What a year 2020 has been, it has affected every single person in some way, and I am truly sorry to hear if it has affected your wedding day. I was due to get married 20th December 2020 however, in July, my partner and I decided to postpone our wedding by a year, due to my financial hit and our vulnerable family members. We have been together for over ten years and really want the wedding we planned… So for all those couples still hoping and dreaming about your special day you planned, I am sending a big virtual hug!
If you follow me on Instagram @jesspaceymakeupartist you will have seen some of my posts about the movement #whataboutweddings, but hopefully you will have seen posts similar to the one above on your social media from other wedding suppliers too. The campaign started in July and its focus is to gain the government’s support to help the wedding sector through and out of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is urgent action needed in order for the businesses in this amazing sector to make it through to be a part of 2021, 2022 and weddings in years to come!
I am in an incredibly unique position as I am a wedding business owner, a 2020/2021 bride and I have another part time job (which I love). My other job has seen me through these last few months, with a stable income that just covered the necessities. I have been very honest throughout this lock down period and refunded brides whose booking I could no longer fulfill due to their new date already been taken. I have honoured all pricing and I have not charged for any postponements. I have lost half of my income this year! However, I have been lucky due to my unique position, so many businesses are struggling because they took the brave leap to be fully self-employed, because they have a family to support and because many of those business owners were the breadwinner of the household. Sadly, some of these businesses may not make it through the winter months into the hopeful 2021 wedding season and beyond. The #whataboutweddings campaign is screaming and shouting at the government to hear these messages, and to listen to their sensible suggestions to get clarity, parity and choice for the suppliers, venues and couples trapped in this horrific time.
Unfortunately, this week brought another blow for the wedding sector, a huge stab in the back! The government’s business secretary Alok Sharma made some ridiculous and incredibly insulting comments towards the wedding and events sector! Apparently, we should all get “better jobs” as the government are not able to protect every single job and our businesses are not viable! Couples still want to get married now and in the future, and a wedding is not planned overnight. My wedding was planned just under two years in advance, to ensure we booked the suppliers we wanted to be a part of our day and to save up.
I currently have around sixty weddings booked for 2021 and have a steady increase of bookings coming into my 2022 diary. How is my business not viable? How is any wedding business not viable when there are so many couples wanting to get married, start their lives together and spend money in the wedding sector? We need a road map to get us through this pandemic to serve all these wonderful couples who want to celebrate with their friends and families and start their lives together!
Jess Pacey Makeup Artist
As I mentioned previously, I have a part-time job as well as being a wedding business owner. Most people going into self-employment work up to leaving their other job, however, honestly, I am incredibly lucky to love my part-time job too and be able to work them both alongside each other well. This year was meant to be the year I could officially say my business is my main source of income, this was extremely exciting! I started my business from scratch around seven years ago just after I trained. I started with rock bottom pricing to build up my portfolio, as I earnt, I spent to build up my makeup kit, I built my website myself, and I did all my admin and social media… I did everything. So, you can imagine when this pandemic hit, how upsetting it was to see my huge business goal disappear. It will happen one day, this pandemic has not stopped my ambitions and determination, it has made them bigger and more powerful!
I adore working in the wedding sector, it is filled with amazingly talented and creative people, who are not afraid of hard work and all support one another. It can be extremely lonely being self employed but you meet so many suppliers at weddings, wedding fairs, through the power of social media and even through groups. In May I joined The Wedding Business Club to push myself out of my comfort zone and invest back into my business. Another amazing support network!
Being a bridal makeup artist…
Actually being part of a wedding day is just the best. I absolutely love to see how the whole bridal look comes together, from email conversation, finding out about their ceremony and reception location, to meeting them for their makeup trial, seeing images of their inspirational looks, how their hair, jewellery, flowers and dress will work with their makeup look. To it all coming together on the day and seeing the bride glow with happiness.
Working as a bridal makeup artist is so rewarding… One of my everlasting memories is a lady I met last year. She never wore makeup, she was quite shy, but she had a beautiful inspirational image of being a vintage bride. She had the dress, the shoes, she was happy with her wedding hair look but she was apprehensive about her makeup look because she never wore any. The image she showed me was a beautiful 1950s makeup, quite a striking look for a natural bride. After chatting to her and calming her nerves we decided to take elements of the look and create a bespoke natural vintage bridal makeup. I was incredibly nervous to show her as I thought she would think it would be too much, or she was not brave enough complete her bridal look… She loved it! In fact, she cried. The power of makeup is extraordinary for some individuals, for this bride it gave her dream bridal look. This is why I have the best job. I would not change it… EVER!
How can you help?
I have written this blog post to share my story, to shout out about the #whataboutweddings campaign, and to help other wedding suppliers who are truly struggling to make ends meet. The more people who share their stories the better chance we have with gaining support from the government. As well as writing to your local MP, Love My Dress has shared some amazing suggestions how to help wedding suppliers and venues get seen and supported. Here are my favourites:
Write a review
How many reviews did you read about your suppliers before actually booking them? They really do make a difference! Google reviews are great as they help with being more visible within the search engine. Plus reading testimonials from brides on a day when you don’t feel your best is an amazing way to make you feel amazing!
Yesterday, I did a beautiful natural makeup look for a bride who got engaged just before lock down, then planned her small intimate wedding throughout the last few months. I am incredibly grateful and happy to see weddings still going ahead, and I am very honoured to be a part of their special day. There have been so many people who have fought hard to get the wedding sector up and running, we still have a way to go but it is lovely to see those small intimate weddings all over social media.
Love conquers all!
Well done to the whole #whataboutweddings team!