As midnight approaches on this horrendous year I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on what has been the worst ever year for me and my business and I know many others share this view. I am not one for staying up to welcome in the New year but this year is different, I’ll be staying up until midnight to make sure this shitty year comes to an end for good.
Like the majority of self employed people this has been a very tough year, what started off looking like one of my best years quickly went south, just looking at Weddings which is a huge part of my business, I started the year with 71 Weddings in the diary, by the time it ended I had actually shot only 13, there is a message in that number someplace!
The year started off pretty much as normal with Amy and Simon-Lee who were married at the Red House Hotel in Coupar Angus
It carried on pretty much as normal with the Wedding a couple of weeks later of Brian and Anna in Montrose
By the time early March came along we were hearing reports of this new virus in China and the first indications that this would change our lives for ever. I remember very clearly seeing the make up artist wearing a mask and thinking, this is getting serious. This was Suzanne and David at Hotel Du Vin, St Andrews.
The Prime Minister announced lock down just a couple of weeks later, my email and phone never stopped as people cancelled and moved their Weddings. The hardest part was when couples moved to a new date and I was already booked for that day so had to accept their cancellation
My first masked Wedding as lock down was eased was of Carly and Hendricks back again in The Scores, St Andrews. It was very weird being back, this was always going to be a small Wedding of just two people but it was good to be back working again
At the start of September, Hannah and Mark held their big day at the Hermitage, Dunkeld and they went ahead as it was to be a small Wedding anyway, despite the weather they held it outside to minimise mask wearing
Chloe and Steven stuck to their date but reduced their numbers and held their wedding at St Pius in Dundee just a few days later
The end of September saw me at The Altamount in Blairgowrie, Cara and Alistair had moved their Wedding back and forward a bit then decided just to go ahead with the maximum number of 20 people and thankfully they were able to have it outside so no masks required.
Amy and Nathan went ahead with their day but with vastly reduced numbers, this was at the Invercarse and the weather was not for an outdoor Wedding so it was mask wearing inside sadly. This was the biggest shock for me, to see just 20 people in the huge ballroom at the Invercarse brought home to me just how much things had changed
A week later I was in the Malmaison for the Wedding of Neil and Nicola, again a much reduced day and all inside , thankfully we had the opportunity for outside photos
And then the following week, it was Dundee Registrars office for the Wedding of Barry and Ursula who had moved their Wedding forward then decided to bring it back again and just get on with it. This was becoming a common theme as the year progressed, people deciding just to get on with it regardless.
Into November now and it was the big day (well quite small really) of Ailean and Michael at Piperdam, just 20 people in a huge function room and no background music or open bar made me feel quite depressed actually but they had a great day
by the end of November I was in Craigsanquhar for Laura and Andys day, it was outside but light was proving to be an issue now as the days shortened. It was also the beginning of the second wave and November brought more changes and cancellations for early 2021 as people realise the end is no where near.
Mid December saw me making the snowy journey over Glenshee to Braemar for the Wedding of Hannah and Dan, the actual service took place inside but thankfully we had time to get some outside photos.
All in, it’s been a horrible year for most of us, Brides and Grooms have had to change, adapt, move their Weddings, cancel suppliers they had set their hearts on and businesses of all sorts have really struggled. I am grateful my business has been here for years and its very well established, I doubt some of the newer businesses will survive this. The good news is the two vaccines that are now available and being rolled out as quickly as possible, I suspect 2021 will be pretty hard but I am seeing an increase in bookings for 2022 as people get more confident that it will come to an end.
So, let’s say goodbye to 2020, welcome 2021 as (hopefully) the year we can start to get back to normal, I want to wish all my clients and friends a great 2021 and thank you to those that supported, not just this year but every year.