CLIENT MESSAGE ABOUT COVID-19
I have already started communicating with couples whose weddings are happening earlier in the year and now I think it’s important to start open communication with all of you, even as we maintain cautious optimism for late Spring, Summer, and Fall celebrations. I don’t want to scare any of you or cause any unnecessary anxiety, but with so much uncertainty from day to day and week to week, I am of the mind that the more info and communication we have, the better. We can all navigate this together. I will continue to update you and this document as the situation evolves. I hope that having this plan and these answers will help alleviate some of the stress you may be feeling.
Please know: As always, I have your best interests at heart. I want you to be able to celebrate with joy and feel stress free leading up to and on your wedding day. I am rooting for you to have the best wedding day ever and I will do everything in my power to make that happen for you. This is truly always the case and the current situation only amplifies to how strongly I feel this.
Even though I hope that things with the pandemic will change long before many of your weddings, I wanted to get out ahead of things, start a conversation, and let you, my wonderful clients, know that I am thinking about all of this and how it applies to your event.
If some of the message below comes across as very business-y or worst case scenario-y, just know that that’s how I write and not a reflection of how much I adore you all and want your wedding and photo dreams to all come true.
WILL YOU STILL BE PHOTOGRAPHING OUR WEDDING?
Yes, absolutely! I still plan to photograph 100% of the weddings I have scheduled for this year, as long as your event carries forward and we are within any laws and limitations. I have already self-isolated with my partner (he’s been work from home since March 13th), we are washing our hands more vigorously than normal, and are staying as healthy as possible to ensure not only our health but the health of your families and friends for when it comes time for me to photograph your day.
ON CANCELLATIONS AND RESCHEDULING –
Should you need to reschedule, postpone, or cancel your wedding, your first point of call should be your wedding insurance if you have it. They should be able to talk you through their position that is specific to your policy if the government declares a lockdown, or if the wedding has to be postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19. They will let you know your next steps, which will help when you chat with your vendors.
Should the government or CDC recommendations of social distancing and quarantine lead you to cancel your wedding, whether as a result of the venue, planner, other vendors or your own personal choice, I understand and respect your decision.
The situation is evolving rapidly and I expect you would like to see how things change and progress as time passes. I imagine that the last thing you want to do is cancel or reschedule and I know that your choices will be largely dependent on so many personal factors: Travel plans of your guests, home location of your families and friends, recommendations and requests by your venue and vendors, etc.
I won’t pressure you to make this call sooner than you have to; please know I am on your team.
WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR RETAINER, CONTRACT, WEDDING DATE, ETC., IF WE NEED TO RESCHEDULE OUR WEDDING?
As you know, I received a non-refundable retainer upon booking your wedding. If the wedding is cancelled or rescheduled, whether as a result of government recommendation, third party choice (venue, etc) or personal choice, I will not refund this retainer. That said, should you choose to cancel and not reschedule you will of course not be expected to pay any remaining balance beyond the retainer on your wedding photo contract.
You may reschedule your 2020 wedding date and apply the entire retainer towards a new date. While under normal circumstances this would be considered a cancellation, I am allowing you to transfer your contract to a new date with no fee or penalty. 2021 weekdays (mon-Thursday) dates up until May 2021 are also free of charge for rescheduling, this I hope will help a lot of you out, even though my prices increase for 2021 I’m offering to honour the 2020 rates should you decide to move to a week day in 2021. Rescheduling after May 2021, a fee will incur to reschedule, this will depend on whether or not it is a weekday. I’m already booked for most weekend dates the rest of 2020 until October, and some weekends in 2021. If I can’t personally attend, I’m able to get an associate, another professional photographer that will take part in your day, who's style is similar to mine, the rest will go on as usual and I will be editing the photos and handling the correspondence as usual. I work with some truly talented ladies and men, all amazingly skilled and we try to help each other out.
HOW DO WE RESCHEDULE OUR WEDDING?
You must reach out before locking in a reschedule date to get my availability. I will be making every possible day available to you that I am not already booked.
Once you have a new date that you have checked on with me booked with your venue we will sign a new contract transferring your existing contract to the new date.
Should you choose a date without checking on my availability first or should you choose a date that you know that I am booked for, I will be sending my associate instead otherwise if this is not something you’d like (trust me, I ensure the ladies I’m working with a professionals and skilled and have a similar photography style) you will be considered as cancelling your contract and forfeiting your retainer.
All rescheduled weddings must take place before the end of 2021 or your contract will be considered cancelled by you and your retainer
How a postponement would work:
Here’s a breakdown of how it would work if you wished to postpone your wedding:
* Postpone to another date in 2020 and before May 2021 (weekday Mon-thurs) – free of charge, but your final balance payment date will still be as per your original booking, i.e. one month before the original date of your wedding.
* Postpone to a weekday date in 2021 (after May 2021) (Mon – Thurs) – a fee of €250 would be payable to move the wedding to the new date. You would also be required to pay 50% of your current remaining balance as per your original booking, and the remaining 50% one month prior to the new date of your wedding.
* Postpone to a weekend date in 2021 (entirety of 2021) (Fri – Sun) – a fee of €650 would be payable to move the wedding to the new date. You would also be required to pay 50% of your current remaining balance as per your original booking, and the remaining 50% one month prior to the new date of your wedding.
Please note all days during bank holiday weekends such as Easter, May Day etc will be classed as a weekend date.
Why is there a small charge to postpone until May 2021?
I’d love to move everyone’s weddings to next year for free, I honestly would, but if I did this I wouldn’t be in business next year to shoot them, the fee helps keep my head above water until next year so I can attend, shoot and absolutely rock your wedding photos!
I have a mortgage to pay, bills to pay and my business to run, so postponements would hurt us financially to the point where I’d have to close the business.
Anyone who knows me would tell you I hate talking about money, so this subject is quite a tricky one for me to explain due to the emotional complexities of being a single income household. So please understand that I wouldn’t be implementing this policy were it not 100% essential to keep my business around long enough to shoot your wedding.
WHAT IF WE DECIDE TO CANCEL THE WEDDING ALTOGETHER? CAN WE GET A REFUND?
Refunds on retainers for cancelled weddings are not available. I am not making an exception to this part of our contract.
That being said, beyond a rescheduled wedding, I am making additional exceptions to our contract under the unique circumstances of this pandemic: Your retainer can be used toward another photo session such as an elopement, engagement photos or adventure session, or something else we discuss that is comparable in scope to wedding photography. These must be scheduled and used by the end of 2021.