NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – While new large gathering restrictions take effect nationally, North Texas couples are rescheduling their nuptials and worrying local wedding businesses.
Monday, President Donald Trump issued new, stricter guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19 including avoiding gatherings of 10 or more people.
Tracey Swindle, an ER nurse, and her fiancé Michael Holburn planned to tie the knot as nearly 100 guests looked on in early April. Now the duo is planning for a date in September.
“We all hold a social responsibility for ourselves and each other. I would feel absolutely awful if some friends or family members got sick attending my wedding,” said Swindle.
Their story is not unique. Hundreds of people in Dallas-Fort Worth are now members of the “COVID-19 Weddings Postponed or Canceled” group on Facebook. Jodi Washington started the page Sunday night. Monday, the group already had several hundred members.
“The majority of brides that are worried about canceling their wedding, it’s not because ‘I’ve been waiting for this day my whole life.’ It’s more of – ‘I’m about to lose $20,000.’”
Washington runs a destination wedding photography and videography company. She previously managed an event venue and understands how stressful the COVID-19 pandemic is on both couples and wedding businesses.
“Nobody wants to lose the money. Nobody wants to disappoint the brides. Nobody wants to lose the business,” said Washington. She encourages businesses to work together to find solutions for their couples.
Several wedding businesses in North Texas tell CBS 11 News, couples should expect higher demand for later dates due to the ripple effect from people postponing.
Most vendors and venues have legally binding contracts with their clients about postponing or canceling within a certain time frame. Some couples may not get their money back.
“We don’t want to be the bad guy to say we’re not refunding your money. We all need to be sensitive to each other, brides and vendors,” said Washington. “At the end of the day, a contract is a contract.”