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Social-distancing impacts wedding industry

Wedding bells have been silenced by the coronavirus crisis, a planner said yesterday.

Now wedding planners are locked in a struggle to find new dates for couples who want to tie the knot over the next few months.

Nikki Begg, of Hamilton-based Bermuda Bride, admitted the Covid-19 pandemic was a major problem for the industry as well as for couples who had planned their big day but were forced to postpone.

The Government has banned large gatherings, which has affected many events and travel restrictions have also affected the weddings of people from overseas who had banked on a Bermuda service.

Ms Begg said: “It has had an impact on the bride as well as the event industry, it has absolutely crippled the wedding planners and people who provide services such as designers and tent providers.

“Everything that was booked has either been cancelled or postponed, so that has impacted our financial standing as far as how the rest of this year looks.”

Ms Begg said: “From the brides' perspective, for all of our brides we've been able to reschedule for later in the year or next year, though obviously it is absolutely devastating for them as it is such an important day.

“We are working with our brides to celebrate the day that they were to be married, with a special gift called ‘lift and shift' when we lift up the whole event and put it down on a new date ... as long as that date and the vendors are available.”

She added: “I had a beautiful wedding taking place on a private island in May and that has now been rescheduled to October.

“It really has had an impact, but people are very understanding, they know it is out of our control.

“They understand, too, that we're trying to help them every way we can to create the wedding, but just on a different date.

“We're working with some amazing designers from the stationary standpoint to create postponement invitations.

“We're now trying to provide that level of service to ensure that they are very comfortable with the new arrangements.

“We had 17 weddings planned and then there were weddings coming down on cruise ships which is impacting us as well.

“It's not just wedding planners, it's photographers, people who make wedding cakes and transport. For one wedding I had 23 taxis.”

Ms Begg predicted that next year would bring a wedding boom to the island.

She said: “Next year will see us trying to get our feet back under us, after effectively losing a few months of revenue from very few weddings in November, December, January and February and now March, April and May are gone as well.

“What I'm encouraging my brides who were planning to get married this year to do is to look at a Thursday or Friday for next year because the people who planned to get married in 2021 have already got their venues sorted out.”

Ms Begg added: “When I talk to my brides about 2020, I'm saying ‘let's think outside the box here, we know these are extraordinary circumstances, let's consider alternative days'.”

She added: “We're asking our clients to be understanding that these are unusual times and that we need to support everybody now, so that we're still around next year. We don't know how long this pandemic is going to last for.”

Ms Begg advised clients: “Also, once the ban gets lifted, if anything, scale down, don't cancel.

“Also, don't do a buffet, do a seated meal, because a buffet everyone is touching utensils and food items. We're revisiting how food and drinks are being served and already thinking ahead.”

Wedding planner: Nikki Begg, of Bermuda Bride, admitted the Covid-19 pandemic was a major problem for the industry as well as for couples who have been forced to postpone (File photograph)

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Published March 31, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated March 31, 2020 at 1:43 pm)

Social-distancing impacts wedding industry

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