2020…What a year that was!
Now that we are well into 2021 I have been looking back and reflecting on 2020… Wow what a year that was and I for one could not wait to see the back of it.
Where do I start about how I feel and how I and my wonderful team coped with everything that was thrown at us all thanks to Covid 19.
As my feet landed back on terra firma last March 12th after speaking at a wedding industry conference in Kolkata about the wonderful possibilities for destination weddings in Europe I could never have imagined that within two days we would be in a worldwide lockdown and spend the rest of 2020 in varying stages of restrictions around the world.
At first, it was totally unbelievable that a virus could literally stop the whole world in its tracks. Every type of business and industry ground to a halt, children were kept at home from school and we all had to very quickly attempt to find a new way of living.
During the first two months, the time went quickly with Jessica and I in our individual offices taking time to talk to each of our 2020 couples, doing everything possible to keep them as calm as possible and reassuring them that love cannot be cancelled and that postponing was the right option. We talked to all our venues and suppliers, also trying to calm their fears, moving all our wedding dates and generally trying to stay on top even though it felt like the world as we know it was coming to an abrupt end.
As the months went on we realised that we would not be doing any weddings in 2020, not just us but every colleague in the wedding industry. Groups of wedding industry people lobbied with the various governments, trying to make sure that we were not the forgotten industry.
Once we had moved all of our couples weddings to new dates we felt we could breathe again and slowly we slipped into different ways of life, there were many highs and lows!
The highs were something so unusual for us as wedding planners, we had time at home!!
Time to rest and relax and spend time with our partners, this never happens during the peak wedding seasons and it was the first time in 15 years that I actually had a summer off…
Jessica and I still spent at least half of each day in the office and we took the time to reorganise all our systems and to learn and perfect new skills, taking time to attend online courses and seminars. The most wonderful thing is that now as we emerge back into the light we are SO ready.
After many years of keeping some ideas in my head as I never had the time to implement them, I have finally written with the help of Sarah and Jessica an Ebook on planning your wedding, it explains the value in having a wedding planner but also gives a whole guide to those couples who want to fly solo and do all the planning themselves, even just knowing the first steps give the courage to explore further and I was so happy to get this done as it’s been something I have talked about for so long.
I have also added several brand new services under the optimum umbrella, well I have been planning weddings for such a long time I had to do something with all the knowledge I have knocking around in my head, so ready for the spring I will launch my Destination wedding planner course, I am always being asked by fellow planners how to add destinations to their services so now I can share this knowledge over a ten week online course and I am so excited about it I cannot wait to get started.
The lows hit us like a ton of bricks on some days, nothing on Netflix could make us feel any better.
Some days after speaking to distressed and upset couples we just didn’t know what else to say and once we had said goodbye Jess and I would sit and weep! How did this happen! we sell happiness not this! when would it end?
We have been following every scrap of news and checking every possible website in each Country that we deal with to be sure that we could give clients the correct information.
The only thing that kept us going was that we knew for sure that Covid 19 would end and one day we will have our lives back and get back to doing what we love… planning beautiful weddings around the world.
The vaccine !!!! How happy and relieved we all felt when it was announced that vaccines had been found and even more so once they were approved, we know it’s going to take quite some time to get through the world but at least now we have the light at the end of the tunnel that we have all been desperate for.
So now it’s 2021 and Covid is still with us, still causing havoc, schools are still closed and parents are struggling with homeschooling, we are all the same but somehow different.
Brexit is now a reality and we are all waiting to see what effects that has on travel into Europe for our UK clients although I feel sure that once things settle down and we understand about possible visas and driving permits it will just be as it was before we joined the EU, we will all have our passports stamped again as we travel around Europe.
The world is watching and waiting as the vaccines are rolled out and the Elderly and most vulnerable made history by being the first to receive the new vaccine…. we now have hope and we know it is ending.
In all of this, I am still thankful, I still love the work that I do and know that we will soon be doing it again. It is engagement season, happy couples looking forward to coming to us eager to start planning for 2022 and we are so happy.
Through it all Jessica has been my rock, my constant support every day and I am so thankful to have her as my right arm and Sarah, Sanjeet and Roberta on my side, together we really are the dream team and life will return to what we all know in the near future. We will all have learnt so much during 2020, and I hope that we will remember these things about humanity once we are all able to be together again and to hug our friends and family.
Thank goodness for Zoom, Skype, FaceTime and whatever system we have been able to use to keep in touch with friends and family for without them I do think this whole thing would have been a 100 times worse.
My little optimum weddings family is excited now at the prospect of new weddings coming up …. including mine as my wonderful, funny Dutch man who has kept me sane over the last two years popped the question on Christmas day !!
We cannot wait to see our 2020 couples have their long awaited wedding days even if they may have to wait a little longer. We will make sure that they have the very very best days of their lives. We can’t wait to dance, laugh and cry close to everyone that we love.
2020 was the year that really tested us all, we remember those whose lives were wickedly snatched away by Covid 19 and rejoice for those who with an unknown strength pulled through. The medical teams around the world who proved themselves second to none deserve all our praise, thanks and respect, we are indeed humbled by them all.
Last but not least I want to thank all of our couples who believe in us to take care of all the changes for them, you have all been so strong and amazing and you all make what we do worthwhile.
It’s 2021, let’s make it count… For all newly engaged couples reading this and seeing us for the first time, if you think we will be the right planners for you please get in touch. We are ready and waiting.