NEW LENOX, IL — Many businesses and industries have been impacted by the coronavirus, including the wedding industry. Many brides and grooms have had to cancel their weddings in 2020, and others have held smaller events or postponed their weddings to 2021.
Cancellations and postponed weddings have hit the entire industry, including DJs, photographers, videographers, wedding venues, bridal boutiques, salons, make-up artists and florists.
New Lenox resident James Traut owns Big Fish Music Productions, LLC, and offers DJ, uplighting and photo booth services.
"We're trying to stay positive, and keep the brides and grooms happy," Traut told Patch. He said he has had 20 weddings reschedule, and three cancel.
His first wedding after closures in March was in July, and it was an outdoor event. Many weddings have had to be modified, whether by reducing guests or holding events outside.
Traut has also had to modify his business, especially his photo booth services. The door of the photo booth is not allowed, props have been removed, and guests can't sign the book with photos inside.
Traut said he already has 30 weddings scheduled in 2021.
Jamie Hubbard, who is an owner of Bella Sposa Bridal Boutique in Tinley Park, also said people are hopeful for next year.
"We're just riding this out," Hubbard said, adding her business closed for two and a half months after the shutdowns in March.
"We're making sure our brides know that we will work with them no matter when they get married," she said, adding that they also offer a cleaning service for those brides who may have used their dress for a ceremony but are having a reception at a later date.
Customers at the boutique must wear masks, and the number of people is limited per appointment, Hubbard said. All the dresses are also steamed daily, and cleaning takes place between each bride.
Hubbard said weddings have changed in 2020, and brides are having more intimate weddings.
"I know it's hard for these brides," she said.
New Lenox resident and videographer Matt Holdren owns Matthew Robert Creative, said he has also lost a ton of business.
15 weddings in a row canceled with some brides rescheduling multiple times, Holdren told Patch.
He also said weddings have been smaller, although he has worked at a few more average-sized weddings.
Holdren was able to pivot his business and offer services for virtual graduation ceremonies. He said he was able to book three or four graduations for area districts.
Holdren is also seeing many weddings postponed to 2021, although a January 2021 wedding he had booked has already been moved.
With increasing case numbers again in Illinois, additional mitigation measures have once again impacted larger events and gatherings like weddings. Many county health departments, as well as the Illinois Department of Public Health, have issued stay-at-home advisories, which is again impacting wedding-related businesses.
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