Voices    Lifestyle

VOICES: Nikki Sciurba // A Love Note to My Fellow Wedding Industry Professionals During COVID-19

Voices-Ashley-Schulze-Photography-outdoor-wedding
Photo by Ashley Schulze Photography

Nikki Sciurba is the founder of Carolina Love Events, a boutique wedding and event planning company in Asheville, NC. This is a contributor-submitted Voices piece. Want to join the conversation? We invite you to write for us. Learn how to share your voice here.

Wow, what a few months it’s been. I have the best job. Seriously. THE. BEST. People tell me all the time, “You must love your job, it’s got to be so much fun.” And honestly most of the time it is. Besides the standard perks of a small business owner, I get to work closely with couples and families as they plan one of the happiest days of their lives. To share in those intimate moments is an unspeakable honor and one I don’t take lightly.

wedding-bouquets
Photo by Anastasiia Photography

As someone who adores their job, I can say that right now I hate my job. COVID-19 has ravished our industry and community and when we are finally able to come up for air, things may look very different.

As a wedding planner, I am deeply entrenched in the rescheduling and cancellations of dates on a daily basis. I’m in constant communication with our brides and grooms but also with each of their vendors. It’s a heartbreaking task each and every time. I’ve had difficult discussions about job loss, family members’ health concerns, and the emotional toll—all direct impacts of the virus. And I hate being the bearer of bad news. I hate not having an exact answer on what our couples’ weddings may now look like. I hate telling them about this new restriction or this new development.

On the other side, I hate having to inform my beloved vendors that they’ve lost more income for 2020 with each necessary reschedule or cancellation. I do all of this with a focus on fully supporting our couples during some of the hardest decisions of their lives. All the while, worried about the small business I’ve worked nonstop to build over the last five years but never allowing this to interfere with my recommendations to our couples.

For wedding industry professionals, rescheduling our couples is a double-edged sword. Not only are we losing the majority of our 2020 revenue, by moving our 2020 couples to 2021, we are now losing the ability to book new events next year as well. We are now limited to one year of income for two years of dates. But we take this all in stride, never wavering in our positivity and reassurance—our couples and their special days are more important. We must protect them, support them, and put our own concerns about our small businesses and how to support our families aside.

Voices-Blue-Bend-Photography-wedding
Photo by Blue Bend Photography

So wedding industry professionals, this one’s for you. Throughout this pandemic, I’ve spoken to what feels like every one of you and I’m so proud of the grace, empathy, and compassion I’ve witnessed. The perseverance and flexibility you’ve shown is inspiring. Our community has truly banded together in an effort to give our scared, emotional couples all of the support, comfort, and encouragement that they need and deserve. We are resilient, hard-working, go-getters—that’s how we became small business owners in the first place. Our response to this crisis is such an honorable example of putting others first, their struggles and concerns before our own. Hang in there everyone, there’s a small light flickering at the end of the tunnel and we are strong enough to get there.

Couples, if you’re reading this, love on your vendors extra hard. Don’t let your vendors’ dedication and hard work go unnoticed. We are keeping smiles on our faces, supporting you and your decisions while fighting our own battles behind the scenes. The landscape of our businesses may have changed but no matter what, we will show up for you 100% and give you the best day of your life. Stick with us—we promise all the stress and uncertainty will ultimately be worth it when you are surrounded by your loved ones on your wedding day. And during that moment, your vendors will be in the background, so grateful for the opportunity to use our creativity to bring that joy to life. And when you’re officially married and cuddled on your couch with your new spouse a few days later, be sure to leave us all one hell of a review.