Local award winning wedding planner Natalie Durham has released her first book, titled “The Pandemic Bride,” which serves as a guide for couples who are looking to get married during the very chaotic year that is 2020, as well as a how-to plan for any possible future setbacks.

Since 2009, brides across the Southeast have come to Natalie Durham Events in Canton for wedding and floral planning. The business has won “The Knot Best of weddings” award, recognizing the top wedding vendors in the country, for three consecutive years in 2018, 2019, and 2020

Using her decade of experience, she decided that she would put together a book to help guide couples who are or were planning to get married through the current pandemic.

“The book is a hands-on guide with many great examples and how-tos,” Durham said. “It will not only make you laugh, but cry as well when I share my heart. I really believe that being transparent with couples will help them see the overall end destination, which is their wedding day. From the reviews I have been receiving, I continually hear that I not only helped save couples’ wedding day, but that I helped give a sense of peace to their decision making and planning.”

Durham said she wrote “The Pandemic Bride” for a few reasons. In the very beginning of the pandemic, she said that many couples experienced heart shattering news regarding their weddings, so she knew she had to do something. She realized that her decade worth of experience would be helpful in providing a way for couples to use as a reference. She said she started writing the book in April after receiving many calls from concerned brides. She began documenting phone conversations and other resources to help put together a resource sheet, which essentially became “The Pandemic Bride.”

“I am sitting on all of this knowledge, and all I want to do is help these brides,” Durham said. “I have to figure out a way to get this information to them because couples are in need of hope, and that is what I think this book provides.”

She said that during the first two months of the pandemic, her phone and email kept her occupied for around 60-70 hours, receiving numerous calls, texts and emails from colleagues and customers looking to her for advice. She said many of the couples were up against the wall because of the pandemic and they were at risk of not only losing their wedding day, but all the money that had been spent as well. The brides she talked to all had the end goal of walking down the aisle and saying “I do,” so Durham wanted to formulate a plan to make that a reality.

“It’s so important to me that couples feel empowered, instead of feeling like victims to the virus,” Durham said. “When you change your mindset and have an organized plan that you can trust, which I provide in this guide, you can then move forward with confidence, instead of defeat. It is important to remember that hard doesn’t mean love is canceled, and uncertain doesn’t mean you can’t keep planning.”

The book can be purchased at www.nataliedurhamevents.com/shop.

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Ethan is a reporter covering the cities of Holly Springs & Canton. He also covers city governments and lifestyle. He is a graduate of Kennesaw State University.

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