Weddings return with sigh of relief

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Local celebrant Anna Cameron.
Camera IconLocal celebrant Anna Cameron.

The wedding industry and engaged couples across the Great Southern are breathing a sigh of relief as big gatherings and weddings get the green light to resume.

The region is a growing wedding hotspot, with several venues putting it on the map as a destination to tie the knot.

But over the past few months, these venues have been faced with the tough choice of whether or not to continue with wedding plans.

Local wedding celebrant Anna Cameron said COVID-19 restrictions had taken a toll on the industry and couples.

The uncertainty about when restrictions would ease had been difficult to deal with.

“There’s also a lot of time, energy, planning and consideration that brings a wedding to life, not to mention a significant financial investment,” she said.

“For my couples who have been affected, it’s been an understandably difficult time for them and I admire the grace in which they’ve handled it all.”

“As a vendor, our first priority is our clients and so at the beginning of this all of our energies went into supporting our couples through their difficult decision making processes, and assisting where we were able to with the sense of grief that was experienced by many.”

“After this initial period, we then had the space to realise what it meant for us and our small business.

“Financially, and the momentum and growth being on hold for an unknown quantity of time.

“We literally had no clue as to when restrictions would begin to be eased and thus when we could re-commence our wedding bookings.”

Ms Cameron said her couples that were booked for September to December had been holding on to hope that the restrictions would relax in time for their wedding.

“I know there were some serious celebrations when they heard the announcement of phase three roll-out,” she said. “My couples have opted for a range of options through this restricted time. Some have postponed to a later date, some cancelled their big wedding and eloped with guest numbers within the restriction allowances, and lastly I have several couples who have chosen to get married on their original date, with only their witnesses present.

“They plan to have the celebration they’d been dreaming of at a later date in 2021.”

“There were some expected challenges of facilitating new dates with couples already booked in some 12-18 months in advance, there are limited Saturday’s in a year.

“Wedding vendors are thrilled to be back in business, working with our couples towards their dream day.”

She even had one couple who was booked to be married this Saturday, which they now could have, but had already made the call to reschedule for 12 months’ time to be safe.

She said the future is looking very busy for those in the wedding industry with multiple rescheduling of events, and that more couples have leant towards a weekday wedding to make their day happen.

There is still worry for some couples as to when interstate guests will be able to attend a wedding in the region.

She said it has been a humbling time to work in the wedding industry.

“It’s been impressive witnessing people innovate during this time within their specialty.”

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