UTAH COUNTY (ABC4 News) – When I got engaged to my now fiancé, Brian, I was excited to jump into the once-in-a-lifetime experience of planning a wedding. Little did we know that all the hours of planning and creating our dream wedding would soon be in vain because of the coronavirus outbreak. Finding a venue, choosing a caterer, finding ties and dresses for our bridal party, flowers, the honeymoon…all planned but now all cancelled.

To say that I was sad about all of our plans being cancelled would be an understatement. But, at the end of the day I’ll be fine, Brian and I still get to get married on our chosen date (just with our parents and the officiator there).

Savanna Richardson; Clarity Lane Photography

But then I think of the caterer, the venue owner, the florist and others that lost our business and the business of hundreds of other brides because large weddings and receptions can longer be held, they are the ones experiencing loss that can never be recovered, not me.

“It is not very fun….All of our business has been wiped out. Everything. Everything. It is a really hard time,” says an owner of a popular Utah County catering business who has asked to not be named.

The caterer says that their business has never taken this big of a financial hit, “We didn’t even have a decrease during ’08-’09 recession. But we will probably be down 60 to 75 percent this year.”

While many companies have been able to adapt and still generate some sort of revenue, many businesses that appeal to weddings aren’t able to adapt at this time because their whole business is centered around large group events.

“Within a matter of ten days, we had a two-million dollar loss in sales,” says the catering business owner. “We have laid off 95 percent of our employees.”

But the popular Utah County caterer says that they are among some of the lucky ones in the wedding business right now, “I feel grateful that we are debt free and have savings and that we can weather this storm but there are many, many companies that cannot weather this storm.”

As for brides like me along with wedding vendors, one thing that we have in common is this: not knowing when things will return to normal and when we can celebrate our wedding with all of our friends and family.

“It is terrible….People are going to be very afraid for a very long time,” says the business owner in regards to people returning to large group events.

As for Brian and I, we are looking forward to getting married later this month, but I feel for the wedding centered businesses who don’t know how or when they will be able to start recovering from the losses caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

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