March 24, 2021
Planning a wedding is exciting, but it can also be hard work – even at the best of times. Throw in a global pandemic with ever changing rules and guidance around travel and contact with other people and the challenge increases exponentially!
We spoke to our friend and events industry colleague, Marquee wedding planner Susie Evans and asked for her thoughts and advice on planning a wedding during a global pandemic.
Marquee Wedding Planner Q&A: Pandemic Wedding Planning
Hi Susie, it’s lovely to speak to you again and thanks for taking the time to talk to us today. It’s perhaps a bit of an understatement to say that it has been a difficult year for everyone, on personal as well as professional levels.
As a wedding planner, what have you found most challenging about the COVID-19 pandemic?
I think as a Wedding Planner, the element that I have struggled with the most has to be the lack of control or finding a solution to Covid. Essentially our role is to find a solution for everything! But the biggest thing I am missing has to be actually hosting the weddings we have planned and worked on for the last 2 years. We just want weddings back!
How on earth do you go about planning a wedding during a global pandemic?
We have postponed and planned so many marquee weddings throughout this pandemic but the one thing that has helped us is working with the best suppliers. Those that you have trust in, that are professional and I know will support my clients through these tricky times for us all. The key is compromise, flexibility and good communication.
What steps do you take to ensure that guests are kept as safe as possible at a wedding during the pandemic?
We have been fortunate enough to work on a number of smaller weddings from 4 people up to 30 when restrictions allowed. Couples have had to adapt and compromise but we’ve ensured the guest experience is amazing to create the perfect day. Ensuring staff and guests are safe is vital so simple things such as communicating to your guests prior to the wedding about any restrictions in place to avoid confusion on the day, creating safe, intimate spaces for a sit down drinks reception, ensuring sanitising stations are in place, regular cleaning of touch points are just some of the things we have worked with.
Following the unveiling of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, many event suppliers are seeing high volumes of enquiries for events from spring 2021 onwards.
How can those planning a wedding ensure that they don’t miss out on the best venues and suppliers?
This is becoming so evident and we have taken on a number of marquee weddings for 2021 and 2022 where couples are struggling with finding the best suppliers. Through our network and support of some of the best suppliers in the UK, we can find a solution for couples. For couples who are not working with a planner, I suggest you look at some of the suppliers you work with and see who they work with, maybe ask the for recommendations? Create a shortlist of suppliers you would love to work with and if they are not available, always ask them for recommendations. The one thing this pandemic has taught many is to help and support each other. If you have found your perfect venue or supplier, then get them booked ASAP! Please always check what their position is in terms of Covid especially if planning a wedding for 2021.
Can a small wedding really live up to the ‘big day’ billing?
Absolutely! If anything, they are far more emotional (happy tears!). I think as a planner I have cried at them all watching from the side and seeing how the couple get to spend so much quality time with their nearest and dearest. Taking in every moment. You can always have a big party on your anniversary next year maybe or have a big garden party that is less formal but you get to celebrate with all your friends and family at a later date.
What are your top tips for creating an incredible and unforgettable small/intimate wedding?
We have loved working on the smaller, intimate weddings. Normally we are working with weddings of between 150 – 300 guests so to be able to focus on the smaller details and going to town on the guests’ experience has been very exciting. Examples include creating a fine dining experience with perhaps more courses, finer wines or upgrading to English sparkling or champagne throughout the day. At one of our weddings, we created personalised gift boxes for each of the guests as a favour and memory of such a fabulous celebration.
Do not cut back on the floral budget, if anything create a fabulous show stopping table design or perhaps entrance way – make your guests (and you!) go WOW. The memories captured will be timeless and remember, whilst it may be smaller numbers, it is still going to be the best day of your lives so make it a perfect one!
Why use a wedding planner?
Planning a wedding can seem overwhelming, taking an average of around 300 hours. With the help of a wedding planner, you can focus on the parts of the day that matter.
Working with a Wedding Planner you will benefit from our experience, knowledge, support and supplier relationships. As well as the services you’d expect, such as finding the perfect marquee provider, caterers and design, we’ll take care of any legal paperwork, admin and budgeting. We can even assist you with speeches, seating plans and anything else that makes your day exceptional.
The couples we work with are often time poor and need to hand over time consuming elements but also want the confidence of having an experienced and professional wedding planner to manage and bring together what will be one of your best days of your lives.
Creating a seamless, meticulously organised marquee wedding that is stunningly beautiful requires a carefully hand-picked team of suppliers that is curated.
Also, planning a wedding can be challenging at the best of times, with a global pandemic to contend with it will be more challenging than ever! Many businesses have sadly gone out of business, there is an increase demand for suppliers and key dates. Having a planner on board – with contacts and relationships with a multitude of different suppliers will mean that they are likely to be able to find solutions for you.
What makes a marquee wedding so special?
There’s a good reason that I decided to focus on being a marquee wedding planner; with a marquee you can create a space that’s unlike anything anyone has had before. A marquee wedding venue is uniquely yours.
A marquee is a one off venue and can be built at the venue of your choosing or at your family home. You can choose your location, your suppliers, theming and styling; and, if the marquee is based at home then you’ll have more flexibility in deciding when you want the party to start – and finish!
Why is a marquee a good solution for celebrations during the pandemic?
A marquee is such a flexible and adaptable space. Bespoke design means that the marquee can be designed with additional social distancing space in mind. Traffic flow through the marquee can be considered and managed, multiple, separate entrances and exits can be added if required.
Working with a marquee supplier such as Inside Outside, we can ensure your marquee space is as safe as possible and that it is in line with the latest government advice and restrictions.
Thank you, Susie, it has been a real pleasure talking to you! We look forward to working with you again in the not-too-distant future.
About Susie Evans: Marquee Wedding Planner
Well-known for her calm, friendly and warm approach to event planning, Susie is a perfectionist and a highly respected figure within the wedding and events industry.
Susie established Susie Evans Wedding Co. in 2011 after becoming an NCFE qualified wedding and events planner and now specialises in Marquee wedding planning. Over the last nine years Susie has planned well over sixty luxury weddings.
Susie is based on the West Sussex, Surrey border where she lives with her husband, their son Ernie and their miniature dachshund Bruno.
Images used in this blog kindly supplied by: Hayley Bray Photography, Kat Hill Photography & Voyteck Photography.
Find out more
Why not get in touch? We offer free consultations, estimates, site visits and more. We can even offer a virtual site visit service for those concerned about face to face meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our experienced team are ready to discuss your wedding marquee. We take a consultative approach to all enquiries; meaning that we listen carefully to what our clients want. We only offer advice and guidance as and when relevant and never push our clients in a direction that suits us. We understand that this is your big day and we understand how important it is that we get things right for you.
You can contact us on 01372 459485 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to speak to Susie Evans about her luxury marquee wedding planning service then please visit her website for more information.