the event planners do need to go further than just reassuring the client, we’re there to minimise the risk of transmission being not only good for business, but also necessary for maintaining our reputation amongst both the clients and the local regulatory authorities’
We are working very closely with the prefecture, and other local authorities such as the CCI (Chambre de Commerce d’industrie) to ensure we are assisted, aided, and advised with the most updated health regulations. You can also be kept updated through this Facebook group I have created.
Undoubtedly the events and destination weddings industry is incredibly resilient. Our human need to interact and exchange information face-to-face is paramount as human beings, and as an Events Organiser, I will work to ensure you can enjoy these wonderful moments together.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Anna, we are also sure your Facebook group will prove helpful for couples planning a wedding overseas in these crazy times. For more information on popular wedding destinations and the UK’s rules about travelling to them, read our Guide to Destination Weddings Post-Lockdown.
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