As you can imagine it’s been a busy week for us here at The Band Boutique. Laura is still on maternity leave so I’m working almost 7am to 11pm on the agency with the odd moment here and there to change a nappy and, if I have time, eat…
We’ve had lots of emails from clients who are worried about their events in the upcoming months, and understandably so. In my bid to better serve everyone I’ve been scouring the internet for what other suppliers are suggesting and it seems to be different everywhere. There’s a lot of stuffy advice that I didn’t really understand and I don’t want to impart another bout of laws and rights on you. What I want to do is give you plain and honest advice.
First off - don’t panic. Every one of your suppliers is going to do their best to make sure you still have the wedding day of your dreams be it now or later in the year. We know it’s absolutely heartbreaking to have to change the date of your wedding but we’re all here for you.
I’ve been suggesting to our clients to contact all their suppliers and just put some feelers out there for a possible postponement date. We don’t know whether the government is going to put a ban on all events but if they do it’s better to have a back-up date planned before the rush comes when everyone wants to postpone. It’d be best to have a back-up plan pencilled in everyone’s calendars if the time comes. Also as more people start to move their events back the less reschedule dates there are going to be available.
We don’t yet know whether or not the virus will impact weddings at the tail end of April or May, and we don’t know if the government will ban small gatherings out right. I don’t want to guess, but as a musician, husband, father, and someone who was hoping to be a wedding guest this summer, I know I’m with most of our clients when I say I’m a little worried about going to or performing at weddings in the near future with all those people!
(Since I published this article the church of England have said "weddings should be limited to five - the legal minimum - which consists of the priest, bride, groom and the two witnesses. The recommendations also ask that all guests - not including the couple getting married - observe a social distance as far as possible")
If it was me, knowing what I do, being a wedding supplier and someone who's had a wedding, I'd postpone and get everything sorted so I can have the peace of mind that all I need to do is make sure all my friends know the date has changed rather than spend the next few weeks worrying what's going to happen. And then maybe have to change everything at the last minute anyway.
It's not easy for me to give this advice. I’m sure you are aware us musicians don't have a lot of spare cash lying around and we live gig to gig, and the thought of missing out on two months (or maybe more) work is a little scary. We also have the added challenge of theatres and other music venues closing, one to one or group teaching being off limits, and studio sessions being limited so no money coming in whatsoever at the end of our off-peak season!! Overdraft save me now!!
But we think postponement is the best chance you have of having the wedding you’ve always wanted. Given the current situation, and what's happening across Europe, laws may change suddenly and without any recompense to those of us planning events, and we don’t want that to happen without having a plan in place.
How easy is it to postpone a wedding?
Usually not very - suppliers are always reluctant to push dates back because it can mean they miss out on future bookings. While this is still the case, we want to make it as easy for you to postpone as possible to safeguard your health and that of your guests and our musicians. If that means we have to not book any more gigs for this year to help our clients reschedule, then so be it.
My advice on making sure you get all the suppliers available for your new date is to consider a wedding between Sunday and Friday. The majority of suppliers don’t book these dates up and so it’s more likely that they’ll be available.
It’s also worth bearing in mind the off-peak months for weddings are Jan to March so if you want to try for a Saturday next year those could be good dates to look at. As a seemingly unrelated side note - Laura and I got married on the May bank holiday and it rained all weekend whereas a friend of ours married in March and saw bright sunny skies all day. British weather! What can you do?!
Please bear in mind that suppliers may not be able to offer you peak wedding season next year at the same price. If they aren’t booked for that date yet they probably will be so if they need to reschedule to then they are going to miss out on a peak Saturday and possibly a week’s income. If it is at all possible for you to consider an off-peak date please do - the band will be so happy to help you out.
And then there’s guests to re-invite. While this will be a total bummer, and you may not get everyone who’d originally said yes to your wedding, you have to look at it logically - everyone is going to be worried about coming out in the next few months. Some in the over 60s bracket or those with underlying health complications will be stuck in doors. Others will be reluctant to go out anyway. The government have told us to socially distance ourselves and so really we should. Your friends and family will be so relieved they don’t have to let you down by staying away.
What happens if my band can’t do my new date?
This is where it can get tricky. Most acts will have a force majeure clause in their contract which protects you from having to pay any cancellation fees in the event that you need to cancel the act. On the other hand it protects them from having to pay back a deposit. That’s why we are trying to be as flexible as possible with dates. We don’t want to cancel and neither do you!
We’re all in this together - you want to have the most fantastic day of your lives and we want to help you achieve it. It’s what we do best! None of us have ever been through anything like this, but if we work together we can make sure your wedding or event is as amazing as you’d dreamed it could be.
The most important thing is that we all stay safe! Marriage is one of the most beautiful things in the world, but it’s not more important than making sure we all stay healthy and here for our loved ones.
Get in touch if you’re worried about your event or need help finding a band for your postponed date - firstname.lastname@example.org
Take care of yourselves.
Chris, Laura, and Edie