Dear clients, I hope you are all staying safe and healthy. These are such strange times and every day brings something new. I am sending you all 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 COVID-19. I have already started communicating with couples whose weddings are happening earlier in the year and now I think it’s important to start open communication with all of you, even as we maintain cautious optimism for late Spring, Summer, and Fall celebrations. I don’t want to scare any of you or cause any unnecessary anxiety, but with so much uncertainty from day to day and week to week, I am of the mind that the more info and communication we have, the better we can all navigate this together.
I hope that having this plan and these answers will help alleviate some of the stress you may be feeling.
Please know: As always, I have your best interests at heart. I want you to be able to celebrate with joy and feel stress-free leading up to and on your wedding day. I am rooting for you to have the best wedding day ever and I will do everything in my power to make that happen for you. This is truly always the case and the current situation only amplifies how strongly I feel this.
WILL YOU STILL BE PHOTOGRAPHING OUR WEDDING?
Yes, absolutely! I still plan to photograph all of my scheduled weddings, hopefully the most on their original dates, but for sure some on rescheduled dates in 2021.
ON CANCELLATIONS AND RESCHEDULING –
Should you need to reschedule, postpone, or cancel your wedding, your first point of call should be your wedding insurance if you have it. They should be able to talk you through their position that is specific to your policy if the government declares a lockdown, or if the wedding has to be postponed or canceled due to COVID-19. They will let you know your next steps, which will help when you chat with your vendors.
Should the government or recommendations of social distancing and quarantine lead you to cancel your wedding, whether as a result of the venue, planner, other vendors or your own personal choice, I understand and respect your decision.
The situation is evolving rapidly and I expect you would like to see how things change and progress as time passes. I imagine that the last thing you want to do is cancel or reschedule and I know that your choices will be largely dependent on so many personal factors: Travel plans of your guests, home location of your families and friends, 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 I am on your team.
WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR RETAINER, CONTRACT, WEDDING DATE, ETC., IF WE NEED TO RESCHEDULE OUR WEDDING?
As you know, I received a non-refundable retainer upon booking your wedding. If the wedding is canceled or rescheduled, whether as a result of government recommendation, third party choice (venue, etc) or personal choice, I will not refund this retainer. That said, should you choose to cancel and not reschedule you will of course not be expected to pay any remaining balance beyond the retainer on your wedding photo contract.
I am making a huge exception to my contract because of the pandemic: You may reschedule your 2020 wedding date and apply the entire retainer towards a new date. While under normal circumstances this would be considered a cancellation, I am allowing you to transfer your contract to a new date with no fee or penalty.
HOW DO WE RESCHEDULE OUR WEDDING?
You must reach out before locking in a reschedule date to get my availability. My team and I will be making every possible day available to you that we are not already booked.
Once you have a new date that you have checked on with me booked with your venue we will sign a new contract transferring your existing contract to the new date.
Should you choose a date without checking on my availability first or should you choose a date that you know that I am booked for, you will be considered as canceling your contract and forfeiting your retainer.
All rescheduled weddings must take place before the end of 2021 or your contract will be considered canceled by you and your retainer forfeited.
WHAT IF WE DECIDE TO CANCEL THE WEDDING ALTOGETHER? CAN WE GET A REFUND?
Refunds on retainers for canceled weddings are not available. I am not making an exception to this part of our contract.
That being said, beyond a rescheduled wedding, I am making additional exceptions to our contract under the unique circumstances of this pandemic: Your retainer can be used toward another photo session such as an elopement, engagement photos or adventure session, photo book or something else we discuss that is comparable in scope to wedding photography. These must be scheduled and used by the end of 2021.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE GET SICK? WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU GET SICK?
I do ask that if you or your future spouse present symptoms of illness and if you choose to go against CDC recommendations and still have your wedding, that you let me know. It is my feeling that in this case, you should immediately cancel your event to reduce the spread of this virus to your guests and vendors. As your photographer, I spend a lot of time with you and come in very close contact all day. I do not feel comfortable or safe photographing your wedding if you are exhibiting possible symptoms of COVID-19.
Similarly, if I exhibit symptoms I will find a replacement shooter 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 and internationally and we have all agreed to support and cover each other if need be.
ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?
If there is something that I didn’t cover in the above text, please let me know. I am on your team and want you to have the most amazing wedding you can possibly have. I am here to help you however I can. If you have any questions as to my protocols, plans, contracts or payment schedules, please ask. I think it’s important for all of us to know where we stand and so that you can communicate clearly with each other, your family, your guests, your other wedding vendors and your wedding insurance should you need to. Please reach me out via email.