Normally, this time of year wedding planners would be in full event mode -weddings every weekend, pre-event meetings during the week, and thriving in the typical excitement and business of wedding season. To say this 2020 wedding season is unprecedented is an understatement. From dealing with ever-changing guidelines to helping clients downsize/reschedule/cancel their weddings, this year is truly testing the most seasoned event planners.
As COVID-19 is likely to persist with us for some time. How can wedding and event planners keep their employees and themselves safe during wedding season and in the future?
Everyone knows that we need to wear a mask, social distance, and wash our hands frequently. Not only is that good advice in your daily life, but also on wedding days. Make sure you are clear with your clients, employees, and wedding professionals that you will follow all recommendations set forth by the CDC and the local government.
As the planner, you will likely set the tone for adherence to guidelines. Have a frank discussion with your clients about what your company will be doing and what the expectations are for other vendors. Provide this information to all event vendors ahead of the event, with the timeline of how things will proceed, so they are aware of what to expect. Most event professionals will likely follow the guidelines, but it is always good to reiterate.
On the wedding day, make sure that you and your staff have plenty of masks for yourselves. Employees should change masks often, so make sure you are adequately equipped for numerous changes. You also want to encourage your couples to have extra masks on hand at the event along with extra hand sanitizer for guests. Bulk masks can be purchased on Amazon along with ear savers so that masks don’t hurt your ears when wearing it for an extended time period such as on event days.
Finally, during the wedding, make sure you are getting outside for a breath of fresh air whenever possible.
The schedule you create for the wedding day is now even more important in keeping your employees and other vendors socially distanced. Try to work with your event vendors to stagger their set-up times and strike times when possible.
If you are able to maintain less people during set-up and tear-down, you minimize the time during the day when it could be difficult to social distance.
A qualified cleaning service vendor is now a critical new vendor to have. Encourage clients to hire a professional cleaning company to be onsite during the event. They can continually disinfect bathrooms, door handles, tables, shared seating areas, the bar, etc., throughout the event.
It is likely that your clients are not going to love the idea of spending more money and hiring yet another vendor, but ongoing cleaning is important in keeping all attendees safe. Not only should you encourage current clients to hire a professional cleaning service, but make it a line item for future clients. As eager as we are to get back to normal, COVID-19 does not have an end date.
A typical wedding season has always been exhausting physically and mentally. Now, adding the stress of dealing with a global pandemic on top of typical wedding season stress, your mental health needs to be a top priority.
Make every effort to keep yourself healthy. Get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise, and stay hydrated. On event days, make sure you are scheduling food and water breaks for you and your team. Above all, try to keep your stress to a minimum. This is a stressful time, so make sure you have a way to blow off steam, relax, and find peace.
In the weeks leading up to wedding days, the meetings with your clients and their wedding vendors often become much more frequent. Make every effort to meet virtually when possible. The more you can avoid in-person contact, the more you reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. By applying this practice to your business and personal life, you dramatically reduce the chance of getting sick.
Your services contract has always been important, but in the last six months, many wedding planners learned just how important a sound contract really is to safeguard your business. Your wedding planning contract should protect you, your business, and staff should anyone get sick. The contract should also address what happens if you or the client wants to cancel, if the client still wants to have the event despite local laws that prohibit it, and if you don’t feel safe coordinating an event due to a recent outbreak.
it is also important to have an updated contract with your employees and contractors with details on what happens if they get sick with COVID or do not feel safe working at an event.
Your clients hired a wedding planner to make their lives easier. During this pandemic the guidelines and mandates are constantly changing, and you should be aware and ready to communicate the details to your clients. Part of your job is to stay on top of the changing situation and be ready to help clients make decisions about their wedding.
An important example of a new COVID rule that recently started is how certain states are requiring anyone flying in from outbreak states now have to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. This is virtually impossible for most wedding guests. As the wedding planner, you need to help your couples communicate with their guests and come up with a plan to include those who cannot attend. You want to be the one leading the conversation, not playing catch-up.
Most event insurance companies are no longer offering event cancellation coverage right now due to the pandemic. Even though event cancellation coverage is not available at this time, it is still essential for your couples to have event liability insurance to help protect them and their wedding day.
Markel Event Insurance offers event liability insurance for weddings. Up to $2 million in event liability insurance can be purchased by your client from Markel Event Insurance any time at least 1 day before the event. Policies start as low as $75.
By recommending your clients purchase event liability insurance, it will protect them from financial loss if they are held legally responsible for property damage to the venue or bodily injury if someone is injured at their event. Markel Event Insurance is an easy and affordable solution for your clients – a free event insurance quote takes only a few minutes online or on the phone.
Get more information now on the Markel Insurance website on how easy it is for event planners to recommend event insurance to their clients.
It is a tough time to be a wedding planner, but it is also an opportunity to rise up as a true professional. This pandemic will pass but not all planners will still be in business when it is over. By keeping yourself and your staff healthy and treating your clients with professionalism and respec, you can come out on the other side of this more established and ready to thrive when we can return to normal.
*this post is sponsored by Markel Insurance
This blog is intended for general information purposes only, and should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. The content of this document is made available on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. This publication is not intended to be legal, underwriting, or any other type of professional advice. Persons requiring advice should consult an independent adviser. Markel does not guarantee any particular outcome and makes no commitment to update any information herein, or remove any items that are no longer accurate or complete.