For the past 17 years, I’ve sat down at the end of this year to write this year in review. It’s supposed to be a reflection on our year and our goals, a recap of the small and big highlights, and a way to thank our couples, vendors, and our team. It always starts something like this…We are here for the moments! Those moments that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. We want to walk beside you toward those moments and then live them alongside you. It’s why we keep coming back again, and again, and again.
This year, 2020, marked our 17th-year business and it is forever the year the world will remember as the year of COVID. The year so many people lost their lives, so many families were impacted by loss and tragedy, many people have lost their jobs in historic numbers, and businesses have laid off employees and closed their doors for good. It’s also a year we saw social injustice on a scale we haven’t seen in a long time and in June saw marches and so much anger and sadness as we all tried to make sense of the horrific killing of George Floyd and countless other innocent black people.
In a year with so much turmoil, sadness, grief and anger it seems wrong to highlight the good and document success. How do we tout our good when there’s so much hurt?
I believe the only way we are going to get through this is to move forward, to highlight the small wins, to celebrate the love and joy we are fortunate enough to be a part of, to be an ally and outspoken in our beliefs, to support our communities and to keep putting one foot in front of the other. For the sake of our humanity, we must come together now more than ever in support of each other. In a year that seemed so divisive, filled with many opposing views, we must highlight the good, showcase activism, kindness, highlight success! I’ve always said the biggest growth comes from the biggest challenges and I refuse to allow this immense year define Calluna!
Yes, it’s been tremendously challenging and we had big plans and goals for 2020 that did not happen. Instead of dwelling upon the loss and challenge, I want to acknowledge it and hold space for it, and then use the loss as a way for us to learn.
This year more than other years we are humbled that our clients supported us and were by our side through this. Our clients are the reason heroes of Calluna and why we got through this year without closing our doors. We are inspired by our couple’s reliance this year and saw that love and connection was truly what mattered most to them. As frustrating as this year was for our couples they are the real heroes in our book!
I am ever grateful to our team for the calm and professional way they supported our couples, each other, and me. They inspire me every day and worked tirelessly to get us through his year. They were so loyal in the face of so much uncertainty and I cannot begin to thank them for their dedication to their clients and Calluna.
I’m grateful for our government leaders and front line workers who kept us informed and as safe as possible this year. I spent much more time than normal on the phone with banks, attorneys, vendors, and reading state, county government regulations as well as participating in calls with our industry, the Colorado Event Alliance, and listening to Governor Polis weekly Colorado updates.
I’m so grateful for the couples whose weddings we are currently planning for 2021 and 2022 and for all the newly engaged couples who have been reaching out! We are continually inspired, challenged, and motivated to do incredible things and be the best we can be!
Without further ado, we are happy to share our highlights with you!
We planned 20 events, mostly smaller gatherings and elopements for current clients who had to postpone their wedding and some who just wanted to get married this year. WE postponed 19 weddings and canceled 5. We worked with each of our 2020 couples to ensure they felt supported and knew all their options for postponement or cancellation. Although these postponements were a lot of new work for our team we did not charge our couples for this and felt it was our obligation to help them navigate through this time.
We planned weddings & events all over Colorado and had out of state events in Napa, CA, Scottsdale, AZ, NYC. Colorado events included Aspen, Tabernash, Breckenridge, Denver, Boulder, Denver, and Colorado Springs.
The weddings we did have the opportunity to see through were re-imagined and re-planned with the couples, guests and vendor’s health and safety in mind!
We had four weddings on October 10th weekend – in four states! NY, CA, TX, and AZ!
We were active members of the newly formed Colorado Event Alliance.
We continue to be active WIPA Colorado members.
Our Owner, Heather, has been providing coaching to several wedding professionals and continues to work with clients. When COVID started Heather offered Coved Consulting to couples and vendors needing guidance and support on anything from postponements, contracts, and staffing. Click here to read more about Calluna Consulting services.
Lindsay Hayden came on board as our newest Full-Time Lead Planner for Calluna Events. Lindsay moved to Colorado from NYC where she had been living and working in the event industry for the past five years.
We had two remote interns this season, Elyssa Hoffman and Elizabeth Hefron who are complete rock stars working with us remotely and helping us with so many behind the scenes projects that are vital to who Calluna is!
The rest of our veterans continued as a part of our team, although with 2020 not having as many events we didn’t keep them as busy as normal. Special thanks to Jean, Kristen, Francesca, who managed weddings and postponements this year!
Our Owner Heather was a speaker at the inaugural virtual Rooted in the Rockies and participated in this wonderful online community event this spring.
Heather also participated in an online talk Behind the Business by Wed Society all about how companies in the wedding industry were managing in the pandemic.
We created a new business in collaboration with The Perfect Petal Love Strike which is the intersection of floral design x public art x community elevation x celebration!
For our first Love Strike, we did a guerilla strike at the ACLU Denver. Through this, we raised $3,000 for the ACLU Denver!
We created a new design service called Curated by Calluna is a comprehensive design service that allows YOU to partner with a Calluna Events Designer to craft the wedding design of your dreams.
And today, we gave away not one but two Curated by Calluna packages!
We gave away two Curated by Calluna packages and donated one to Sophie’s Neighborhood.
At the start of quarantine, we had a series Calluna Crew in Quarantine which was all about inspiration, books we were reading, projects we were tackling and just some good fun to take the stress away from everything we were all embarking on!
We continued our Coffee with Calluna series on our blog to talk about all things weddings, style, planning, or anything you have questions about!
We wrote many blogs about how to handle your wedding planning during COVID and were a resource for our couples and vendors alike!
We continued our Cocktails with Calluna blog series where we interview our favorite local creative partners and share tips and tricks.
We showcased our annual Holiday Gift Guide.
We participated in a Giveaway with Treehaus for an overnight getaway for a special couple who has been affected by COVID.
We participated in Stay in Speak Out.
Instead of in-person industry events, Engage and FAM’s and networking we attended many virtual industry events and networking opportunities, to broaden our knowledge of the industry and meet new vendors.
At Calluna Events, we believe Black Lives Matter. We believe in inclusivity. We believe as a white community we have an obligation to use our voice and our privilege to stand up against the senseless killing of George Floyd and so many others from the Black community. We believe the racists and inhumane treatment and killings of Black Americas is abhorrent and enough is enough. We demand racial justice.
We are anti-racist and actively attempt in our actions and words to be a strong ally, both personally and professionally. We understand allyship is a verb(not a noun) and it requires continued education, support, and action with each passing moment, day, week, year. It is a lifelong journey, and we are here – committed.
In June, we, along with the larger community, watched the world change (for the better) before our very eyes. We’ve listened and participated in the evolving dialogue around race, discrimination, equality, privilege, and more. In a time the world is standing in solidarity with the Black community, we wanted to also amplify, celebrate, and create action – while still listening and learning and doing the work on our own. We know our Black friends, colleagues, couples have been fighting this fight without the full support of their white allies for far too long. They are tired of doing this work. Now is the time for us to stand united and do the work alongside them. Our silence is complicity.
We were active in our collective and individual support of Black Lives Matter and black members of the wedding industry. We continue to listen and educate ourselves on what it means to be a better ally.
We wanted to learn more and highlight local black wedding industry partners so we conducted Instagram Live interviews with black photographers, Allie Rinka, and Adonye Jaja.
We also published a blog post written by Allie Rinka of Allie Rinka Photography on her perspective as a black photographer in a mostly white industry.
Through our own introspection and learning we wrote our first Statement of Inclusivity, points we’ve always tried to embody but the first time we’ve put pen to paper on them.
We continued to be listed as a preferred wedding planner at the Brush Creek Ranch, St Julien Hotel & Spa, Devil’s Thumb Ranch, ICONIC Weddings, Beaver Creek Resorts, Vail Resorts, Snowmass, Four Seasons Denver, The Kitchen Restaurants, River Bend, and more!
Calluna Events in the wedding world:
We were featured in this article from BRIDES – on How to recognize your original wedding date if you have to postpone.
Lauren and Walker’s wedding was on the cover and was featured in the April-May 2020 issue of Colorado Expression Presents Confetti.
We were featured in an article on Planners Lounge about how we’ve been able to stay afloat and be successful this year during the pandemic.