During the holiday season, I always take time to look back on the year that’s passed and set my goals and predictions for the one to come. It’s an intentional exercise, one that helps me reflect and reset—and this year it felt more important than ever.
2021 was a hard year for everyone in the wedding industry. With news of the vaccine at the end of 2020, some of us went into the new year feeling that we’d be back to normal in no time. I could say that was naive of us, but I think it was really a product of hope. We had gone through such a disruptive year in 2020, and spent so much time being cautious and planning for the worst, that we were trying to hold onto anything that told us this might be over soon.
The early months of 2021 were particularly difficult to navigate. We had so many postponements on our client roster, and that meant there was little to no income coming in. It was also really unclear when and how the restrictions would change, which made it difficult to plan and get a sense of how long the business could sustain itself in this state.
The first glimmer of hope came in the spring, when I was able to run my first wedding in six months. Jillian and Matt had planned a beautiful small wedding, with a reception that included dinner with six guests. Unfortunately, one week before their big day, restrictions changed again and receptions were no longer allowed. So, instead of postponing the wedding once again, we turned it into a lovely, intimate elopement that was a true testament to their love.
After so much quiet in the first half of the year, July felt like madness. All of a sudden there were hardly any restrictions, and we were working with our clients to pivot as fast as we could to take advantage of that. Vendors also got really busy during this time, and many were impacted by supply chain issues that limited their ability to deliver florals, stationary, and more.
Another thing I’m truly thankful for this year is that at every step of the way, through restrictions and extreme weather scenarios, our couples were wonderful. They worked with us and trusted us to deliver on whatever we could to make their wedding days as beautiful and memorable as possible.
As 2022 began, as I began working on my goals for the future, I wasn’t sure what to expect, with weddings once more shut down and the future still uncertain. But one of the most remarkable things happened, one by one, my industry colleagues began sharing their experiences of how the inconsistent restrictions and conflicting messages had been affecting their businesses and their mental health. A movement began to save our wedding industry and the dreams of our clients. It was incredibly powerful to witness and with our voices finally heard, we are finally allowed to gather once again and celebrate our couples!
As I look back on all that’s happened in 2021, I realize it’s also been a year of transformation. We did the really exciting work of relaunching our brand, matching our aesthetic to the stylings we were bringing to life for our wonderful couples and producing more content for our blog and social. I also got the chance to connect and share ideas with other local planners during a beautiful trip to the Fairmont Empress in Victoria. It’s these things, and the fact that our industry has proven once again how resilient it really is, that leave me hopeful for this year ahead.
So, with as much cautious optimism as I can muster, I wish us all a wonderful, exciting 2022 with dancing. Lots and lots of dancing.
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