I’ll be honest, I do not watch the news! I was a political science major in college so CNN, MSNBC and Fox News stayed on repeat in my dorm room. Once I graduated and decided to become an event planner, I noticed the negative impact constantly watching the news was playing on my psyche. I then decided to get my news from less intense outlets like newspapers (online of course), podcasts, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (partially for the news, mostly because he is cute) and even Facebook.
The weeks leading up to the coronavirus pandemic are kind of blurry to be honest. February, March, April and May, we had events scheduled every weekend, including a 400-person conference and a destination wedding in Costa Rica. I was working 16-hour days with little time for social media, hanging with family and friends or keeping abreast of world events. Don’t get me wrong, I knew coronavirus was a thing but I didn’t know it was a thing!
It was not until I started getting emails from guests who booked travel to Costa Rica for my couple’s March 15th wedding that I realized I should give this situation more of my attention. My team and I evaluated each event we had coming up, scheduled calls with our clients and decided next steps. Many of my clients wanted to still host their events and at this point, there was no mandates from government officials to cancel them. We modified the size of a few events, decided to postpone a few more (including the 400-person conference) but for the most part, it was business as usual. My team and I headed to Costa Rica on March 12th and looked forward to executing a beautiful wedding weekend for our clients.
As soon as I landed in Costa Rica, I checked my email. Each day the updates were more daunting. Gathering sizes had been reduced down to 10 people or less. We were in constant contact with our couples and their venues. Most venues highly urged us to postpone which I agreed with, some venues postponed for us.
By the time I returned home from Costa Rica, all but two of our events in the spring and summer had been postponed. My heart broke each time my clients and I made the decision to postpone their event, especially if it was a wedding. In some instances, we had been planning for over a year. Their out of town guests had already booked their travel, most vendors had been paid in full, seating had been determined; we were just waiting for their big day to come! But we all decided the safety and health of the couple, their guests, my team and the vendors were of the utmost importance. One of the two events we had not postponed was my dad’s wedding. He was scheduled to get married on Friday, April 10, 2020 (Good Friday) and he was hopeful “this will all clear up by then.” It was easier to have honest and direct conversations with my other clients but my dad was different.
Having that conversation with my dad was a bit harder. He is a widower of over 8 years and his fiancé a widow of almost 15 years. My dad has three adult daughters and his fiancé has three adult daughters. After many years of being without a spouse, everything was aligning and my dad and Mimi (his fiancé) were finally going to be married again. (Now can you see why I had a hard time being direct with my dad about postponing?)
My dad and Mimi got engaged in December 2019 and despite our busy wedding season coming up, my team and I planned their wedding in 2 months. I loved that I could call on my friendors to help pull off my dad’s big day. DJ L Double E was to provide the music, Collective Rentals designed a beautiful lounge area for guests and Mallory with the Flowers created beautiful, vibrant spring color centerpieces. I planned the perfect day for my Dad and Mimi if I can say so myself 🙂
Then on March 19th, my birthday oddly enough, the governor of California held a press conference and made it clear that we would be staying home a lot longer than the two weeks we were initially anticipating. My dad’s wedding had officially been postponed like all our other events this season. Thankfully I didn’t have to tell him, he heard it directly from Governor Newsom.
Why did I decide to write this blog?!?! Well first, let’s be honest, I have a little extra time on my hands. But secondly, I want my clients, vendors, colleagues and the special event community to know when I say I feel for you, I feel for you and with you! The effects of Covid-19 are not just impacting my business but also my family. I was looking forward to seeing my uncles from Kentucky, my aunt from Las Vegas and my best friend from Calabasas which is as far as Vegas in LA traffic. But there is hope, life will go back to normal! You will get married, my dad will get married, you will get back to work, you will hug your friends again, you will see me at a local bar for happy hour! These slower times have allowed me to really appreciate all that I have. My family is healthy and safe, there is food in my refrigerator (I‘ve become quite the chef), and I literally dance every night to my favorite DJs going live on Instagram. In the words of Kendrick Lamar, We Gon’ be Alright!
Let’s make this a thing, blogging and practicing gratitude! Thanks for reading!