Pass the Champagne! Here’s How I’m Celebrating the End of 2020
2020 marked CJ’s Off the Square’s 15th Anniversary as a wedding and event venue. And let me tell ya, I had BIG plans to celebrate. Like, really big. But let’s just say those plans hit a bit of a snag.
I’ve seen a lot of things when it comes to weddings over the years. But NEVER could I ever have anticipated a year like this.
I like to think of 2020 as “fluid.” From mid-March on, our event calendar seemed to be constantly in flux. And for a Type A planner like myself, it was painful to see so many of those beautiful wedding plans we’d worked on for months, even years, being uprooted by circumstances outside of anyone’s control.
Staying flexible was the key to surviving 2020.
When it came to hosting weddings this year, some of our couples chose to keep their dates while making adjustments as needed to implement safety measures. Some weddings were postponed. Some were reimagined with a minimony in 2020 and larger celebrations to follow in 2021 (which we’re calling “the sequel” here in the office). And we hosted more elopements in one year than we had in our entire history as a wedding venue so far (true story!).
All in all, it’s been a bustling year though it was anything but ideal.
But no matter what, my team and I have kept our couples, their priorities and their love story at the heart of each and every difficult business decision we’ve had to make.
“Love will, love can, love still, love wins”
—from Carrie Underwood’s “Love Wins”
Because after all, YOU are the reason we do what we do.
YOU are worth the long hours of planning and re-planning.
YOU are worth dealing with mask acne (it’s real y’all), mastering virtual planning meetings and re-working floor plans for the fourth time in two days because your guest list has changed. Again.
YOU are worth it.
Let me pause here and let that sink in. Because even if you’re feeling discouraged and a little scared about what is happening all around us, you need to know this for sure.
Your love, your journey, your story: They are worth celebrating.
Circumstances may change, but never lose site of the fact that you matter, your family matters and your friendships matter. And coming together to celebrate this… whether it is in a big way, a small way, a public way or a private way, now or later… it still matters.
I consider it such a privilege to be the one you turn to in this difficult time to help provide options, ideas and solutions to the unique problems that couples are facing while trying to plan their wedding during a pandemic.
It’s not lost on me that without my incredible team, the support of my talented peers in the Nashville wedding community, and the most kind, patient and trusting couples, this year could have gone very differently.
And I won’t lie: there was a lot of wine (like a lot), many tears, and more than a few moments where I just didn’t know if I was doing the “right thing.” But early on, Alli, Sidney and I committed to showing up and figuring it out together and that’s exactly what we did.
We made it, and so have you.
Thank you for being a part of this journey with me. You can’t see or hear it, but right now I’m cranking up Carrie Underwood’s “Love Wins” with a glass of champagne. (video is below because you NEED to listen to this song right now!)
I’m raising my glass to say farewell to 2020: Here’s to reminding me that love really does win if you let it. And here’s to 2021. ‘Cause friends, it’s on like Donkey Kong up in here and I can’t wait to see what’s next for Team CJ!