eal talk folx. I have been working with the wedding vendors who advertise on APW, in our vendor directory, front page ads, and now our mastermind TLC, for six years now. Over the years there have been hundreds of wedding vendors featured on the pages of APW and its vendor directory, each of them personally vetted to make sure they support inclusivity, diversity, and are just generally good humans who will treat you well and never pressure you to have the kind of wedding you don’t want. We’ve seen dozens of vendors over the years skyrocket from tiny portfolios and rock bottom prices into thriving businesses that book up a year in advance. And in return, their financial support of APW means we can keep providing free content for its readers.
But those vendors have never just been a pretty portfolio to me—they’re real people building tiny businesses (micro-business is a phrase I’ve learned through all of this, meaning a business with less than 5 employees) by contributing their talents to helping folx like you have amazing, authentic, low-stress wedding days.
The first time I broke down and cried during all of this was the moment it hit me how deeply impacted all these tiny businesses—and the humans behind them—that I love were going to be. The wedding industry is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, but it’s mostly made up of those kinds of small businesses. The kind that can’t afford to suddenly make half their expected income in any given year and still pay their rent. (And often these creatives, like photographers, supplement their wedding income working on other kinds of events—that also are no longer happening.)
And the first moment I felt true hope was when I heard that clients were still reaching out about 2021 weddings. And then when I started hearing the stories about how vendors were evolving to find new ways to serve their communities during this time with everything from album design, to print shops (go get that gallery wall done!), to postponement planning help, to discounts on future portrait sessions, weddings, and elopements photography and handmade wedding gowns.