As a planner with a purpose, the conception and release of my first blog was planned for April 1st, 2020: the beginning of 2nd quarter with a promising year ahead and 2019 year end cleanup behind me.
What a great time to begin, right? There are so many uplifting event topics to consider after completing the new year organizational tasks in the studio, such as tax preparation, website updates, sorting promotional trade show material, resourcing our 2020 swag bags' contents, and framing up 2020 timelines and calendars.
With all of this in the rear view mirror, I embraced spring's to-do with vigor. For me, spring is the true starting line for my year and has always been a time of promise and energy—Easter (my fav tradition and the most mindful holiday), getting out and about to visit venues before the intensity of wedding season kicks off, meeting clients and caterers for tastings, and getting together with other event vendors to sure up planning and finalize decisions before everyone hits the green grass running through wedding and event season.
So much for that plan...April Fool's Day has the joke on me!
So onto Plan B and perhaps even Plan C!! Planners always have backups, yet this one has truly caused me to pause and pivot hard.
We live and thrive on creating social opportunities for our clients and ourselves. Our livelihood and spirit rely on it. And here we are being forced to create distance in our event schedules and in our relationships. Our calendars are our most precious allies AND our crystal balls. And today, our crystal balls are anything but clear—more filled with a dense and dreary fog.
So my Plan B is to look ahead even if it is an imaginary globe filled with what could be and what I hope it to be. It's essential that I remain optimistic and reminded that the work and joy that was planned is simply postponed, not cancelled.
In my pivot, I see it as yet another opportunity to re-plan and to grab hold of the work at hand, to comfort and reassure my clients, to join with other vendors in support and camaraderie, realizing how resilient and strong we are as a community of professionals and human beings, and most of all, to not let some really thick fog blanket our spirit of celebrating.
In Week 3, we have all created our new lockdown routines and coping rituals as we navigate these unsteady times and take responsibility for our safety and that of others. Using technology and embracing our clients needs in more personal and supportive ways than ever has propelled these relationships into a deeper space. When the going gets tough, you experience personalities in a more intimate way, and you get a more personal view inside. I suddenly find that my heart is able to do the work that it's meant to without the veil of not crossing a professional line. I feel a bit freer to just be my caring self, say what needs to be said, and not worry about any more than dealing with each moment and taking care of those who count on me.
As physically distanced as we are right now, there is a closeness that comes from diving into the deep end, unencumbered, and just being there for each other. It's empathy at its best when we can feel the needs and fears of those who have hired us to make memories and show up to find a new way to stay on course. Knowing what to say and what to do to ease their minds and remind them that their greatest celebrations will be that much greater having endured this pause together unveiling a superpower that comes from operating with heart and leaning in with optimism.
So for me, social distancing has in many ways created a closer bond to my clients and to my fellow vendors; perhaps not shoulder to shoulder or hand to hand, but heart to heart.
Remember to take good care of each other and trust that love conquers all. Stay well!
For couples and vendors beyond my own that are looking for ways to refocus and remain positive, Wedding Pro & Wedding Wire have done an excellent job these past two weeks in supporting the wedding industry and couples with tools to get through these challenges and face hard decisions and shifts in their wedding planning.
For fellow event vendors finding a new stride:
While taking care of our clients is our first priority, we need to take care of our businesses and avoid pitfalls that can set us further back. We also need to support each other in the process. We get the true meaning of "having a squad" and now more than ever, squads need to unite. We truly are in this together, and we are figuring out day-by-day how to get to the other side. These links offer sound and wise advice:
For couples caught in the cross hairs of postponement:
All couples are braced for the challenges that go along with planning a wedding and seeing it through to success. Through the process, we discuss contingency plans for rain and snow and traffic, but never a pandemic. And here we are, living it. Once couples come to grips with the fact that their day may very well be another day, they are on the road to a new success and a wedding that will equally be their own and that much more precious by the sheer fact that they leaned into the challenge and became stronger as partners. These are some helpful links from Wedding Wire for redirecting plans and supporting the transition from your Plan A to your Plan B with optimism and success: