How to Crisis Proof Your Wedding
This past Friday, I'm doing what I usually do during my morning cup of coffee, scrolling FB, scanning headlines & posts for anything interesting to take a deeper look at when I read a post in a Wedding Planner FB Group I'm in that made my stomach sink.
"If you have clients booked at ANY of the Noah's Event Venues, they have permanently closed all locations."
Well, this was the absolute shittiest start to my Friday because we have a lovely couple getting married there this May. So I furiously started Googling & calling every number I could find trying to get some insight as to whether or not their FULLY PAID balance would be refunded, as well as looking for venues with availability & that meet their requirements to relocate their wedding to.
While these situations are not common, they are also not impossible. In fact, something similar happened with Alfred Angelo a few years ago, leaving brides & bridesmaids with fully paid dresses that would not be delivered.
So what can you learn from this?
1. You need insurance & you need it early. I used to feel that wedding insurance was optional or only really necessary if there were legal reasons for it (for example, a BYOB venue that you could potentially be held liable as the alcohol provider in the event of a drinking and driving accident), but when the rumblings of a Noah's bankruptcy started to sound over the last year, I made the call to my couple & told them to get insurance & get it quickly & I AM SO GLAD I DID. I got this text from my bride yesterday: "I LOVE YOU! Seriously thank God for you! We are getting our money back in full from the insurance company." Which is a completely different song from hundreds of other affected couples that are out thousands of dollars & looking at the very real possibility of having to cancel their wedding. It's tragic. An event like this is unfortunate, but it won't be as hard if you're financially protected.
2. Have an emergency fund for your wedding. This Noah's fiasco is going to have a much larger ripple couples than just their wedding venue. They may have catering deposits that they'll lose, cake deposits, they may have to reschedule their wedding & lose their photographer who is now unavailable. Our couple was weeks away from their invitations going to print & would have had to reorder (& pay again) for those. Just like life, it's wise to have an emergency fund just in case.
3. Join some local wedding planning groups on Facebook. I, along with many other Planners & Couples found out about the Noah's Event Venue Closure from Facebook. Noah's corporate office handled the closure horribly, but thanks to good 'ol social media, many couples were able to get a heads up on the news before it hit... well, the evening news.
4. Working with a Wedding Planner has benefits you wouldn't expect it to have. This is the first & Lord I pray the LAST time I ever have to encounter this type of situation, but my couple, who started working with me 18 months ago, never dreamed that they'd be here today, touring venues for relocation 4 months before their wedding. But guess what? They have no for a single second had to navigate this shit show alone. I personally delivered the news about their venue closure and had already reached out to other venues to start gathering availability & pricing before they even knew. They also had a copy of their contract at the top of their inbox to send to their insurance company & someone to calmly & unemotionally tell them their next steps. Whether it's in a Wedding Management (AKA Day of Coordination) capacity or a Full Planning Experience, partnering with a professional Wedding Planner can help you navigate unexpected storms.
Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner?