because this won't last forever

it's been a year, huh.

The day you've been planning for months, maybe even years now, has just been postponed.

All the energy you've put into venue-hunting, vendor-researching, cake-tasting, dress-fitting, invitation-addressing, (I could go on and on, right?) has gone out the window. And it sucks. And it's stressful. And the future is uncertain. You are now being asked to dig a little deeper into that energy reserve and do this all over again, starting with selecting a new date. 

Before I jump into the process of selecting a new date, I want to take a moment to reiterate how much I value the fact that you have chosen me to document this incredible turning point in your lives. How you are trusting me to capture the memories you want to relive forever. And because I value this and you so much, I want to open and maintain a level of vulnerability between us. Something that can go both ways. In doing so, I hope you feel comfortable coming to me with your worries and at the same, time, learn about my own worries below.

I know many of us are really struggling right now, especially financially, and facing the prospect of losing thousands of dollars you've already invested into your dream day and team of vendors is crushing. We, as vendors, are facing the same reality. We too are now facing a future where we may have to tighten our belts a bit. Make difficult decisions in where to spend dwindling savings this month. Contact banks and landlords to ask for rent and mortgage forgiveness. Worry about how to pay for life-sustaining medications a non-existent healthcare no longer provides for. Again, the list could go on and on which is why I wanted to take a moment to fully address my new COVID-19 rescheduling policies. I'm offering more options than what my original contract has provided and in doing so,

I hope I can make this time of stress, a little less stressful.

covid-19 rescheduling policies

one

Couples may reschedule to any new date within 2020 in which I am available for (see my 2020 calendar here). Their entire retainer will transfer completely and they will not be subjected to any
rescheduling fees or changes in package pricing.

two

Couples may reschedule to any new date within the months of January 2021 to May 2021 and then throughout the entire month of November 2021 in which I am available for. Their entire retainer will transfer completely and they will not be subjected to any rescheduling fees or

changes in package pricing.

three

Couples may reschedule to any new weekday date (Monday - Thursday) within the months of June 2021 through October 2021 and then throughout the entire month of December 2021. Their entire retainer will transfer completely and they will not be subjected to any rescheduling fees or

changes in package pricing.

four

Couples may reschedule to a peak weekend 2021 date in which I am available for. To book a peak weekend in 2021, the remaining balance will be due and 50% of my 2021 booking rate (per time contracted) will be applied as a rescheduling fee. Peak weekends occur during the months of June 2021 through October 2021 and then throughout the entire month of December 2021.

To be fair to couples whose wedding is being directly affected by the pandemic, the fourth COVID-19 rescheduling policy is only applicable to couples who are being immediately forced to reschedule their wedding or elopement due to government and state mandates. Couples who are not within a 4-8 window of the current estimated end of the government mandated Shelter-in-Place will be subject to the cancellation and rescheduling clause outlined in their contract.

Thank you for understanding.

questions & answers

because i know you have lots of them

is there a way to avoid a rescheduling fee for 2021??

Yes! You can move your wedding to my off-season during the months of January - May and then again throughout the month of November. You can pick any day of the week, including weekends! Or, you can select a weekday (Monday - Thursday) during the peak season

(June - October and then again in December). 

but why do we have to pay a rescheduling fee for a

peak weekend next year?

The Adirondack wedding season is super short. I only get 25 weekends to make enough money to sustain my family and my business throughout the remainder of the year. That's the same as your boss telling you that in 2021, you're only working six months and then you must take the next six off, without pay. Let's say that 15 of my 2020 couples want to reschedule their weddings to weekend 2021 dates, that leaves me with 10 weekends to earn enough income to last the remaining 42 weeks of the year.

My business, like many small businesses (especially in the wedding industry), would not survive that. Like, I might as well declare bankruptcy now and close my doors if that's what 2021 will look like for me. This is not an exaggeration. I am not over-embellishing this. It is the reality of how businesses in the wedding industry earn income and survive.

It's why I'm imploring my couples to meet me halfway in considering one of the 315 other days in the year to get married at no additional cost to them.

If you feel as though the only day available for you to get married is on a peak weekend in 2021, I am requiring the remainder of your balance plus 50% of it's 2021 package price to be paid in order to secure your new date. I realize this appears unfair on your end but please consider the two paragraphs above in addition to the fact that this means I am taking a 50% loss of profit on your new date.

what if you're not available on the same date the rest of our vendors are?

Unfortunately, if you rebook to a date I am not available, that is considered a cancellation and you would lose the retainer you paid upon booking me.

Since all of us wedding vendors are in the same boat, you have a better chance of securing the entire crew again by selecting a weekday wedding or a weekend in the off-season. We all know 2021's wedding season is going to be unlike any other so why not hold a Wednesday wedding? Chances are, you'll be able to use all your original vendors AND not have to pay any additional rescheduling fees. Win-win!

can you hire an associate to shoot our wedding so we don't

lose you entirely?

I wish I could say yes as I know a lot of my colleagues are offering this but due to the scarcity of good, trusted photographers in upstate New York, I can't be certain any associate WILL be available next year! I only work with other professional wedding photographers who are also dealing with their own rescheduling of clients. I cannot in good conscience book an associate package with you and then have to tell you next year I was unable to find someone to shoot your wedding. 

our wedding is not until late summer/fall.

Should we reschedule now?

Unless your wedding is being directly impacted by a state's mandated Force Majeure or whose date is not within a four to eight week window of when the Force Majeure is expected to lift, I'd strongly encourage you to hold off on rescheduling. Right now wedding vendors and venues are focusing mainly on the couples whose weddings are literally illegal to hold at the moment.

what if our wedding doesn't fall within the state's force majeure or the 4-8 week window but we still want to reschedule just to be safe?

If you'd prefer to be safe than sorry and just want the weight of the unknown lifted from your shoulders, we can totally move forward with rescheduling. Please note though that the fourth COVID-19 rescheduling policy listed above would not apply to your case and you must refer back to your contract's cancellation and rescheduling clauses.

we're looking at several new dates amongst our team of vendors. can you hold those for us until we make a decision?

For couples who are already booked with me and whose weddings are being impacted by this pandemic, I am offering them the opportunity to "stronghold" 2 dates in which I am available. Meaning, I will hold 2 dates without a new retainer until you have had a chance to discuss with your entire vendor team what date works best.

 

In the instance I receive an inquiry for one of the dates I am holding for you, you have rights of first refusal. Once that inquiry comes in, your stronghold on that particular date will be in effect for 24 hours. If, after 24 hours of receiving the new inquiry, you have not officially rebooked your new date (by signing a new contract and paying the retainer), the date goes to the inquiring couple.

 

Please only stronghold a date once you feel confident it's one your entire vendor team can accommodate. 

I hope the above questions helped provide insight as to why the COVID-19 policies are in place.

If you have additional questions you didn't find answers to on this page,

please feel free to send me an email at whitney@mountainairegatherings.com

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DON'T BE SHY, I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.