Destination weddings in Ireland and DC/MD USA. Your Irish wedding planner – styling and coordination to die for weddings since 2006. Based in Dublin and Maryland.

2020 – A year in review

Cliffs of Moher wedding

Normally at this time of year the team sits down and does a year in review. We pour some bubbly, look back over all our amazing weddings, and pick out our favorite elements: the most beautiful bouquet, a stunning cake, a really amazing hair and makeup look, the best invitation suite, a stunning first look moment, the perfect pair of shoes… But this year as we look back on 2020, we are going to focus on our favorite learnings from the year. Photo above by Paula O’Hara.

We are so fortunate to be part of this truly remarkable industry, and we cannot wait to again dream big, execute flawlessly, and take all our services to a new level in 2021.

As we think back on 2020, we want to highlight the amazing things we will remember this year for:

Tried and tested and still here! 2020 saw the universe rip away everything we knew as normal and halt International weddings in their tracks. It made us sit back and review what we do and why we do it. The outcome? Instead of folding and walking away, we raised the stakes and went all in. This is our passion and we are not going anywhere but up.

Note: It has, without a doubt, been the most incredibly hard year for anybody in the wedding industry. We are heartbroken that some of our favorite people in the business have had to close their doors and will not reopen them when all this is over. But we will continue to support them in their new ventures.

We got your back: This year reminded us that people in the wedding industry are amazing: they will always go above and beyond to help couples and each other. We have experienced more support, compassion and love from those in the industry than we could have ever imagined. We are each other’s greatest cheerleaders – supporting and encouraging each other come out of this stronger.

Believe in yourself: 2020 was a year of rescheduling, cancelling and re-rescheduling while seeing new business all but fall to the wayside for many months, as couples did not know when international travel would be open again. It would have been easy to question yourself, ask if you were doing something wrong, if there was something you could do better, is it time to walk away.

We are always looking at how we can do things better. Fine tuning processes, updating management systems, emulating world class standards, updating and revamp our website, developing our SEO. Not the stuff that drives us as creative people! But we balanced that with sharing our stunning weddings on social media, working on galleries from past weddings, talking to those involved in those days and talking to past couples. This has been a constant reminder that we are amazing at what we do. And so we enter 2021 even stronger.

Be flexible: 2020 reminded me of the importance of being flexible and always having a plan B. What other markets could benefit from our experience and talents? How can we share what we do with more people? This year has given us the opportunity to expand the business in a way that we’ve talked about for years but never really have the time for! More news to come about that in spring 2021!!

We have the best clients: As our planning service hinges on a true partnership with the couple it is so important to know who we are the right fit for and which clients are the best fit for us.

With over 15 years’ experience you arrive at a place where we are okay saying no to some couples. A place where we understand when a couple are not right fit for us or us for them. The result now is that I could not be more thankful for the wonderful clients we have.

We had to move, reschedule and cancel over 55 weddings in 2020. Making this decision was a roller coaster of emotions for our couples. While people could have got angry and upset with the unfairness of everything, they did not. We worked through the best options together; supported each other and got through all the extra planning that had to take place as their weddings go pushed out way further than they have wanted.

Value your worth: I have always shied away from couples who come to the table with the belief that everybody in the wedding industry wants to take advantage of couples and that “services get doubled in price when they know it’s a wedding day”. The couples who always want to barter on price because they don’t truly value the service or product being delivered. Spending a year seeing what these wedding professionals have done for our couples, they’re unbelievable flexibility, compassion and the desire only to give them the wedding day they dreamed of; is something I will remember and remind those who ever question it.

So 2021? I think that until the vaccine is rolling out and Europe and the US have a much better control over Covid-19 we will continue to go through some hard times and some hard decisions with our couples and in the wedding industry.

The key to 2021 is going to be remaining positive, being honest with our clients, reacting to things as fast as possible and making the best out of whatever restrictions are put on their wedding day.

We know that the weddings in 2021 are going to be filled with a passion, level of service, energy and love like you have never seen before as all of us creative people get back out to do what we love for the couples we love!

I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to a busy summer, falling into bed at the end of an exhausting wedding day having running nonstop for 14 hour day, feet throbbing but will a filled heart!

Happy New Year!

Michelle and the team at Waterlily Weddings

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