To our beloved couples, our incredible hard working creative partners and our community, it has taken me some time to sit down and write this post about what it’s been like to manage wedding planning and COVID-19.
As planners, it is our job to rise in times of uncertainty and crisis, and as we began to see the events of this past month unfolding, that is what we did before anything else. Reaching out to our couples—all of them, to check in and make sure they knew we were there to support them as this epidemic was unfolding. We then got to work: postponing, creating back up plans, talking through difficult decisions and offering our couples our unwavering support during this time. Before anything else, before this blog post, we needed to make sure our couples were okay and supported.
And now, I feel like we can pause for a moment and share with you our thoughts.
First and foremost I write this post feeling so grateful to live where I do, that my family is safe, that we have our health and that we are able to communicate with one another so easily. I recognize that I am lucky and I do not take that for granted, not for a second. I recognize how privileged I am and I am grateful. I am thankful to all of the caregivers all over the world who are sacrificing their health and the health of their loved ones to take care of others. I am in awe of this and forever grateful for this bravery and courage. Every night at 7:00p I stand with my husband and our two year old son, cheering from our windows for these heroes. I am filled with gratitude and keep this at the forefront of my mind each day.
To our couples, as you know, we are here for you. We walk beside you in this time and reassure you that we will celebrate your love! It may be a smaller wedding than we had planned, it may not be on the date that we had planned, it might be in a different season than we had planned, but we will celebrate your love and it will be a celebration beyond your wildest dreams! We will have the added experience of what it means to be separated and a deeper appreciation for those hugs after you finish walking up the aisle as a married couple, those happy tears, those uncontrollable laughs as your best friends tease you in front of all of your guests, to dance on a full dance floor until your feet hurt, and what it feels like to have your loved ones, your community, by your side as you commit to a life time together.
To our creative partners, we are so grateful for your ongoing understanding and willingness to do what it takes to make our couple’s dreams come true. For the love you have shown us over the last few weeks. For the camaraderie, the solidarity, and undying support. I can assure your kind acts are not lost to our couples during this time of uncertainty. I am so proud to be in your company as I witness you all looking for the positive even when our small businesses are being hit in ways we never could have imagined. We will get through this. We are here to support you. We are in the business of celebrating love and we will continue to do this for years to come. We will do this with empathy, grace and a renewed appreciation for being able to do the work that we do.
“Blessed are the happiness makers.” — Henry Ward Beecher
To our community, we are taking this moment to help were we can. One of the most shocking moments for me in all of this was listening to a reporter on CBC, over three weeks ago, speak to a healthcare worker who was working in the Downtown East Side. During this time of isolation, what does one do when they do not have a home? When they do not have a sink to wash their hands in? What if the home one is in is not safe to stay in? What happens when the regular life lines are no longer there to offer support, safety?
So many people who live in our city do not have the resources that we can sometimes take for granted and with underlying health conditions that could be fatal if they are contracted with COVID-19. I want to make sure I am doing everything we can to help those who need it the most. With this in mind, we have made donation to The Vancouver Foundation, who was recommended to us for being actively and effectively supporting initiatives in this at risk community during this time. If you are able to also help, I know it will very much appreciated.
During this time, I encourage us all to see if there is anything we can to to help those around us. Ask if you can pick up groceries for neighbours, volunteer if it is safe to do so, donating blood, check in on neighbours who live alone or something as simple as smiling to those around you as you keep your social distance and above all else: stay home.
We are all in this together and we need to be kind and care for one another at this time. We will make it through this and will bounce back stronger and more united than before.
We look forward to celebrating with you once again soon and in the meantime, do not hesitate to reach out if there is anything we can do to help you.
Alicia and Angie, Aurora, Emily and the entire Alicia Keats Weddings + Events Team