Business for Manitoba wedding DJs, photographers at ‘complete standstill’

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 impact on wedding industry' COVID-19 impact on wedding industry
Weddings have been cancelled left and right following new restrictions implemented last week, forcing those involved in the industry to change the way they offer their services – Oct 6, 2020

It’s been a rough summer for the wedding industry, with waves of cancellations and postponements expected to continue well into the new year.

The latest hit to the industry came when the provincial government implemented a 10-person indoor and outdoor capacity limit for the Winnipeg area last week.

Read more: Metro Winnipeg area moving to level Orange restrictions Monday; masks to be mandatory

Aside from the hundreds of Manitoba couples who’ve had their special days postponed, those providing services within the industry, like DJs, limousine drivers and photographers, have taken a blow during the coronavirus pandemic.

“For the most part, couples have adjusted from 200 (people), and sometimes I’m even a witness photographing the event,” veteran Winnipeg wedding photographer Curtis Moore said of the 10-person wedding capacity limit.

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Wedding photographer Curtis Moore, the owner of Moore Photography. Marek Tkach / Global News

The owner of Moore photography says aside from some small ceremonies here and there, business has dried up for many in the industry.

“Definitely, I’ve pivoted my business from all weddings all the time, only weddings, to a lot of family photos and then I plan on doing some commercial work throughout the winter to kind of get through,” Moore said.

“I expect next year to be really busy with all the postponements and new weddings happening.”

Read more: Winnipeg wedding industry ‘devastated’ by Monday’s new restrictions

With capacity limits in and around the city expected to remain at 10 for at least another three weeks, photographers aren’t the only ones biting the bullet.

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“During COVID of course, the DJ end of the business has pretty much come to a complete standstill,” says Barry Kay, a DJ at his own company, Cherry Tree Productions.

Barry Kay, the owner of Cherry Tree Productions. Marek Tkach / Global News

Kay has been DJing weddings and events for the past 30 years and for the first time in his career, he spent his summer livestreaming weddings.

“People can still have their wedding ceremonies, do their speeches and first dance and we’re able to broadcast that to their family and friends that are watching safely at home.”

Read more: Couple ‘pull off the unimaginable,’ move wedding to next day due to Manitoba COVID-19 restrictions

Even with the new addition to his production company, Kay says revenue is way down.

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“It’s definitely is not an area that’s going to carry us. We definitely have to get back to live events and have people coming together for larger gatherings,” he said.

With what looks to be a slow ending to the year for Manitoba’s wedding industry, those involved in the business expect things to heat up next year.

“We expect 2021 to be busy because you’re making up for a lot of the dates that we didn’t get this year, so lots of double weekends, triple weekends, weeks even, because there’s so many venues offering Wednesday, Thursday, Friday dates now,” said Raydan Zacharias, lead planner and owner of Devine Wedding and Events.

Click to play video: 'Drive-thru weddings in Winnipeg area' Drive-thru weddings in Winnipeg area
Drive-thru weddings in Winnipeg area – Sep 15, 2020

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