WHAT SHOULD WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS SHARE WITH WEDDING CLIENTS IN LIGHT OF COVID-19?

Friends & fellow wedding photographers: Crazy times, right? I know we’re all going through a lot with reschedules and stuff, plus people are inquiring and waiting to see what happens in the world before locking things in and canceled events in the next few weeks or months.

I have tried to email every single one of my wedding clients for 2020 with the following message. I hope that things with the COVID-19 pandemic will change long before many of their weddings. I wanted to get ahead of things. I wanted to start a conversation and let my beautiful clients know that I’m thinking about how all this applies to their event. Many have responded, and they are happy to hear from me, even if they’re still anticipating that things will move forward naturally, but as one of my clients said, it’s always good to have a Plan B!

So, without further ado, I am sharing this message that I sent to my clients.

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER CLIENT MESSAGE ABOUT COVID-19

HELLO, LOVELY COUPLES OF 2020!

I hope you are all safe & healthy. These are strange times, and every day brings something new. I am trying to send you all the good vibes. As you are all very well aware by now, we are currently in a situation that we have never experienced before as a result of the spread of Coronavirus.

I have already started communicating with couples whose weddings are happening in May and June. And now, I think it’s crucial to begin open communication with you all, even as we maintain caution with optimism for late spring & fall celebrations. I don’t want to scare any of you or cause any unnecessary anxiety. Still, with so much uncertainty all around, the more communication we have, the better. We can all navigate this together.

I’ll continue to update you as the situation evolves, and I hope to have this plan, and these answers will help alleviate some of the stress you may be feeling.

Remember, as always; I have your best interests at heart. All I want for you is to celebrate with joy & feel stress-free on days leading up to your wedding day. I am rooting for you to have the best wedding day ever. And I’ll do everything in my power to make it happen. Frankly speaking, this is always the case, and the current situation only amplifies how strongly I feel this.

If some of the messages below come across as a very business-friendly or worst-case scenario, just know that that’s how I write and not a reflection of how much I adore you all and want your dream wedding and dream wedding photography to come true.

WILL YOU STILL BE PHOTOGRAPHING OUR WEDDING? 

Yes, absolutely! I still plan to photograph 100% of the weddings I have scheduled for this year, as long as your event carries forward, and we are within any laws set by your state and the federal government. I have already self-isolated myself, and I am washing our hands more vigorously than expected. We are staying as healthy as possible to ensure not only our health but the health of your families and friends for when it comes time for me to photograph your day.

ON CANCELLATIONS & RESCHEDULING –

If you need to postpone, reschedule, or cancel your wedding, your first point of call should be your wedding insurance if you have it. The Insurance guys should be able to talk you through their perspective and position that is specific to your policy if the government declares a lockdown, or if any cancelations and postponements have to happen to your wedding due to Coronavirus. They will let you know your next steps, and it’ll help when you chat with your vendors.

Further, if the government or CDC recommendations of social distancing and quarantine lead you to cancel your wedding, as a result of the venue, planner, other vendors, or your own choice, I understand and respect your decision.

The situation is evolving rapidly, and I expect you to wait and see how things change and progress as time passes. I imagine that the last thing you want to do is reschedule or cancel. I know that your choices will most likely be dependent on so many personal factors: Home location of your families and friends, Travel plans of your guests, recommendations and requests by your venue and vendors, etc.

I won’t pressure you to make this call sooner than you have to; please know that I am on your team.

HOW DO WE RESCHEDULE OUR WEDDING? 

WHAT IF WE DECIDE TO CANCEL THE WEDDING ALTOGETHER? AND CAN WE GET A REFUND?

Now, what if you decide to cancel the wedding altogether, well then, refunds on retainers for canceled weddings are not available. I won’t be making an exception to this part of our contract. That being said, beyond a rescheduled wedding, I’m creating additional exceptions to our agreement due to the unique circumstances we are in. You can use your retainer toward another photo session such as adventure photos or engagement sessions or something else we discuss that is comparable in scope to wedding photography. However, these must be scheduled and used by the end of 2021.

WHAT HAPPENS IF WE GET SICK?  AND WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU GET SICK?

I do ask that if you or your future husband/wife shows symptoms of illness and if you choose to go against CDC recommendations and still have your wedding that you let me know. I feel that, in this case, you should immediately cancel your event. Otherwise, you risk spreading the virus to your guests and vendors. As your photographer, I have to spend a lot of time with you and come in very close contact all day. I do not feel safe or comfortable photographing your wedding if you are showing off symptoms of COVID-19.

Similarly, if I show symptoms, I will find a replacement to cover your wedding based on the agreement laid out in our contract. I take your health very seriously. I am in regular and close contact with a large network of amazing photographers both locally & internationally, and we have all agreed to support and cover each other if need be.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?

If there is something that I didn’t cover in the message above, please let me know. I am on your team and want you to have the most amazing wedding you can have. If you have any questions as to my plans, contracts, protocols, or payment schedules, please ask. I think it’s essential for all of us to know where we stand. And this way, you can communicate clearly with each other, your family, your guests, your wedding vendors, and your wedding insurance if the need arises. Please reach out via email if you have any additional questions or want to start a personal conversation.

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