Finding the Silver Lining in this Covid Cloud

Written by Emma Hla
How are you all doing? Well I hope, all things considering.

We have our main feature for all things coronavirus-related right here, in one easy location. We last updated the feature just after the lockdown was announced and we will continue to update this page as and when things develop.

However, over the next few weeks we wanted to give a voice to our venues on the front line of weddings, currently working their socks off to support, accommodate and work with couples to postpone their upcoming celebrations. We know the conversations have been really difficult for some and none of this is fair on anyone involved – the couples postponing their big days and the venues/suppliers who are facing some pretty difficult decisions for their business and immediate future.

We’ve had many emails from brides and grooms asking for advice around the venue postponement, wondering what other venues are doing in response and how it compares to their own situation. We’ve also had some of our venue members get touch with their brilliant words of comfort and advice, so in response we’ve created a series which will hopefully offer some support and guidance to those that need it. You will be able to view all features under the Coronavirus and Your Wedding tag.

Kicking this series off are Katy and Kirsty from Happy Valley, a beautiful outdoor wedding venue in Norfolk. Their feature – finding the silver lining in this covid cloud – is full of SO much goodness.

Get comfy, take a minute out and have a little read.

Notes from Happy Valley Norfolk

Katy and Kirsty say…

At Happy Valley, we’ve always been firm believers in the health benefits of the great outdoors when offering couples our woodland wedding packages. Unfortunately, the consequences of a Government lockdown can’t be cured by fresh air alone and some of you may be facing tough decisions with regards to postponing your big day.

It’s certainly unchartered territory for families and businesses alike and while we face this storm together, only through understanding, patience and kindness, will we be able to see some light.

What we CAN tell you is come rain or shine, summer or winter, venues and suppliers are with you and if you’ll let us, we’ll stay with you all the way until you say ‘I do’.

Changing  ‘What ifs’ to ‘Even ifs’

The once, hypothetical question of “what if I have to change my wedding date?” is looking more and more likely for end of April and May weddings. Even if you change your date, regardless of any decisions made or plans altered, venues will do everything in their power to create a magical, once-in-a-lifetime memory that you can treasure forever. At Happy Valley, we have already offered our early 2020 couples the opportunity of pencilling in a back-up date so we can manoeuvre from plan A to plan B without any problems. We are now extending this to our June and July couples and will continue to do this with future months, in line with government updates.

During the early stages of this crisis, we often heard “what if my suppliers can’t make it to our new date?”. It’s an incredibly turbulent time in the wedding industry and each venue will have their own response to this but at Happy Valley, we are offering to liaise with each couple’s wedding suppliers so we can find a mutually convenient date for everyone. Even if suppliers can no longer offer any alternative dates, we are providing couples with our supplier list so they may have other options.

The biggest ‘even if’ for all venues and suppliers right now is: Even if you postpone – please don’t cancel. Pause but don’t give up. Reflect but don’t retreat. Delay but don’t be defeated – you get where we’re going with this! Despite the fact small businesses are facing the possibility of having to close their doors, their hearts are with YOU and if you’re willing to be there for them too, we’ll all be able to meet on the other side and celebrate the love and awesomeness of humanity, hopefully with a glass of bubbly and a beaming smile.

Advice for Spring and Summer 2020 couples

Focus on what you can control and let go of the things you can’t – get a list of available exchange dates from your venue and then use this as a starting block to liaise with your suppliers. Contact your guests and explain that there might be a change of date. As for all of the disappointments, write them down, screw them up and throw them into your log-burner. Then have a glass of wine to congratulate yourself.

Adaptability is the simple secret of survival – nothing about this crisis is ideal. Dream dates have been cancelled, financial stability is hanging by a thread, jobs are fading away but worse of all, loved ones have been lost. Now is not the time for the ideal but the immediate, forget the perfect but embrace the plausible. If you want your venues and suppliers to survive long enough to provide you with the celebrations you so truly deserve (and trust us, we really do think you deserve the best), then your minds and hearts will need to be open and flexible.

If you can be anything, be kind – every single one of us has a story to tell and we have all been affected by Covid-19 in some way or another. Every email you receive will come from a person who is worried about a high-risk family member. Every call you take will come from a person who is concerned about losing their job or knows of someone who already has. No person’s wounds are greater than another’s, no-one’s fears are smaller than their neighbours. Let’s not compare but just provide compassion, patience and understanding, for everyone.

Love conquers all – statistically speaking, according to Verily, the chances of mathematically finding your soulmate are 1 in 10,000 (0.01%) and yet here you are, getting ready to spend the rest of your life with the person you love. Sure, they might snore or dribble in their sleep but they’re your person. No matter what happens, when it happens or how it happens, you’re already doing better than the other 99.99%.

Credits

Words Katy and Kirsty, Happy Valley Norfolk

Photography Aurora Grey Photography

Flowers Wild Folk

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