Exactly a year ago today, we were boarding a plane to the beautiful island of Cyprus for some R&R after our first full season of weddings at Harefield Barn. It was the first time in 32 years that we had taken two whole weeks away from the farm, so boy were we looking forward to it!
It had been an extremely busy but truly exciting year, and the culmination of several years of planning, building, and stress! We had learned fast and used our experience to adapt along the way, so by the time we walked up those aeroplane steps, we were certainly in need of a good rest. However, it was also a wonderful feeling that everything had come together. Not only had we been able to deliver some fabulous happy wedding days for our couples, but enquiries were coming in thick and fast for future bookings. We were finally confident that our spectacularly enormous gamble (aka well planned business decision!) was going to work!
Well little did we know! Of all the things we were planning for, a global pandemic wasn’t one of them. In a year where we were expecting to hold double the number of weddings we had last year, I have been spending my time arranging, re-arranging, and re-arranging again. We cannot thank couples and suppliers enough for working with us to move and postpone numerous weddings, numerous times. The pandemic has been a wake-up call for us all, and reminded us in a horribly stark way what getting married is all about. We continue to feel privileged to share some intimate marriages this year, as couples exchange their vows at small ceremonies, and then plan to go ahead with ‘the big party’ when the time is right.
This week we would have been heading off for a few days overlooking the river in Dartmouth, but coronavirus and its consequences had other ideas. We’ll go when we can, and those amazing blue skies will still be there when we eventually manage to fly off and grab a little of that winter sunshine abroad. One of the places we visited when we were in Cyprus last year was this gorgeous beach. Legend has it that the rock was the birthplace of Aphrodite, Goddess of love, so the beach has become a favourite place for a romantic proposal. It’s covered in pebble hearts made by happy couples to mark the occasion! So if you’re planning to surprise the one you love this festive season - good luck, and enjoy some very exciting, if small, celebrations!
But for now, instead of Cypriot skies, we’re concentrating on the far more important ‘blue skies’ ahead for the wedding industry and our own lovely Barn. With some really positive news about vaccinations and rapid testing, we have every confidence that although things might not be entirely ‘normal’ for a while, they are on their way.
As always, there are maintenance jobs to be getting on with, and we’re delighted to report that those positive vibes mean enquiries are coming in from couples who finally feel that they can start to plan properly for their wedding.
Our Halloween Evening gave us the perfect reminder of just how much we miss the sounds of fun and laughter when Harefield is full of people having a great time. This year may have thrown us and the entire wedding industry into a stupendous spin, but you can be sure, that in an industry full of experienced, go-getting, adaptable and just generally lovely people - it will be back - better and stronger than ever!