With travel restrictions still in place, large gatherings banned and people practising social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the wedding season seems to be over before it’s even begun.
Couples planning to get married this spring have had to postpone or cancel their weddings, including Sidney resident Danielle Sweeney.
“We decided to just go one year from our original date, so instead of May 2, 2020, we’ll be getting married on May 1, 2021,” she said. “We’re still even now a month away and we have no idea where things will be in a month we just felt it was the most responsible choice”
When Sweeney and her fiancé made that decision after months of planning, she said it was an emotional moment for her.
“[I] had a good solid couple days of crying, I’m sure,” Sweeney said, adding that she’s come to terms with it and is actually happy her wedding is something that can be postponed.
“It’s not something like a life event that you can’t postpone, like someone bringing a new baby into the world or maybe a loved one is ill and in the hospital. There’s so many worse circumstances that people are in right now that I’m actually feeling quite grateful for our circumstance and the fact that we can postpone this,” she explained. “It will happen, and we’ll get married, and it’ll be fine.”
There are hundreds of couples in similar situations, whether it’s rescheduling their wedding day, eloping, or cancelling the wedding outright for now.
It’s hitting the wedding industry hard, as vendors struggle to keep their businesses going.
“There’s a big risk for some vendors who just won’t be able to weather the storm,” said Emma McCormick, the owner and lead planner of The Good Party. “The thing that’s really hard with weddings is on Vancouver Island especially and across B.C., they’re very seasonal, so our busy season is from April through to kind of early October.”
McCormick added that booking times for these weddings are typically done during the off-season, when people pay deposits and begin planning.
“For all of the off-season everyone really makes do and survives and pays bills based on the deposits and retainers that they’re gathering from clients as they get booked,” she said.
When people are cancelling during the pandemic and asking for their deposit money back, wedding vendors often don’t have that money anymore because it’s gone back into their business.
That’s why Julia Loglisci, owner of her own photography business, is encouraging couples to postpone their wedding instead of cancelling.
“As a small business owner, that money goes into my living expenses, my business expenses. That money’s been soaked up and it’s been used, it’s not just sitting there,” she explained. “So I have to politely say to my brides, I will hold on to your deposit and I’m happy to push that deposit onto a new date.”
This is usually the busiest time of year for Loglisci.
“I’m supposed to have about 15 weddings this summer. I’m busy throughout the year with smaller photoshoots, which is great, but I definitely mostly rely on the summer for my weddings,” she said. “So now that some of my weddings are being cancelled or postponed, times can definitely be tough.”
Loglisci said her message to couples during this unprecedented time is: “Take a deep breath, everything’s going to be OK. I think first and foremost our health is the most important thing. And a wedding can wait.”