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If you've pored over the May/Jun 2020 issue of Your Kent Wedding, you'll remember us telling you about Chives the Caterers' Facebook endeavour to help as many couples as possible with advice during this difficult period of lockdown. Keen to keep morale up, the company's Debbie Green reminds us, that this is just a blip, and has made a little video for those who had to postpone their weddings, (which you can catch up on at: www.facebook.com/chivescaterers/videos/208202197262369/).
Here, she shares her take on the past weeks, and how Chives has been coping throughout these challenging times. Over to you Debbie!
As a company we've personally postponed over 20 weddings until later this year and into next. Of course, all of the couples are dealing with it differently, and each have their own reasons and personalities, so I felt the main message to get across was: this is just a blip in your lives together and you'll still get married, it will still be amazing. Just focus on spending time together during lockdown, and one day this will all be in the past. These weren't flippant words, and by no means was 'a blip' meant to discount the seriousness of the current situation, like everyone else, my heart sinks every day with the daily updates of Covid-19 deaths, and I pray a little harder each night for lower numbers the following day, as well as for the families and friends unable to attend the funeral. I lost a cousin this week, not from the virus, but coming from a rather huge family in Leicester, a family death has never gone unmarked by a big funeral and celebration of their life so that my cousin Marjorie will just have five people there is a huge thing for my family, but we will organise a memorial and her life will be celebrated and that was my point. Being 57, means that I can look back through a photo album and remember so many of them being taken, 10, 20 30, 40 and even 50 years ago, the memory of that moment floods in and I can recall so many details that it feels like yesterday and I can just focus on those positive memories. My life has been a rollercoaster, trust me there's a book in me, but my cup is overflowing not just half full and although many people in these photos can only be a memory now, they still make me smile and there's no need to recall the bad stuff in between, what's the point? That was my message - this time will pass and our couples will still be in love, will still have their day but they may hopefully remember this time as when they achieved something amazing before moving on to better times.
For the majority of our population, in time, life will return to some sort of normality, with gaps that can't be filled and memories of this time that should not be glossed over. I really believe that many of us will come out the other side knowing how much people mean to us, far more than material things. Hugs, oh I miss hugs (I am a serial hugger), will be the best thing in the world. The day I can hug my children again, I'll cry. But, for now we all need to seize any positives we can and make things happen to brighten a few lives: write letters, make photo albums and books, learn a language - my Italian is coming on very slowly - sit and watch the sunset, get up early and watch it rise. I've discovered stunning local footpaths with our dogs, and have even got my amazing husband doing a 45-minute dance exercise routine almost every day, sorry no photos!
So, to the serious subject of being a catering company in the wedding and events industry. I'm not going to pretend that I don't have sleepless nights, all of our postponed weddings are now moved to dates, which we won't be able to fill with additional business so our turnover will be drastically down both this year and next, but we're managing to cover our overheads, and all we can do is think positive thoughts and be determined to survive. It saddens me that there will be companies that may not survive, if you are a couple moving their day please remember that many suppliers are self-employed sole traders supporting families, and are going through a tough time, so I urge everyone to just be kind and I promise this time will pass.
To find out more about Chives the Caterers, head over to www.chivescaterers.co.uk