Coronavirus and the Wedding Industry
Some couples are cautiously moving ahead, while others are forced to delay their ‘I do’s’ for now.
JoAnn Gregoli, a 30-year veteran of wedding and event planning, has advice for couples with weddings on the horizon: don’t cancel because of the coronavirus, but instead, postpone.
“I’ve gone through the swine flu in Mexico, I’ve gone through the avian flu — this is uncharted waters,” Ms. Gregoli said.
With worldwide cases now surpassing 100,000, the New York-based planner has seen the panic begin to set in for wedding industry professionals whose businesses rely on dresses manufactured in China, or flights to destination ceremonies and honeymoons, or even organizing large groups of people.
First there was the groom who called Ms. Gregoli in secret so as not to disturb the bride because, as it turns out, wedding insurance doesn’t cover global pandemics. Then there were the gowns delayed indefinitely. Then the 200-person conference in Milan that had 100, then 50, then 20 attendees before she finally pulled the plug.
Ms. Gregoli said couples who postpone may lose their deposits, but they will lose everything if they cancel. She advised buying dresses off the rack and not to bother with wedding insurance since most policies cover only illnesses afflicting the bride and groom or their immediate family.
When it comes to wedding dresses, “easily 80 percent of the world’s supply comes out of China,” said Steve Lang, the president of American Bridal and Prom Industry Association, a trade organization, and the chief executive of Mon Cheri Bridal. But he said many factories located elsewhere, like in Vietnam and Myanmar, also rely on Chinese fabrics and materials, making the total number of dresses sourced in the country “probably much higher.”
As coronavirus shakes stock markets globally, depth of inventory has become a key factor in a retailer’s ability to ride out the storm. Mr. Lang said Mon Cheri Bridal has “had to substitute a couple of dresses” but their factories are up and running. Small bridal boutiques and online retailers, which keep few dresses on hand, have been hit the hardest by production and shipping delays.
Most of online retailer Azazie’s wedding and bridesmaid dresses are made in China, where coronavirus has hit the hardest. They’ve seen production and shipping delays of up to three weeks, according to Ranu Coleman, the brand’s chief marketing officer.
The company has helped “a few hundred customers” who ordered dresses in January and February, but might not receive their dresses in time, find alternatives, said Azazie’s support team through a publicist. These alternatives primarily include dresses from their ready-to-ship, special occasion and wedding expo inventories. In a few instances, they have given refunds.http://puntomagazine.net/coronavirus-and-the-wedding-industry/Noticias de Fotografiasource: New York Times Some couples are cautiously moving ahead, while others are forced to delay their ‘I do’s’ for now. JoAnn Gregoli, a 30-year veteran of wedding and event planning, has advice for couples with weddings on the horizon: don’t cancel because of the coronavirus, but instead, postpone. “I’ve gone through the...Punto Magazine firstname.lastname@example.orgEditorPunto Magazine