B.C. wedding industry braces for another season of cancellations
VANCOUVER -- With the provincial health officer telling British Columbians that restrictions on indoor events will continue at least through the spring, wedding vendors are bracing for another wave of cancellations.
“A lot of my weddings from last year were postponed to this year, and now they’re being further postponed to next year,” said Jessica Maughan with Jessica Wendy Events. “A lot of people in our industry are getting other jobs, they don’t have a choice.”
Jana Frandsen’s company Wink Photography has seen a 90 per cent drop in business since the pandemic hit. “My last wedding I shot was March 14, 2020 — my last full wedding. And the next day, that’s when all the restrictions came in,” she said.
Many of her clients are now postponing their weddings for the second time, uncertain if gatherings will be allowed.
“Bonnie Henry is so far saying summer weddings might look like last summer, which now seems like a dream, like 50 people sounds amazing! But I know even if that’s the case, people are still a bit worried about what that will look like and whether they should go ahead,” said Frandsen.
Couples with dates in the summer like Amy Kobelt and Tony Kruz, who have re-scheduled their February wedding to July 8, have a big decision to make.
“I want to have at least some friends and family to celebrate, but at this time it’s looking unlikely. And that uncertainty is not allowing us to get excited for our wedding,” said Kruz.
But they are reluctant to postpone their nuptials again. “For us, this might just be the last one. We want to get married, and we might just have to do it now no matter what we see,” said Kruz.
“It’s kind of our decision that no matter what happens on July 8, we’re going to get married that day,” said Kobelt.
Whether to tie the knot regardless of how many guests can be in attendance is an agonizing choice.
“In the end, it’s the decision of the client. Do they want to maybe do an elopement, do they want to postpone, do they want to cancel altogether. And that brings into the question of deposits that are lost from certain vendors,” said Maughan.
And time is ticking to make that decision. “There’s only so long you can wait, especially if you have a guest list of over 50 people trying to cancel, if you have people coming in from outside the of the country, outside the province,” she said.
Frandsen is in constant contact with clients who’ve booked her to photograph their summer weddings. “We are just waiting to see what happens, and that’s a hard place for everyone to be in. They don’t know what to tell their guests, and they don’t know what to tell us, and I don’t know what to tell them," she said.