Weddings not worth the risk, says prominent planner
A WEDDING planner and stylist begs brides and grooms-to-be not to risk lives for their special day as the Australian Government introduces a five-person cap on weddings.
Owner of Cloud Nine and the Sunshine Coast Bridal Showcase, Julie-Ann Brown, said she had spent three days postponing and cancelling all 65 weddings on her books.
Despite the blow to her business, Ms Brown “100 per cent backed” the tight restrictions as necessary given weddings posed a high risk of spreading the coronavirus.
Ms Brown said she was relieved none of her clients had opted to go ahead with their wedding under the restrictions, which only allow for the couple, their witnesses and the celebrant to be present, but said she was aware of others in the industry trying to find ways around this.
“Is it really worth risking your life? I don’t see that the risk is worth it,” she said.
Ms Brown said before the strict social distancing laws were introduced midnight Wednesday, there had already been a number of “near misses” as international and interstate visitors flocked to the Sunshine Coast.
“In one case a couple of Australians had flown in from New York. Luckily the wedding was cancelled, because a few days later they tested positive,” she said. “If they had gone to the wedding, they would have infected people.”
Yesterday, Ms Brown closed her Warana office indefinitely.
Though she was disappointed to let go of her permanent office staff and 12 casuals, Ms Brown said after 21 years in business and surviving the global financial crisis, she was confident Cloud 9 would bounce back, but expected smaller operations may not survive.
Ms Brown expected to suffer a short-term loss for as long as the restrictions were in place, and for a “second wave” to hit next year as people tried to recover from job losses and economic uncertainty.
She said for now, the bridal showcase was on hold, but would play a “major role” in helping the industry recover, and restoring trust and confidence in brides and grooms.
Ms Brown said the Sunshine Coast had a large and diverse wedding industry which would be affected, including photographers, accommodation providers, beauty therapists, bridal gown makers, catering, cake makers, entertainers, florists, stylists, babysitters and children’s entertainment to name a few.