The COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on weddings across the nation, and Charleston - known for its robust wedding industry - has been particularly hard hit. Local photographer Tori Buck recently told Business Insider that she had dealt with a plethora of cancellations from her wedding clients, stating, “I personally have website, design, and logo work to fall back on, but many don't.” Other professionals have echoed this view, including Beth LeonGuerro of The Charleston Wedding Studio. LeonGuerro told CHSToday that she was confident that the industry would recover, but stated that there would definitely be repercussions for a little over a year. Many current weddings, she said, were being rescheduled to as far ahead as summer 2021.
If you had a wedding lined up for this summer or the fall/winter 2020-2021, you may be wondering if you want to reschedule. As said by Beth LeonGuerro, some couples are choosing to go ahead with their plans, opting for smaller, more intimate gatherings. Deciding to forge ahead can be beneficial for two reasons: firstly, smaller weddings cost less. This is highly relevant at a time in which nearly 150,000 South Carolinians filed for unemployment benefits in the two-week period covering the end of March and beginning of April. The second reason to avoid a wedding cancellation during COVID-19 is seasonality. You may have decided on a theme and spent on clothing and accessories that will not be suitable for another month. You may feel that waiting a full year will wrest from the beauty of immediacy and the moment you had already set your heart on. Ultimately, it depends on how important a big wedding is to you.
If you have planned an international wedding and you have had to cancel because of airport and flight restrictions and you are a Charleston local, then you are lucky, for as mentioned, this area is considered a prized choice for those seeking a sophisticated, beautiful wedding. Opting to get married in Charleston may mean that beloved friends and family from abroad cannot attend, but know that there are many ways around this. Some couples, for instance, hold more than one wedding - a civil then a church wedding, for instance, or two ceremonies and receptions in different countries. If you have a large enough budget to hold two smaller celebrations in different locations instead of one larger one, then this can only be good news, as you will get to celebrate your love before everyone who means something to you.
When you talk to your Charleston wedding planner, you will find that they are very savvy on ways to maintain social distance and hygiene measures during the wedding and reception. One way to reduce the risk of infection is to hold an outdoor garden reception, with tables placed at the correct distance from each other. Also big in the restaurant game (if you opt for indoor dining) are methacrylate separators. These are light and can easily be placed between tables. Finally, opting for professional cleaning using techniques such as ozone treatment can really put your and your guests’ minds at ease. These separators are also great for protecting the DJ, who will be playing tunes that will have your guests on their feet all night.
The current global health crisis has put a dent in many Charleston industries - including the wedding planning and catering sectors. Business owners have noticed a high cancellation rate this year, but those who don’t wish to cancel have many options. These include opting for a safe local wedding in a setting that is specifically catered to offering the best safety standards available.