by Tracey Manailescu & Danielle Andrews, Co-founders of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada
What a difference 15 months makes. Everything that we thought we knew has changed. There have been some really awful things, and some really wonderful things to come out of this pandemic. We need to take these lessons with us into the future, so we are better prepared for something like this happening again. Our priorities have changed and new thoughts and ideas have been brought to the forefront of our thoughts and actions. Let’s use it to improve what we can.
It’s okay to adapt
Tracey: We have learned that change can be good. Adding new services, taking a part-time job, or even taking a full-time job and switching our wedding businesses into part time, might be best. We have learned that we are strong. We are brave and we are able to adapt and pivot.
Other streams of Income are important
Danielle: One thing that the pandemic has really reinforced for wedding professionals is to never put all of your eggs in one basket or rely solely on one stream of income. The IRS reports that millionaires have an average of 7 streams of income, so why are you counting on only one?
There are many different avenues where you can earn extra income:
- Start investing
- Add new services
- Turn your creative hobby in to income with a shop on Etsy
- Invest in real estate if you can
Relationships with wedding pros needs to be ongoing
Tracey: Check in with your wedding pro friends. We are not always okay. The pandemic has thrown us for a loop, and somedays, into complete chaos. Sometimes, just being able to vent or express yourself to someone who “gets it” is all we need. Our friends and family don’t understand what fears and anxieties we have about the future and our ability to survive in the wedding business. (Send a DM, make phone call, send an email, etc.)
Never stop learning!
Danielle: The opportunities for learning during the pandemic have been absolutely amazing. So many wedding professionals have shared their knowledge, whether paid or often for free. There have been countless virtual conferences from all over the world. As well as many webinars, online courses, IG lives, and Clubhouse talks (WPIC had a Weducational Webinar almost every month!) Knowledge and best practice sharing has never been so accessible!
Strengthen the backend of your business
Tracey: Update your website with the newest and most current services that you are offering. Have Do you offer micro weddings? Pop-up weddings? Proposal services? Engagement parties? Baby or wedding showers? Tell us about it. Take this time to update your portfolio. Get rid of weddings that are older than three years, and add some great photos of your most recent weddings.
Is it time to re-evaluate your “About Me” page? Change your photo to a current one (make sure it’s a professional photo and add photo credit), start rewording the verbiage to be about what you can do, and do, do for your couples, instead of all about your likes and dislikes. What problems can you solve and alleviate? This is what they are actually interested in.
Add blog articles to show your expertise, update your wedding checklists, build automated forms and responses to your most frequently asked questions, redo your contract post-pandemic (approved by a lawyer)
Danielle: Keep it real, share the personal side of your business. Social Media has been an important aspect of business for quite a few years now, but with the pandemic, it has become one of the only ways to reach potential clients. This has made Social Media more important that it ever was. Utilize these free platforms. Make Reels, and TikToks. Pin on Pinterest. Share, share, share!
Social Media is an amazing opportunity for you to connect with your potential clients. You get to show them who you really are (the frazzled and the the fabulous!) Keeping it real has never been so welcome. Show behind the scenes of your business, show them how you look day to day vs. when working. Let your personality shine through. Authentic has always been the buzzword, now show them the really real you.
#SlowdownMovement is strong
Tracey: Spend more time with those you love, doing what you love and enjoying your life. Your mental health, as well as the well being of everyone you care about has been affected in some way. Be a little kinder, a little more patient to yourself and others around you.
Burnout is real
Danielle: Absolutely everyone is going through a horrible time in one way or another right now. For Wedding Professionals, we have always dealt with high-stress and overwhelm. Burnout is a very real aspect of our business. this pandemic has really shone a light on just how full throttle and near burn-out we were.
For many, after the initial horror of rescheduling all of our clients’ events, many people got the first chance to slow down in a very, very long time. Hopefully you learned, as we did, that self-care is so important. You can not continue to take care of everyone else, if you do not take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. See this recent post on Self-Care tips and ideas.
Danielle Andrews and Tracey Manailescu are the Co-Founders of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada and The Wedding Planners Institute of Coordination Inc. They have been professional, certified wedding planners since 1999, and were licensed to open WPIC Inc. in 2003. In addition to working on hundreds of weddings and events each, they are also the co-producers of international Wedding Professional Conferences which have taken place in Mexico, Colombia, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, etc. You have seen both of them (separate or together) quoted in major publications across the globe, giving interviews on television, and on stage at countless international Wedding and Event Conferences.
Over the past 20+ years, Tracey and Danielle have devoted themselves to the improvement of the Wedding Industry and the continuous education of Wedding and Event Professionals.