As we listened to the Coronavirus Update, it was comforting to realise, that as predicted, restrictions will be eased from Monday May 17th. While a clearer picture is still needed moving forward, says Sue Lovell of SNOB, we have learned a lot from the restrictions
Despite all the good news, no clear guidance has been given to the wedding industry yet, in terms of how weddings can take place going forward, leaving many venues, and couples, unsure of how summer weddings will actually look. Will masks need to be worn? Will there be dancing? Can a bride walk down the aisle on her father’s arm? Couples are still left in limbo, and are undoubtably feeling forgotten or overlooked by the government.
Whereas the lifting on some restrictions is a good thing, many of us in the retail sector of the industry have found that rather than being restrictive as first expected, the rules were actually rather liberating. Many brides found that by limiting the number of guests who can accompany them to dress appointments, they were given the space and freedom to focus on what they actually wanted.
Sometimes larger appointments can be very confusing for a bride – listening to so many opinions, often strongly voiced, can be overwhelming, and so a one or two guest maximum has meant for more meaningful appointments. Brides can truly focus on their wedding dress, and can listen to their own voice, which can often be drowned out in bigger groups.
Consultants have been able to really connect with a bride, and take on board what she wants and has long dreamed about and, as a result, more sales have been made, as brides are able to find their dream dress with fewer distractions.
Many of us have realised that we can embrace the new way of doing things, and that some aspects of this chapter are here to stay. Change is often hard, but in terms of the pandemic, change had to happen; we had no choice, and that has allowed us to re-think how we operate.
Like our clients, we have been given space and freedom to focus on what we actually need, and that has presented us with a golden opportunity to really look at what works best for us, and best for the bride.
I like to compare running a business in a pandemic and to an old boyfriend. A relationship that gave me new experiences, some seriously happy highs, and some terrible lows, lots of let downs and false promises and moments of self-doubt and excruciating awkwardness. But it also brought with it the opportunity to focus on what I really wanted, with lots of time for self- reflection, and allowed me to grow, and work out that I deserved a better way. We both did. It was a relationship that I would not want to ever revisit, but I have to acknowledge that it was a valuable one. Looking back, I can see that there were times in the past when I tried to please, and I accepted that those moments would be detrimental to me and served no actual purpose.
Change, they say is never easy – but I am starting to think that a bit of a shake-up now and then is a very positive thing. But for any future changes, I would prefer a more localised and more controllable version – Global Pandemics are so last season!