“It is not the time to NOT send out that newsletter. It’s not the time to take a break on Facebook Lives. This is the time to jump on and have live Q and A because it is about just reaching out… To be able to respond very quickly to couples and what they need because it’s not only about the message, but how you respond to it.”~Ivy Summer, certified wedding planner
Wedding planners are specialists at the art of pivoting. Sure, the timing for a venue to cancel or a cake maker to bail isn’t always great but a seasoned planner generally has an ace up their sleeve ready to save the big day.
At least that’s the narrative played out in every 90s romcoms ever made about the industry – way back before shelter-in-place and social distancing reshaped in a hurry how, when, and if couples get married.
Ivy Summer is a certified wedding planner and a former digital nomad who now runs her global empire from northern Greece.
Like most of us, she’s questioning how she can be of service to her clients while maintaining her own safety.
Unlike many of us, Ivy already had a plan in the works. Her suggestions for managing a business during these unprecedented times and caring for your tribe are a mix of energetic optimism and forthright honesty.
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“Having launched this online wedding-planning course in the fall and not foreseeing the COVID-19 outbreak at all, the best pivot from full-service wedding planning to virtual on-demand wedding consultant from anywhere in the world was the best move I could have made at that time so that I could be set up to handle any business that might come my way during the pandemic.”~Ivy Summer
Despite decades of articles announcing the demise of weddings, truth is, the ceremonies don’t go out of style. They simply adjust to the trends and values of each generation.
Case in point: last year, Ivy repackaged her skills into an online course which serves potential clients in the DIY space. That initial pivot may have come well before the pandemic but the crisis has afforded her an opportunity to assist couples in an environment that has changed almost overnight.
In addition to managing her course and offering fresh content across her social media, she’s also taking this time to write a book. Her exploration of the past has revealed that love in the time of pandemic doesn’t change but some matrimonial motivations do. She hopes her latest project will give couples peace of mind alongside pragmatic advice.
While she’s hyper-focused on her clients right now – some of whom have lost venue deposits, others who have had to put off their big day for a year – Ivy is well aware that her mental health and the safety of her family are equally important.
Connection remains her go-to coping strategy.
Checking in with her followers via Instagram and hosting Facebook Q & A sessions keep the business running. Maintaining lines of communication with family and friends back home keeps her sane.
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