What a start to the year. In fact it was such an amazing start to the year, we really thought 2020 was going to be ‘the one’. We took the most bookings in February since we started in 2014, and had a total of 60 jobs booked already this year.
How wrong could we be…
It started with a trickle, calls from companies letting us know that they may need to cancel due to Covid-19, then a flood. Everything was cancelled. This unknown virus that was wreaking havoc far and wide, had not quite reached us in earnest in the UK, but it seemed determined to leave its stamp on us here at Anywhere Deckchairs.
We wanted to be safe. We wanted our friends, families, clients, suppliers to be safe. And we knew that whatever needed to be done to make this happen, then that’s what we would do. Deposits and hire costs were refunded and the deckchairs were packed away for now. Or so we thought.
Fast forward to 2021, we had one extremely small window last year where a last minute wedding was allowed to take place. Thirty of our finest green and white deckchairs were dusted off and taken to a sleepy village in Hampshire. The bride and groom decided they would rather get married with only a handful of family and friends than not at all. And we were only too happy to oblige.
We dropped off on a sunny Friday morning and wished the groom and his mother, who greeted us, all the best for the weekend. True to form, it rained. And it didn’t just rain, it was torrential and we could do nothing but think about the bride and groom all day.
As we drove to the venue to collect the deckchairs after the wedding, we were expecting a completely different response to the one we had. There were smiles, and not just small smiles, big beaming smiles. The weather was awful, the marquees leaked and wedding guests had to run for cover at points during the day. But the overwhelming feeling was they had done it. They were grateful, they were happy and most of all they were married. Despite all odds, this bride and groom had got married in a pandemic. It wasn’t the dream day they envisaged (it had already been cancelled twice) but the intimate wedding they did have was so much more.
So whilst initially we looked back on 2020 as being bad for business, we have since taken time to reflect. This year has given us time to appreciate the smaller things in life. Our friends, our families, and time spent together mean more than to us than ever.
We will be back, we have taken bookings for 2021 but we will never forget this year. We will never forget the Great British spirit of a young couple not being able to have anywhere near the wedding they wanted, but still had an amazing day.
So we hope you’ve managed to stay safe and have to take the time to look back on this year with at least some positive thoughts.