Garine: Hello! My name is Garine, I am the social media and marketing manager at Chair Decor. I wanted to first start by asking you a couple basic questions. What is your name, and the name of your company?
Rebecca: My name is Rebecca Chan, and I’m the owner and lead planner at Rebecca Chan Weddings & Events.
Garine: How long have you been in the industry?
Rebecca: I’ve been planning weddings since 2009, and was in the non-profit sector planning events prior to that.
Garine: Non-profit sector, that is such an amazing place to start in this industry! What have your experiences been during COVID?
Rebecca:Early on in March and April when the pandemic was declared, we spent a lot of painstaking hours discussing rescheduling plans with our couples who were immediately impacted. We had a couple destination weddings that were supposed to happen at the end of March and mid-April who had to figure out new plans really quickly. Shortly after, we had to figure out rescheduling plans with all our other couples, as all our clients started to realize this pandemic was here to stay and not just a short term issue. I later held a workshop on dealing with issues with your venue with my lawyers (it was very well attended, which just shows the frustration that a lot of couples were facing!).Once we had a handle on putting out fires and rescheduling fiascos, our team started brainstorming how we could still offer our services during the impending quarantine time. That’s when we came up with the White Glove Wedding Delivery service for couples who wanted to celebrate or elope. It was a turnkey service that offered flowers, cake, bubbly and an officiant, and it was quite popular as a gift and for couples who wanted to tie the knot. I also held online workshops for industry professionals for business development, along with group fitness classes for industry friends to keep active.It seemed like every few weeks we have had to pivot our services and packages, depending on the government restrictions. The small wedding delivery packages were keeping us busy for a bit. We are now putting a focus back on traditional planning services, but especially for micro weddings. It’s been a whirlwind of a summer, but it’s been rewarding to be able to help couples celebrate despite it all.
Garine: It has been such a whirlwind experience, for everyone involved. So happy to see you continue to help couples in a safe way. What do think the long term impact of COVID will have on the wedding/event industry? What does this mean for the future of the event industry?
Rebecca: It seems like the virus will be around for a little while, so I suspect micro weddings and ever-changing wedding plans will be the norm. Additional measures for health and safety will likely be the new standard moving forward, as well as virtual event offerings. In terms of the industry, I think the creative and resourceful businesses will adapt and survive. Not everyone will make it through. I also think it will take a few years for the industry to get back to the way it was pre-covid.
Garine: With your previous responses, it is clear you have taken a very creative approach on this situation and will easily adapt and thrive through this pandemic. Are there any exciting new projects you’d like to share?
Rebecca: Earlier in the summer we ran a contest with Miller High Life to help three couples Canada-wide with their weddings. Two of the weddings are happening in a couple weeks, where one of them has had to change their 100-person wedding to a 25-person wedding with a drive through for all the other guests. We will begin to see more of these unique and out-of-the-box events as we move forward, and I am excited to see what happens. We are always working on something new! You’ll have to stay tuned to find out.
Garine: Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us today! You always create the most beautiful events; we are excited to see all the new things to come!