Last week we shared survey findings about how wedding pros have been affected by COVID-19 (if you missed it, check out the 4 Ways That COVID-19 Has Impacted Wedding Pros). In that survey, hundreds of pros also took the time to offer recommendations and advice for others in the industry about navigating this difficult time. We’ve read through all the thoughtful comments and highlighted the top themes.
Here are the top suggestions shared by fellow pros:
1. Stay positive! Despite all the challenges and uncertainty, many said it’s important to remain optimistic and focus on what you can control.
“Hang in there, as much as you have heard that phrase batted around. We will thrive again. These things do not last, they never have. Most people want to be in the company of others, celebrating and communing together. We will be back in no time!” – Venue
“Try to stay positive. Connect with your fellow peers to see how they’re doing, emotionally. Call your local representatives and let them know how the wedding industry has been and will be impacted not just this year but also next year.” – Event Rentals
“A positive mental attitude combined with flexibility and understanding for our clients is our best asset!” – Wedding Planner
“I would say stay flexible, positive and be creative on alternate streams of revenue.” – Wedding Planner
2. Maintain regular communication with your clients and as well as other wedding pros. Vendors noted that effective communication with couples builds trust and confidence.
“Stay in contact with each client. Reach out to them over the phone or FaceTime. Times of uncertainty mean we need to bond together to get through it. Express that to them. They will learn to trust you during this time.” – Venue
“Stay in close contact with your couples. This is a heartbreaking time for all of us, but particularly for young couples, about to start out on their life-time adventure together. Stay open to their ideas, and ask for them; they seem to appreciate it.” – Venue
“Communicate as much as possible with your clients, venue and vendors making sure everyone is on the same page and kept in the loop as things are changing with the state regulations.” – Wedding Planner
3. Make sure you are keeping a focus on 2021 and couples who are early in the planning process.
“Think ahead, and don’t forget that there are people booking for 2021 and beyond. You can still book weddings, and stay as positive as you can!!” – Wedding Band
“Keep engaged in your business every day. Research your competitors, plan for how you are going to kill it in 2021. Talk to your vendor friends. Smile.” – Bar Services
“Couples are currently looking at venues for 2021 dates. They want to be talked to and they’re excited about booking their weddings too.” – Venue
4. Stay focused on your business and use this time wisely, whether that means taking classes, upgrading equipment, networking with other wedding pros or reviewing your contract language.
“I recommend taking as many classes as you can afford to level up your photography game! Also to refine your editing techniques, update website, Pinterest, storefront photos. Also learn more about SEO and not rely on social media :)” – Photographer
“Now is a great time to do all of those things you told yourself you could do if you weren’t so busy. Update and improve your inventory / software, organize your portfolio, or tune up your social media account. Stay in touch with venues and vendors you frequently work with and try to keep your professional connections active. They might have helpful ideas for managing these times, too” – Decor & Lighting
“Add wording into new contracts and rescheduled contracts for clients to acknowledge there may be a charge for tastings, and other services rendered, etc if the wedding is canceled vs. postponed due to Force Majeure.” – Venue
“Keep creating on your business, update your website, re-edit older pictures, be active on social media, connect with vendors and clients, be proactive and most of all kind.” – Photographer
5. Increase your online presence so your business is easily discoverable by couples. Specific suggestions include refreshing your website and online storefronts, posting regularly on social media and adding virtual tours or other video content so couples can get a good feel for your business from afar.
“Yes! Now is a great time to review websites, plus online and social media profiles and directories! Contests can still be conducted at this time as well to engage couples.” – DJ
“Keep up all the marketing efforts that you can afford. Building relationships and social media promotion are free.” – Musician
“Keep your name out there on social media as this is the tool brides are using – keep it simple but unique touches – know your competition and also have team meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page” – Venue
“Creating Videos and Virtual Tours has saved our business .. also being compassionate yet savvy to keep the business” – Venue
6. Be willing to make adjustments to get through this time, such as adding new packages or finding new ways to serve couples.
“If there is a crisis the worst you can do is “nothing”. People ARE going to get married, smaller or not, sooner or later. Adapt and be on top of their minds!” – Photographer
“Adapt! Find ways to serve couples and encourage them to postpone. Offer to book and give some sort of COVID protection if they have to postpone.” – Officiant
“Prepare to do business differently post covid. Keep social media updated with advice blogs. Update website and social media to improve SEO. Do not be afraid to reinvent business. Consider this an opportunity to relaunch as a new business” – Florist
“Start diversifying your business to include different services instead of being 100% invested in Weddings and Event services” – Photographer
7. Be flexible with clients and show compassion for the difficulties they too are facing.
“Communicating kindness & compassion to your clients during this time is by far the most important role we have to play during this time!” – Wedding Planner
“Stay flexible and encourage clients to do the same. How you treat your current business now will determine your company’s future.” – Venue
“Be gracious and flexible…this is stressing the couples more than what you can imagine, go out of your way to accommodate.” – Officiant
“Empathize, let them know we have a plan & will work things out, remind them the most important thing is that they get married.” – Venue
Stay tuned for additional insights from our study, including trends based on category so you can see how your business compares. If there is anything specifically that you’d like to hear more about, please feel free to DM us on Instagram @WeddingPro!
About the Author: Lauren Goodson is Senior Director of Global Insights and leads all research initiatives for The Knot, WeddingWire and the company’s international wedding brands. Lauren solicits opinions from thousands of couples each month to keep a pulse on trends in the wedding landscape. She also spearheads research to better understand the needs of the WeddingPro community.
Source: WeddingPro COVID-19 Impact Study. May 2020. N=8,341
Photo Credit: mambographer/shutterstock.com