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Coronavirus health restrictions cause wave of SLO Co. weddings to postpone

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Posted at 11:36 AM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 09:46:26-04

When it comes to a wedding, the bride and groom dream of a picture perfect exchange of vows but the rapid spread of the coronavirus is forcing couples to cancel weddings scheduled across the Central Coast.

According to a wedding planner, DJ, and venue host who talked with KSBY about the issue, reservations have been canceled rapidly over the past week.

Coronavirus health restrictions causes wave of SLO Co. weddings to postpone

San Luis Obispo wedding planner Amanda Holder spends months making sure her clients' special moment is just right.

"The idea that you're such a crucial part of one of the most important days of someone's life, that's a really unique and special opportunity," said Holder, owner of Amanda Holder Events.

Holder's phone has been ringing off the hook these past few days but not with new business. She's receiving calls about canceled plans.

"We've got about 12 weddings in the next three months that are all on the chopping block," Holder said.

That threat is the coronavirus, a highly contagious respiratory infection prompting President Donald Trump to call for an end to events with more than 50 people.

This time of year, the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo is typically booked out for months with weddings.

But as new cases are diagnosed around the globe, couples are forced to put their dream day on hold.

Epic Entertainment Owner Anthony Salas said he's received 20 cancellations for his DJ service in the last week alone.

"Of the 50 events we had cancel, five are weddings," said Madonna Inn Marketing Manager Amanda Rich.

Rich said a number of different types of events have been canceled as a result of the restrictions ordered by local and national governments.

Though Rich advises couples to call and consult with staff about information related to postponing or canceling the original wedding date, Rich encourages couples to still celebrate that special day in a more private way.

"If someone wants to get a cake to go, you can still celebrate the occasion from the comfort of your own house," Rich suggested.

For couples, the effect of these restrictions is upsetting, but for those in the wedding industry, it's costly.

"One wedding might have 12 different vendors," Holder said. "Those are for the most part locally owned businesses."

"Everyone's in the same situation so we're all dealing with this the best way we can," Rich said.

"We've definitely come together as a community to make sure we're all taking care of each other and can have a viable industry once we get to the other end of this," Salas said.

According to Rich, Holder, and Salas, most weekends throughout the remainder of 2020 and even 2021 are already booked with other weddings. So instead of trying to reschedule for another weekend in the next year, they recommend affected couples consider a Friday or weekday wedding once the virus is suppressed.

Credit: Wedding video clips provided by Fox Jump Cinematics