Almost overnight—everything changed.
We had been hearing about the novel coronavirus for a few weeks. Back in January, our friend went to China and the day after she got home, travel to and Chine was closed down.A few days later, one of our sweet brides, who is from China, called us to tell us her family couldn’t make it to her wedding because of their quarantine. She was heartbroken. At the end of February, Jacob traveled to Israel and noticed a handful of people in the airport wearing face masks.
But we could have never imagined or prepared for what was to come here, at home in South Carolina.
The first week of March, we were planning for a very heavy spring wedding season. I remember that Tuesday, I was actually feeling stressed about having so many weddings back to back, and started looking for an editor to hire for the season. Three days later, the president announced the novel coronavirus as a pandemic.
That Friday, there was an order for “no more than 50 people at a gathering,” then two days later, it was “no more than 10.” We knew then that the entire wedding industry would be completely rattled by this.
Weddings are important. They always have been. Even thousands of years ago, they could be week-long affairs. Marriage is something to celebrate. And it deserves to be celebrated with your friends and family.
We knew our spring couples were faced with some very hard decisions, and we were (and still are) heartbroken for them.
Since the beginning of our spring wedding season on March 21st, we have had to reschedule, shoot last-minute elopements and reschedule receptions for later, or cancel all of our March, April, and May weddings (10 weddings total). While this has been very difficult and heartbreaking to see everyone’s plans shatter, we have seen that in the end, marriage is what matters.
Personally, we have had so many people reach out to us and make sure we’re doing ok. We are so thankful for each of you and your generosity! The nature of owning our own business can be uncertain regardless of a global pandemic, and thankfully we have emergency plans set in place. We’re not exactly sure what the future will look like (who is??), but we’re still planning on being there four our couples at our fullest capacity.
On the business side of things, we’ve still had just as much work to do as ever. However, finding motivation to get work done has been hard. I’m sure that’s the case for lots of people. As you know, we were already working from home before all of this! One of the most important things for me is to have a ROUTINE to fall back on, but even more importantly is to offer myself GRACE when things don’t happen the way I planned.
I wanted to share 5 things that I make sure to do every workday to help me stay focused and motivated, before quarantine and during! This is NOT a highly-pressured “get work done” kind of post. I don’t think those are super healthy right now. If you come out of quarantine with a new side gig, great! If you come out of quarantine and you just managed to feed your kids everyday, that’s great too! This is HARD and that’s ok!
Start and end the day with emails to make sure we’re communicating with everyone.
To be honest, emails are one of my LEAST favorite parts of this job! Give me some coffee and let’s sit and chat for hours, but I do NOT like the formality of emails. However, of course this is inevitable so I try to make sure everyone is cared for first thing! (Thank goodness for Honeybook!)
Set a “top 3”
There are COUNTLESS things I can be doing for the business side of things. What a lot of people don’t understand about photographers is that shooting takes up maybe 15% of our time. We are primarily BUSINESS OWNERS. Right now, it can be really overwhelming thinking of all the things I “should” be doing during this “downtime.” To help me feel more focused and accomplished, I make a “top 3” task list on Google Keep of things I have to/want to work on each day, and then everything else is secondary!
Take screen breaks and get up and stretch.
I like to set alarms on my phone to remind myself to stand up, walk around, let Tucker out, step outside for a minute, or get some more water. Trust me, I 100% notice it when I DON’T do this during the workday! Also, invest in some blue light glasses, trust me!!
Create an inviting workspace.
I love to have a clean (ish) workspace, lots of plants, a good candle or oils diffusing, and a good playlist going. I just feel more productive in my workspace than if I were to sit on the couch in front of Netflix all day (even though I’ve definitely had days like that!). Side note- it also helps me to actually get dressed into real clothes!
Again, I’ve had my days where I eat junk food at my desk, and have 6 cups of coffee. But I just never feel good after (imagine that). I’m not here to tell you what to eat, but with open access to the fridge all day, just make sure you’re eating vegetables and drinking water 🙂
Like I said, we may not be quite as busy with weddings, but we still have plenty of things to do! We are excited to share some new things that we’ve been working on soon. If there is ANYTHING you need or you just want to vent about these crazy times, we are here to talk!
Love, Rachael and Jacob