To think that the wedding bells have gone silent under the unwavering influence of the pandemic would be an understatement. ‘To wed or not to wed’ may be an accurate spin-off from a Shakespearean play, with an innocuous shift from the grandeur and razzmatazz of outdoor weddings to the feeble and mellow setting of intimate weddings.
Eight months down the line this calendar year and wedding planners have had to pivot to digital avenues like Zoom, Google Meet amongst others to cater to the nuptial needs of millions of couples across the globe.
In relation to this, it comes as no surprise that wedding planners and vendors,as with any business, hit a massive snag this year. The whole gamut of vendors from decorators, photographers, florists, light and sound engineers, caterers and others were left in the lurch as venues took a hit with the lockdown protocols in place.
But as most parts of the world eased down on lockdown regulations, the switch back to outdoor weddings seems slowly possible. There is no arguing that a symbiotic relationship between vendors and planners leads to a fruitful collaboration which results in a grand and glitch-free wedding delivered to the client.
As the world shifts gears and adapts to the new ways, there is a whole another checklist that needs the wedding planner’s attention. It is important for them to ask their vendors critical questions to cater to the evolving needs of the clientele.
Here are some questions that wedding planners need to ask vendors for their clientele’s D-day:
1. What do you need to ask your wedding venue?
With the wedding industry still reeling from the crisis, wedding planners need to factor in the change in venue pricing and the availability for smaller or larger venues depending on the head count of attendees on the wedding day. Further, in the age of digital weddings, asking for the Wifi capabilities will take you a long way.
In accordance with the COVID-19 guidelines, wedding planners need to confirm if the venue will provide staff to conduct hygiene procedures and noting guest details needed for contact tracing. Other critical questions to ask range from adequate ventilation and social distancing structures to floor plans and the financial implications of postponement/cancellation.
Tuscany Wedding Venue as captured by Villa Catureglio
2.What you need to ask your photographer?
Photographs are the memories that remain etched in the hearts of couples forever and the right ones make or break your after-wedding photo reel.
Considering the shift towards micro-weddings, it is worth being on the same page about a different approach towards photography that is needed to capture more intimate weddings.
With the rise in the virtual weddings, wedding planners must work out efficient plans that will support the digital demands of the clients. They must understand whether the photographer/ videographer comes with experience in live-streaming and digital offerings.
As a good number of couples turn to drive-in weddings, opting for drone videography will give stunning results. Perhaps, it might also highlight these socially distanced times in a poetic sense?
3.What you need to ask your caterer?
Planners must get a gist of what novel ways the caterers can follow to abide by the safety and hygiene requirements.
Most critical questions to ask are;
-How will social distancing be ensured among their cooks and staff?
-Are we able to make up the minimum sum by a menu upgrade?
-What are the penalty fees for a change of date?
-What are the revised packages to suit the need of socially distanced, micro weddings.
Serving traditional meals in car parks to packaging coffee decoction, caterers are offering innovative ways to ‘cater’ to the demands of couples who seek to have a Covid-free wedding experience.
Face- shield clad staff near a wedding party as captured by Mateusz Dobrowolski
With the number of guests at wedding significantly dwindling, there is going to be revision in rates for ‘luxury’ items on the menu and it becomes imperative for planners to identify what’s best on offer and ensure the client approves it.
4.What you need to ask your decorator?
Without a shadow of doubt, decorators have had to make a massive shift in the way they approach their client’s wedding decor ideas.
As weddings in the pandemic era have slowly moving from the traditional
‘big-fat-wedding’ to more intimate ones, decorators are looking to create more exclusive experiences rather than outlandlish and over-the-top ones.
Inevitably it becomes important for planners to ask the decorators in charge to draw a blueprint for a more experiential wedding. Asking your decorator to create personalized decors with influences from simple household items is the order of the day with couples looking shifting to much more intimate experiences in the new normal.
5.What you need to ask your musician/artist/ DJ?
The right artists set the tone for the night/day and a thoughtfully curated playlist can help create meaningful memories that will last a lifetime
The availability of the artist on wedding date has to be clarified, as it must coincide with the availability of crew members and sound/light engineers essential for the wedding by meeting Covid guidelines.
To top it off, it would be a lot more meaningful if the artist connects with the planner’s clients and gets a taste of the playlists for the special day. Indie, rock, EDM, techno, classical, retro and maybe even some Bollywood classics would definitely be on the couple’s agenda for the wedding bash.