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Wedding industry impacted in different ways by pandemic

Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 5:57 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Across the board, COVID-19 has had a big impact on business. Within the wedding industry, COVID-19 has affected different businesses in different ways.

For Blush Bridal Boutique in Lincoln, 2020 was their best year since opening in 2012. Like many businesses, Blush Bridal decided to close at the beginning of the pandemic.

“We made the tough decision to close for six weeks,” said Shannon Wiebe, the store manager. “But that doesn’t mean we weren’t doing anything.”

While many aspects of the wedding industry were put on hold, dress shopping continued.

“We did virtual appointments,” said Wiebe.

Initially, there were some delays on shipped orders, but eventually, things got back closer to normal. The business spent a stimulus package trying to expand inventory.

“We put it toward bringing in the new designer specifically plus-sized collection,” said Wiebe.

But, on the venue side of the wedding industry, owners weren’t so lucky. While some events were pushed back to 2021, there was still a significant amount of loss to deal with, too. Joel Schossow, the owner of several banquet halls in Lincoln, like Park Center, said he did about 30% of regular business in 2020, and is now up to about 75%.

“For weddings, it’s been pretty tough,” said Schossow. “Fifteen percent just completely canceled. I gave them their refund, they got married in their backyard and we went our separate ways.”

Schossow said limited capacity and mask mandates have even pushed some events out of the county.

“The rest of the state is wide open,” said Schossow. “There have been events I’ve had on the books that have moved out of Lancaster County so they wouldn’t have to adhere to the exact same DHMs that we have here.”

Schossow said he expects the wedding industry to rebound by 2022.

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