What would or could a pandemic disruption do to our wedding venue business? When I first heard of the word pandemic, I had no idea that it was going to shut down our nation. No matter what side you are on – it’s not that bad, or it’s like the world is coming to an end – I’m sure you started thinking about finances?
If you are retired maybe not so much, unless your money is or was in the stock market. Even then, you probably had an income coming in. But what if you were still working towards retirement? What if you lost your job, or worse, both you and your spouse lost jobs?
An eye opener
I know this has been an eye opener for my husband and I. We follow Dave Ramsey. He preaches to have six months of income in savings for unexpected layoffs, job changes or in case of a pandemic?!
But it doesn’t mater what the cause of no money coming in happens to be, when it’s dried up what will happen? You can usually, if not always, get a loan from the bank. But in my years of watching people do that, it just sets people back further.
So what’s a person to do? For Les and I, a wedding venue on our property was the logical solution to our never ending set backs in the world of finance. Instead of our house on property continuing to be a burden, it is now creating an extra income for us.
The best of both worlds
I’ve realized by me running the venue (with Les’s help of course), and Les having a corporate job, we have the best of both worlds. One foot in the entrepreneurial world, and one in the corporate has given us the freedom to reset our financial course.
I’m not saying you need to have a corporate job, believe me. That has not been a rewarding career. Just that there needs to be more than on source of income being generated.
I know that gets tricky. I wanted to stay home with the four children. There was one source of income for us, for a long time. Another story for another time.
I know many people who have event centers, and that is their only source of income. They are struggling. Many have been totally shut down at this time. Now if you are well established (have saved that six months of income) you’d be able to ride it out?
But if you are not prepared for the unexpected, it could mean loans (not good, they usually sink you when you are small). Maybe… even have to shut down totally and sell the business.
During the Pandemic my husband was able to continue working from home. My weddings here at the venue started in June. At this writing (2020) my brides have all stayed the course, but May is coming and some hard decisions will undoubtedly have to be made.
I have stayed in contact with all of my brides from the beginning this pandemic started. Some have mentioned rescheduling, and others are afraid they might have to ask for a refund. Because they might need to marry at an inside facility in the winter.
While I’m pretty sure that will not happen, it is a valid concern for the sweet bride who is in a holding pattern.
From the moment the Pandemic hit, Les and I started thinking through what we might need to do. We have not spent the money that has been coming in. Refunds might be needed.
Pandemic Update / May 1, 2020
And it begins…
Many of brides have rescheduled for this year or next, and some have had to cancel because of the pandemic shut down.
I’m finding out that many of their guests cannot travel at this time. Plus, many are grandparents, and others immune compromised. Weddings are a celebration, a time to get together, and that is hard to accomplish currently.
Also, my portable restroom provider is struggling, my linen company is struggling. My friend’s venue is basically their sole income, tragic. These are just a few I deal with, and I know there are so many others.
I’m so glad that we have not put all our eggs in one basket. We will weather this storm, but my friends… my heart is broken. People are losing their livelihood; a different form of death that is devastating.
On another note
Our project for this year was putting in a permanent dance floor. The contractors were in place and ready to start when this pandemic began. We had to reevaluate, and decided with all the uncertainty we need to postpone until a later date.
I was heart broken! I had promised my 2020 brides a permanent dance floor. Thankfully they understood, and still had time to rent if they chose. Dancing on the grass is popular here, and we do have a barn that has a cement floor.
Les and I do not use the venue money to live on, it is for the extras. Paying down the mortgage, vacations, landscaping, etc.
Those that I mentioned earlier cannot do that, they live off of their venue income. I can only speak to our situation. Again, I’m so glad we have not put our eggs all in one basket! What will you do?