What do you do if your venue suddenly closes?
If you're a bride or groom-to-be, receiving news that your chosen wedding venue has closed can be incredibly distressing, especially when you've been tirelessly planning the perfect day. As a wedding supplier, I understand this all too well, having recently experienced the sudden closure of one of my venues, Catthorpe Manor.
As soon as I was informed of the closure, I checked how many upcoming weddings I had at the venue and contacted each bride in order of closest date first. I offered my deepest apologies and expressed my genuine sadness for the situation. I didn't want to be the bearer of bad news, but I knew it was important that I made immediate contact, to start finding a solution together.
Finding an alternative venue was my first priority. I had already been in contact with another recommended venue to check their availability and explained to my clients the good news that I had found potential alternatives. I even reached out to other wedding agencies who I knew might be affected by the closure, in an effort to help as many couples as possible.
In a situation like this, terms and conditions go out of the window. It's not my clients' fault that the venue has closed, so I aimed to be as flexible as possible. Refunding or rescheduling bookings where necessary, or even reaching out to other DJ suppliers, were all options I was willing to consider, with the aim of ensuring that everything was done in the best interests of my clients.
When experiencing unexpected and stressful situations, such as this one, remaining calm and taking a proactive approach is crucial. I took inspiration from a conversation I had with my little brother Tyler, about crisis management a year ago.
I coached to him that in a crisis, the leader's behaviour has an impact on everyone else's behaviour, so it's important to stay calm and focused to help others feel reassured even if you are a little bit scared on the inside. I didn't have any examples to give to him at the time because I didn't have many crosses to manage. this is because I've learned to actively prevent problems before they become one in the wedding industry. but now I've got this, and by writing this blog about the experience, he can view it and others can too. I've been raised to look for the silver linings and I'm happy that despite the incredible stress this has caused everyone, I am confident every single bride and groom will be looked after.
Although the situation was initially shocking, I remained calm and focused on what I could do to help my clients. Collaborating with the community of wedding suppliers and venues around the affected area was key. Through working together, we were able to help many couples find an alternative venue and turn their worries into excitement for their big day.
As a wedding supplier, my role is not only to provide excellent services, but also to help solve problems and create solutions, when unexpected circumstances arise. In cases like this, dedication to the craft of creating unforgettable weddings is truly put to the test. But by working together, as a team of wedding suppliers and venues, we can help overcome any obstacles and deliver the perfect wedding day for our clients.
If you're a bride or groom-to-be and are experiencing the stress of venue closure, know that there are suppliers like myself who empathize with your situation and are dedicated to finding a solution with you. The wedding community is vast and supportive, and through collaboration, we can make sure that your big day is everything you dreamt of, despite any bumps in the road.
here are some links to what was done initially by me, and then the reaction from the community.