Winnipeg’s wedding industry feeling impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many couple to pull the plug on their 2020 wedding plans and postpone the "I do's" until next year, and its taking a toll on multiple businesses in the industry. . Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many couples to pull the plug on their 2020 wedding plans, and it’s taking a toll on multiple businesses in the industry.

Currently, the province has restricted public gatherings to no more than 25 people for indoor gatherings and no more than 50 people for outdoor gatherings.

While that could change when the province unveils Phase 3 of its reopening plan at the end of June, it makes if difficult for couples to plan and many are just opting to postpone.

“I had 22 weddings in the calendar this year, and due to COVID we have moved 80 per cent of those weddings to 2021,” Allison Polinsky, owner of Alli Mae Events, told Global News.

“And the weddings that remain, we are creating plans b, c, and d and we’re having to re-evaluate those plans every week as phases are introduced and different things open up.”

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Polinsky says next year will be a year in high demand for couples looking to get hitched, as 2020 and 2021 weddings will now be competing for the same dates.

“We’re seeing a pretty full calendar for 2021,” she said. “Normally I reach capacity for next year at the end of September every year.

“I sell out by early fall, and this year I’m just about at capacity now and will be closing bookings for 2021 in the next few weeks.”

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg entertainment industry takes big blow due to COVID-19'
Winnipeg entertainment industry takes big blow due to COVID-19

Ray Louie, the general manager and co-owner of The Gates on Roblin, says his businesses are taking a major financial hit from this wedding season.

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“It’s pretty much a disaster by every definition. There’s no good part of this and I don’t believe any business could claim that this is good for their business,” Louie said.

“There won’t be a bottom line. Everyone I’ve talked to in our industry, this will be a year where we have catastrophic losses.”

Louie said they’re making sure to follow all the guidelines and re-book as many clients as possible. He also says they are seeing some business this season for couples who were initially planning small destination weddings, but can no longer travel to the location.

Many other businesses are impacted, including caterers, photographers, hairstylists, and makeup artists.

“I think our first wedding right now is at the end of August, [normally] it’s our busiest time of the year, we prepare for this all year around,” BeYOUtee Bar makeup artist Tayler Peterson-Perrin said.

“It’s been a lot to deal with.”

She also said many of their clients are rescheduling for next year, but the lack of weddings in 2020 is preventing some makeup artists from returning to work.

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“Our clients have been pretty loyal and understanding and many of them have rescheduled for next year,” she added. “So we know next year will be a busy year,”

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