SO THIS IS WILD!
You’ve spent months planning…you've put in the work to find the perfect vendors, venue, outfit, and most importantly, partner, for your wedding. In spite of that effort, you're now having to decide between rescheduling or canceling altogether because of a pandemic no one anticipated.
If you’re reading this that means that we’ve been lucky enough to have been chosen and trusted by you to document one of the most precious and memorable days of your life. Let us reiterate how much we value the connection and relationship we have already established and how vital sustaining that healthy relationship will become the day of your wedding. In light of new stress brought on by the pandemic, we want to do everything in our power to maintain transparency and an open channel of communication. We want you to feel safe sharing your needs with us moving forward.
Evermore Stories is a small business, like most, negatively effected by this virus. That however does not negate our mission, to serve you as a priority and help you to feel special in spite of the negativity around us. We realize that some reading this are in the service industry and have been forced to file for unemployment, some of you have lost jobs and healthcare. There are mortgages to pay, children to feed, family members you feel ripped from, and a multitude of struggles we cannot even imagine. In talking to many of you there are many fears that arrived with this pandemic, including fears that come with re-planning a wedding you've already invested so much money into; rethinking a day that you have envisioned and awaited with excitement. We hope to make this process as easy as we can. Below we put together a page that shares our COVID-19 rescheduling policy as well as information that we hope will make this stressful time, less stressful.
COVID-19 Rescheduling Policies for clients within the government mandate and within 8 weeks of the mandate:
1. Clients may reschedule to any date within 2020 in which we are available or Mon – Thurs or Sunday 2021 dates in which we are available. Your retainer will be applied to your new date and all rescheduling fees will be waived. A rescheduling contract will be required to secure your new date.
2. Clients may reschedule to a peak Friday or Saturday in 2021 in which we are available. A new retainer will be due for the new date, and the previous retainer will be forfeited.
3. Clients who choose to cancel their wedding altogether are subject to the terms agreed upon in our contract but have the option of transferring monies paid to an alternate service for future use.
To be fair to couples whose wedding is being directly affected by COVID-19 the above COVID-19 rescheduling policy is only applicable to couples who are being immediately forced to reschedule their wedding due to government and state mandates. Couples who are not within an 8 week window of the current estimated end of the government mandated Shelter in Place will be subject to the rescheduling clause outlined in their contract.
Thank you for understanding.
Now I bet you have questions! We would too. While we are a small business, we are people first, a husband and wife couple, like you, that still remembers the stress of wedding planning without the added pressure of a global pandemic. We believe in total transparency, therefore issue policies while being plainly honest in explaining the WHY behind them. We believe it's important share our vulnerability with the marvelous people who made the choice to support our local business. To simplify answers and questions, we are listing them below in a Q & A format for easy reading!
Q: Can we reschedule to a date in 2021 without a fee?
A: Yes! You can move your wedding to any Sunday or weekday in 2021 at no additional cost so long as it’s within a 12 month window of your original date.
Q: Why is there an additional fee if we choose to move our wedding to a Saturday in 2021?
A: This is a wonderful question, and one that is going to require us sharing a bit about how our small business survives year in and year out. Grant and I are both full time wedding professionals with Evermore Stories. We have 38 Saturday’s per year available for us to work and bring in income for our household (excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and our slow season; Summer, thanks to Louisiana Heat.) Our small business depends on booking these 38 Saturday’s with new income so that it can sustain and grow as a small business. Consider, hypothetically, that about 25+ of our current 2020 couples request to move their date to a Saturday in 2021, that would leave us with 13 available Saturdays in 2021 to make new income for the year, and a huge deficit in income for 2020. Truthfully, our business could not financially sustain that impact. This unfortunately is a very real and dark reality for many small businesses, especially in the wedding industry. We are asking our couples to open their hearts and support our business, meeting us half way in considering all other dates in the year to get married at no additional cost.
We understand with some vendors this might not be ideal. For couples who would like to move forward rescheduling to a prime Saturday in 2021, we will work with you to make the move, however your retainer will be forfeited and a new retainer will be required to book your new date.
Q: What if you’re not available for a date that the rest of our vendors are?
A: Unfortunately, when you move your wedding to a date in which we are unavailable - it is still considered a cancellation.
If you would like to retain your entire vendor team and not lose your retainers/fees paid it might be a good idea to consider Friday’s, Sunday’s, as well as weekdays.
Q: In the instance we go with a date that you’re not available, can we get a partial refund?
A: This is dependent upon our contracted terms, however, for couples who are choosing to cancel we are able to offer credit of monies paid towards future services.
Q: Our wedding is not until Fall (August-November) should we reschedule now?
A: We are strongly encouraging couples whose wedding date is not being directly affected by a state-mandated Force Majeure or whose date is not within an eight week window of when the Force Majeure is expected to end to hold off on rescheduling. Right now, vendors and venues are working over time to provide available dates to their couples who are being directly affected by state and government orders.
Q. What if our wedding is not being directly impacted or is not within an eight week window of a Force Majeure but we would like to reschedule any way?
A: For couples whose date does not fall within the circumstances of a Force Majeure due to state and government mandates, a rescheduling fee will apply per our rescheduling terms.
Q. We’re looking at several dates in which you are available. Can you reserve those dates for us while we are deciding what to do?
A: For our couples who are already booked with us, we are providing the option to “stronghold” a date in which we are available. Meaning we will hold a date for you without a retainer until you decide that the date works for you and your entire vendor team. In the instance another inquiry hopes to book the dates in which you have held, you will have the first right to refusal. However, without a signed contract for the new date we can only hold a date for 24 hours once a new inquiry has been made.
Please only stronghold a date once you have contacted all of your vendors about their availability and feel confident that you will move forward with one of the dates held.
Q. What if my wedding guest count list being over the recommended group size of events at the time of my wedding?
A: We understand that the thought of downsize your guest list and excluding loved ones can be heartbreaking. Grand and I personally had an extremely large wedding and it would be hard to imagine it any other way. Please know that we are doing all that we can to come up with ways to help out in the event that many weddings become smaller, including a way to help you live stream weddings. If you haven't already, adding videography to your current package can also be a great way for guests to view all the details the way you intended and give them a next to in person experience as well. We may all be facing a new normal in the fall, and we are here to help out in whatever ways possible.
Now comes for the tough stuff. Ultimately it is your decision on whether you’d like to move forward with the contracted date and potentially modify your guest count, or reschedule within the guidelines of our reschedule policies mentioned above. Either way, we hope the questions above provided some insight as to why our policies are in place and how we can best work together moving forward.
If after reading the questions above you find that your questions went unanswered, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org