Wedding season is a joyous time, it is a time of the year that people look forward to. Normally. But, in the middle of a pandemic, for some, the wedding season has become a time of uncertainty and fear.
Many 2020 wedding parties have rescheduled to next summer. Like many in the industry, the slowdown made a big impact on Shannon Berry’s business. She owns McCall Weddings, and she’s already worried about 2021 events.
“We’ve had 25 wedding move to next year,” she said. “That has completely, almost entirely filled up our peak wedding season. So my fear for the industry, and I’m hearing this from vendors across the board… (Is that) we’re all concerned about the fact that we’re moving all these events to next year.”
A major slowdown in events and planning
Berry has been working to figure out solutions for the 2021 season. But she has run into other obstacles.
Earlier this year, and before the wedding season began, Berry’s company helped with ten events. The company has 15 more on the books for the rest of the year. On average, Berry is doing around 100 events a year.
Twenty-five total events for 2020, give or take a few, is a significant loss.
“Even if I do pick up another five to 10 events, hopefully, some holiday parties…We’re going to probably be down 70% is my estimation,” she said.
A loss of many events and weddings has not made running a business any easier for Berry.
“Even though it’s going to be a short and furious season we are so busy,” she said. “Me and my other managers have been working probably 80 hours plus a week. We’re trying to do the jobs of the people that did not return, and we’re having to redo six months to a years worth of planning. So you have to redo layouts, you have to redo menus, you have to recalculate the alcohol.”
However, Berry says it is not unusual to work long weeks during peak wedding season. Though, being understaffed and constantly adjusting to the pandemic are anomalies.
“It makes it extra tough… but we’re doing it,” Berry said. “Our policy is love is not canceled, love is still going to be here. And we just want to be there to support our existing clients and the ones that have moved onto next year the best we can.”
Now, Berry is encouraging these couples to host their wedding in the fall, winter or spring. If she can’t get people to move their weddings to another season, Berry is not sure what will happen next summer.