Hello

I'm sure you've had dozens of emails over the last couple of weeks with companies explaining what they're doing during the current crisis. I'm also certain that like myself, you've just deleted those emails because you're not remotely interested in how a company you used once in 2013 is handling it.

So you can imagine how much I hate that I have to create this blog post?

I have to say before we move on, going to see your friends for a chat is absolutely not important at the moment and the pub can wait. Also, wash your hands you detty pig. (10 internet points to anyone that read that in the voice of Eric Effiong from Netflix's Sex Education)

Current Bookings

The number of emails and messages I've received these past few weeks regarding the cancellation or rescheduling of my lovely clients weddings has filled me with a deep sense of dread. The first reason is the obvious, money - Refunds, deposits and all the stuff that no one likes talking about. The second, and what I find to be the most important reason, is the fear, sadness and general frustration that I know a lot of couples will currently be feeling. Having only just been married three months ago, I know how stressful wedding planning can be. So my heart truly does go out for those couples that have worked tirelessly planning their big day, only to have to move it to a date they didn't have their hearts set on. On top of that having to rearrange with your chosen suppliers can be one of the most frustrating and annoying experiences ever.

I'm not in the habit of making the life of others difficult, so I have given all of my current photography bookings two options which I feel are as fair as I can be.

  1. If your wedding needs to rescheduled due to the current global issue, there will be absolutely no additional costs to move your date. Providing I am available for your new date, I will block off the new date for you.
  2. If your wedding needs to be cancelled completely with no new date provided, or if I am unavailable on your new date, I will provide you with a full refund, including your deposit. If you've purchased a bespoke memory box from me, the cost of this will be deducted solely to cover what I have paid out to have them made and engraved with your names. You will however be sent out the memory box and USB to store your new photographs and digital copies in once your big day does finally come around.

Your big day is supposed to be magical and full of memories, I don't want to add a bad one.

New Bookings

With everything up in the air as to when life returns to normal, I have placed a pause on any new bookings that are dated before the 30th of May. This is partially to avoid anything having to be rebooked or cancelled, but mainly because I have been placed in a 12 week isolation so I will be unavailable. Bookings can still be made for after this date, but any meetings requiring to take place before then will need to be via telephone or video chat. I have also provided my new clients with options similar to those who have already booked.

  1. If your wedding needs to rescheduled due to the current global issue, there will be absolutely no additional costs to move your date. Providing I am available for your new date, I will block off the new date for you.
  2. If your wedding needs to be cancelled completely with no new date provided, or if I am unavailable on your new date, I will provide you with a full refund, excluding your deposit. If you've purchased a bespoke memory box from me, the cost of this will be deducted solely to cover what I have paid out to have them made and engraved with your names. You will however be sent out the memory box and USB to store your new photographs and digital copies in once your big day does finally come around.

The Impact on Oxendale Photography

Now that all of the important information is out of the way, I thought it would be good to share how this crisis has effected my business in.

I'm very fortunate that I've had only one event cancelled so far and I only needed to refund the deposit. After a little bit of back and forth with their venues, I'm very lucky that my effected wedding bookings have been able to reschedule for next year. The downside is that this year was already on course to be my best yet, both in terms of volume of bookings and the financial side effects, bringing me one step closing to doing what I love full time.

I've been over the moon lately that within 3 months of the new year, I had made more bookings that the last two combined. I could easily sit and feel sorry for myself, but that would be the wrong way to look at it all. Both myself and the couples who have booked me have removed the risk of spreading this disease to those they love by making a very difficult decision. Events and weddings can be rescheduled, your health waits for no one.

I now have 10 weeks minimum remaining of being in isolation at home, fortunately with my wife, giving me a chance to reflect on life, my goals and aspirations, as well as spending lots of time learning new techniques for both capturing and editing wedding photographs. Believe me, I could easily sit on my sofa eating lots of junk food and playing Animal Crossing.

Food for Thought

Before I close this off, I want to say that I am very aware of how fortunate I am that photography is not my full time occupation at the time like this. That does not mean I am not more than sympathetic to those that find themselves in a state of anxiety because they know their business will not survive a couple of months without income. So please, when this is all over and finished with, use your local independent businesses as much as you can. Whether that's your butchers, mechanics, plumbers, ground-workers, roofers, electricians, greengrocers, photographers, restaurants, newsagents or even dog walkers, they need your support now more than ever.

For those that have a little spare money at the moment, the NHS could desperately use the extra cash at the moment, consider donating here.

The next few blogs will be back to normality so consider following me on Facebook or Instagram to keep updated, links are via the icons below.