Spencer Studios & COVID-19

March 16, 2020

It’s Monday, March 16th 2020 and it feels like the world is in chaos. I just got home from the store because I needed a few things (bread, cheese, etc) and it was….strange. I’d seen photos of empty shelves, but seeing it in person is a different animal. Anyway, I’m sitting down as my desk, like I would every Monday. But this isn’t every Monday. As you’ve probably realized by now, everyone on the planet is going to be negatively affected by COVID-19. Everyone. It’s scary, dangerous, and honestly makes the stress of photographing weddings look about as stressful as making a sandwich. One of the many groups severely affected is the events industry. As of this moment, the CDC is strongly encouraging no events with more than 50 people for 8 weeks (with most cities and counties following suit). So…what am I doing to protect my clients right now? What does this mean for them? What does this mean for your wedding? Here are some big questions, with hopefully useful answers:

What should I do if my wedding is in the next 8 weeks?

Unfortunately, you should probably start considering your options for adjusting due to the circumstances. Here are some things to consider:
  • Can you cut your guest list down to just the essentials, and be under 50 people? This way you’d still be able to more safely have your event.
  • Can you postpone? If you’re thinking you want to go this route, I’d suggest reaching out to your vendors asap! Every single vendor still wants to be there for you, but summer and fall dates are already getting filled. Be prepared to potentially have to switch to a Friday, Sunday, or maybe even a day in the middle of the week.
  • Can you elope and have a party later? This might be a great option! It’s kind of half-way between cutting down and postponing, and might be the best of both worlds.
  • Can you move forward and have your wedding as planned? Maybe! That depends on the details of your day. If you go this route keep your eyes on the city’s website and social for information that may effect your legal ability to have a gathering.
  • Have you checked in on your marriage license? Some cities are shutting down non-essential government offices, which in some cases includes the one where you get your marriage license. If you can, maybe get it sooner rather than later.
Also, here are some resources for you:

Will you still shoot my wedding / engagement session / portrait session, etc?

ENGAGEMENT & PORTRAIT SESSIONS: I plan to continue photographing these sessions! I will leave it up to you if you’d like to go ahead, or postpone. I’ve honestly thought now might be a great time for family sessions; I’m noticing a lot more families spending time together, and capturing that might be an amazing memory to hold onto. I’ll probably take a few moments to wipe down my gear, but I’m there to capture those memories! WEDDINGS: As long as you’re getting married, and I’m not sick, I’ll be there (albeit with less hugs)! If that means a small get together in your parent’s back yard, a quick trip to the courthouse, a big blowout a few months down the line, all of it. When I booked your wedding I made a promise that I would be there for you, and that hasn’t changed.

What are you, Meghan, doing about this?

MEETINGS: All meetings are moving to a digital format for the foreseeable future. This includes, but is not limited to, initial contact consults, final details meetings, wall art consults, and everything else. I can video chat with you and we can still communicate as much as we could before, but it keeps us both safer. NO HUGS FOR YOU: Anyone who knows me knows I’m a hugger, but we’re all going to have to practice a bit of restraint during this time of social distancing. Elbow bumps it is! VENDOR RECOMMENDATIONS: As couples start postponing their wedding days, it is inevitable that not every vendor will be available for those days. As an industry we are working hard to come together to make sure every couple has a beautiful wedding day, despite the circumstances. I love the KC wedding industry (as I say all the time) and the strength, courage, and grace being shown right now is keeping sane. We are very connected and in constant conversation right now to make sure we can make this as easy as possible for those forced to postpone or adjust their plans. We’re in this industry because we care, and that hasn’t changed! Let me / us help you!
HOW CAN I HELP?: This is new territory for all of us and I may not know what else to do or how I can help you. Don’t hesitate to post below or shoot me an email (meghan@spencerstudiosphotography.com) if there is something else you think I can do!!

What can I do to help those who are struggling?

Not only is this time stressful, but it’s downright scary. Those of us in the events industry rely on events for our income; to buy bread and toilet paper 😉 Here are some things you can do to help:
  • STAY HOME: Unless you need to be out (which includes grocery shopping, etc) then don’t be. Act as if you already are carrying the virus, because you might be.
  • PAY INVOICES ON TIME: Even if you are postponing, wedding vendors plan their entire financial year around wedding season and the money that they believed would be coming in. If you can, paying on time would help keep the checkbook in the black.
  • BUY GIFT CARDS: Even if you cannot use someone’s services now, buy a gift card to use later! Even a tiny bit of extra cash can help us make it through this season of cancelations and lost income. You can purchase gift cards to Spencer Studios HERE!
  • SHOP LOCAL: Support local businesses as they are going to hurt the most from this. Get groceries at a local store, get take-out at a local restaurant (check out a list of local restaurants offering takeout HERE). Find ways of keeping your money in the local economy.
  • ALREADY MARRIED?: If you’re already married but had an amazing experience with a vendor, now is a great time to give them some love. Write a review, tag them in some photos, or even purchase prints or products. All of these things will help emotionally and economically!!
  • BE KIND & PATIENT: Your barista has had a stressful day, give them an extra smile. Chat with the folks in line with you, they might need someone to talk to. And please be patient with everyone; this is uncharted territory and we’re all just trying to figure it out as we go along.
I want to say thank you to my clients, for trusting me with their important days and moments in their life. I am doing my best to keep positive and productive in light of the circumstances. It’s almost business-as-usual, and I plan to do what I can to keep things moving forward. Better days are ahead, we will get through this together.

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