Coronavirus & Your Wedding Photography Booking

Bride and groom share a moment together framed by one of the mature trees in the grounds of Bruisyard Hall luxury wedding venue in Suffolk. The bride wears a floral crown and the groom has a blue suit and waistcoat. Behind them is a dramatic sky of fast moving clouds threatening rain.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on your wedding photography booking

Updated 2nd July 2020

My heart goes out to all the couples, everywhere, whose plans have been forced to change. One thing is for certain though, social distancing will be with us for the foreseeable future and it will have an impact on how weddings look and feel over the coming months.

At the time of writing, the government’s restrictions on weddings and social gatherings have changed and small civil ceremonies can take place. Your registrar will give you full details but in summary, ceremonies may take place in an approved venue, subject to social distancing and with a maximum of 30 people in attendance. This number includes the registrars plus me if you choose to have me in your ceremony. At present, the situation regarding church weddings is less clear but your minister or priest will be able to advise. 

The entire wedding business has simply ground to a halt. Registrars and the Clergy are unable to conduct ceremonies and venues remain closed to receptions. Along with them, dress shops, florists, cake makers, entertainers, and all the other wedding-related suppliers are holding their breath, waiting for the green light to reopen for business.

Couples and suppliers, all of us are in it together.

Rearranging your wedding plans

At the time of writing, all of my weddings for July, August and most of September have postponed until 2021. It’s reasonable to assume the remainder of this summer’s couples are considering their options and many will be thinking about moving their date to 2021.

To help, I’ve put together a few faq’s which clarify the situation around your photography booking. If you have any questions which aren’t answered below, please call or drop me a line.

Contents

  • Illness

  • Postponements

  • Downsizing

  • Cancellation/Refunds

  • Mark The Date/Couples Shoots

  • Questions?

Illness

My number one priority during this time is both staying well and preventing spreading illness to others. I’m doing all the right things to make sure I can be there for you on your wedding day. However, if anyone in your wedding party has any kind of illness, whether it’s COVID-19 symptoms or something else, please discuss this with me before your shoot. If, for example, I catch a common cold from one of your guests it will affect my ability to fulfil my obligations to all the other couples who are expecting me to be part of their day.

If I’m ill or self-isolating at the time of your wedding I have a network of fellow photographers to call on who will stand in for me. They will be there to photograph your wedding, just as I would. I’ll then edit your photos in the style you love and provide the rest of my service as agreed.

Bride and groom laughing together in amongst the greenery at The Gardens wedding venue in Kent. Bride wears a dress with cap sleeves and beaded appliqués. Groom wears a light summer suit and bow tie.

Postponements

If you do need to postpone, you may move your booking to a new date with no penalty. All I ask is that you coordinate with me on the new date to make sure I’m free. As much notice as possible would be great – as I’m sure you can appreciate, there’s a bit of a scramble for new dates just now.

I’m asking all couples who need to postpone for 50% of your balance payment on the original due date (these are tough times for small businesses and doing this will help me get through the year). The remaining balance will then be due 4 weeks before the new date. If that’s not possible we can, of course, discuss options.

To make checking my availability for your revised date as easy a possible, you can view a daily updated online calendar here:

Dominic Whiten Photography availability 2020 & 2021

If the date is already booked by another couple, I can put you in touch with some other brilliant photographers whose style and approach is similar to my own.

Downsizing

Some couples are exploring options to continue with their ceremony on the original date but postpone their reception to a time after the pandemic has subsided. If this is of interest, please contact me directly and we can discuss. Each couple’s circumstances differ so I’m working through these on a wedding by wedding basis, ensuring an outcome that works well for both of us.

Cancellations & Refunds

If government restrictions prevent your ceremony from taking place on the original date you have the choice of either postponing or cancelling your booking with me. Please note, I shall be taking my cue from the government and local registrar service. If on the date of your original booking wedding ceremonies are prohibited by the government then you will, of course, be entitled to a refund of all you have paid to date (less a small admin fee to cover reasonable costs incurred in taking your booking, attending meetings, phone/video calls etc). I hope that after all we’ve been through you will continue to want to get married (it’d be really sad if that’s not the case), and postponement will be your preferred option.

If restrictions have eased and you plan to proceed on the original date (albeit with reduced numbers and your registrar/minister permits me to attend), there’s also the option to downsize your photography coverage to suit. If the revised coverage costs less than what you have paid to date, I will refund the difference.  Alternatively, you may wish to postpone as per above.

In all other cases, my usual cancellation policy applies (please refer to your original booking). This includes bookings that postpone to dates for which I’m already booked.

‘Mark The Date’ couples shoot

If your wedding is now postponed until next year, how about marking the original date with a couples shoot? Put on some glad rags, we’ll meet up somewhere pretty and at a safe distance, we can make some lovely photos of you both looking gorgeous! Several of my 2020 (now 2021), couples are doing this – at various spots local to me on the Suffolk coast. Have a look at the Couples Shoots page for more info and if you’re one of my existing wedding bookings you’ll get a £75 discount on my usual fee. 

If in doubt, please talk to me!

I know this has been a lot to read through and if you have any questions, queries, concerns or just need a bit of calming reassurance, I’m here for you. It’s no chore whatsoever to set aside time for a chat by phone or video call. In the absence of being able to talk face-to-face, it’s the next best thing, right? I give my all to every couple who trust me to be part of their plans and I’ll do everything in my power to make the best out of a challenging situation.

More information

You can see the latest info from Suffolk Registrars and how it may affect your plans on their website: Suffolk Registrars. The ‘Your Church Wedding’ website has the latest info and advice from the Church of England on ceremonies: Your Church Wedding. Finally, you’ll find lots of regularly updated articles and advice on the Hitched blog: Hitched

View from behind of a bride and groom walking through a meadow at sunset. Photographed at Suffolk wedding venue Easton Grange

Looking forward to the future

All things must pass.

If this awful time has taught me anything, it’s that I truly value my job and am missing being out at your weddings like crazy. There are only so many tv box-sets and long put off jobs around the house you can work through before cabin fever sets in…

I send all the couples currently affected my best wishes and hope you and your loved ones stay safe and well.

Remember, it absolutely will be alright in the end, and if it doesn’t yet feel like it, we’re simply not yet at the end. Hold fast and we’ll get there together.

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Suffolk Wedding & Portrait Photographer
Dominic Whiten, 1 Pump Cottages
Main Road, Theberton, Leiston
Suffolk, IP16 4RA