RSVP ‘maybe’? Coronavirus puts wedding industry on edge
NEW YORK (AP) — Guests are jittery, travel is tangled, and soon-to-be brides and grooms are facing tough choices because of the coronavirus outbreak: postpone, cancel or forge ahead with their weddings?
Uncertainty as virus cases grow in the U.S. and elsewhere has sent ripples through the wedding industry, from photographers and caterers to harried wedding planners and venues.
Rescheduling or canceling raises a world of questions. What are the odds that vendors will all be available on the same new date and time? Will couples lose money, in deposits and beyond already paid? Standard wedding insurance doesn’t cover anxiety over a spreading virus that has come with restrictions on travel and large gatherings in spots around the world. Some insurance companies are fielding a barrage of queries over how policies work in such a unique situation.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.
In the wedding world, vendors are feeling the pinch.
Caterers are holding on with extra care.
Andrea Correale, president and founder of the Elegant Affairs catering and event firm in Manhattan, said she is doubling and tripling hand washing stations for workers, placing hand sanitizer in coat check and registration areas, and offering baskets of sanitizer on tables for guests.
She’s also creating more distance between guests at tables, so a round table that usually seats 10 is now set up for eight.
Large bottles and pitchers of juices and soda have become individual bottles, bartenders are wearing gloves and Correale has replaced communal bowls of bar snacks with individual bags, “so people can still graze and feel safe about it.”