‘You can’t work with Covid’: Marriage industry grapples with restrictions and wants government leadership
Olivia Bauso / Unsplash
Couples are pushing weddings for weeks, months or even until 2022 due to Covid alert level restrictions, according to the Waikato sites (file photo).
Covid has struck in the midst of wedding season, with alert level announcements making or destroying plans for many.
Couples want answers those in the marriage industry can’t, and the industry is waiting for more direction from the government.
Currently, level 3 weddings in Waikato and Auckland can accommodate up to 10 guests, while Alert Level 2 areas can accommodate 100 guests outdoors and 50 indoors.
Narrows Landing, south of Hamilton, typically hosts around 30 weddings between September and the end of April.
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But the venue has not been able to accommodate any so far, owner Bernard Gittings said.
âWe had a few cancellations, two or three postponements. Initially, we try to work with the client and carry them over to the new year.
In a discussion with Roxie Mohebbi for Stuff’s Whole Truth Project, immunologist Dr Maia Brewerton explains why it is so important for pregnant women to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
âWe don’t have too many answers for people. They expect answers from us, but we expect answers. “
This week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that the government would set a vaccine target on Friday which, if met, would see restrictions relaxed.
Gittings are keen to be led and hope vaccination rates will allow weddings to take place from December.
“It’s like that. There’s nothing you can do about it, just try to be positive every day – which we are.”
Covid has hit much earlier this wedding season, said Woodlands Estate events coordinator Estelle Payton.
âLast season it hit us at the end, and everything went well. This season is almost at the beginning, in the middle, and it is dragging on.
âI now have conversations after every announcement with a couple who ask me what we’re doing, and it’s so difficult.
“We’re just trying to get everyone on board as the announcements are made – whether we delay them for a week, a month, some of them are pushed back until March / April of l ‘next year.”
Payton knows the planning effort and just wants to see people get married.
Gail Jones, the owner of Gails of Tamahere, has suffered three cancellations in the past two weeks and is down from around 10 to 15 weddings in total.
âYou can’t work with Covid, it’s really tough,â Jones said.
It’s frustrating, but all she can do is get out of it.
“[Couples] reserve [for next year] but people are afraid. People honestly don’t know what to do. A lot of them are waiting, thinking we’ll try again in a few months and see how it’s settled. ”
“I lost them to the right, to the left and to the center and there is nothing I can do about it, because I don’t want to take the risk more than them, it’s not easy.”
Awamutu-based professional makeup artist Lee Smith has had a ton of wedding cancellations due to the uncertainty.
“I still have a few people who are clinging to the skin of their teeth, hoping we’ll be in a better position, but even they say it doesn’t look good, and I’m like, to okay, let’s wait and see come closer.I really feel for them.
Smith also imports bridal wear from Los Angeles and said that was badly affected as well.
âI’m lucky to have a working husband, but my business is all but destroyed. I still have hope that it will go well.