LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – The days of social distancing and wearing masks at weddings will soon be over, but that doesn’t mean couples don’t face issues when planning their big day.
The wedding industry is plagued by many post-pandemic issues, such as delays in shipping and vendors no longer available for rescheduled weddings, but the biggest heartache of all was for a Lansing bride.
“The challenge has been not being able to accommodate everyone who wants to walk into the store,” said Colleen Adams Shepard, owner of COCO Bridal Shop.
Shepard says she has received requests from an overwhelming number of people, between the return of proms and almost double the number of weddings, but due to the pandemic, supplies are limited.
“The saddest thing for me was the businesses that shut down during the pandemic, we have a supplier that we used and we did a lot of stock with them and they were gone, we didn’t know – we knew that we were trying to reach out for some private parts and they were closed, ”said COCO co-owner Kayce Shepard.
In addition to bridal shops, wedding planners are also struggling to keep up with demand.
“All my May I don’t even have room, people are calling to order, but because I’m so reserved I can’t take any more calls or meetings,” said a wedding planner and events, Phebeit Ingram.
“I lost a few rooms and vendors that I had, my photographer was no longer available, the DJ was no longer available so it took me forever to find another photographer, another DJ. We also had to rebuild our room to make space because I want to make everyone comfortable with COVID, ”said bride-to-be, Victoria Finklea.
Victoria Finklea was supposed to get married in June 2020 but had to postpone her date due to the pandemic. It was causing her nothing but stress, she and her fiance decided to move the wedding outside, which was more expensive and another challenge for her wedding planner, Ingram.
“Because we’ve done so many tent weddings and tent draping because you’re trying to transform the space, so the draping materials (are) almost all gone, I can barely find (white) anywhere , so it was difficult. Then if it’s in stock, it has a reorder date for when it won’t be ready, so I’m scrambling to be innovative and creative, ”Ingram said.
However, finding a setting and rebuilding the wedding venue wasn’t the hardest thing for Victoria and her fiance. “My dad won’t be there, every little girl wants her dad to walk them down the aisle the fact that COVID took her and with all the restrictions at that time we couldn’t even say goodbye, for it’s the hardest thing that I have to go down without him, ”said Finklea.
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