Couples scramble to adjust weddings following governor’s order

Posted at 5:16 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 20:45:43-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Couples and wedding vendors alike are scrambling to adjust plans following an order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer canceling all events of 50 or more people.

Brandi Head has been dreaming up her wedding day since she was a kid. She and her fiancé Chad have been working for the last year and three months to make their big day happen just as she dreamed it.

And then the order came down from Whitmer, barring most gatherings in the state for the next two weeks.

“I’m marrying Chad, we're going to have a day. It might not be the day we dreamed up, but we're still going to have a day,” Head told FOX 17 Tuesday.

The young couple made the call Monday to start adjusting plans for their April 4 wedding.

“So we spent some time last night and found an Airbnb that we're thinking about renting out. But now it's a matter of getting in touch with our photographers or videographers, our caterers,” she said.

They plan to move forward with their April date, adjusting things where necessary. They are considering streaming the nuptials over social media for those who can’t attend in person.

While brides and grooms work around the clock adjusting plans, wedding vendors are also finding their business at risk.

Alyssa Wagner, who runs Alyssa & Drew Photography with her husband, told FOX 17 they started reaching out to clients last week who could potentially be affected by concerns over COVID-19. So far, two of their clients have had to reschedule their wedding day.

“I’ve never had a spring entirely clear of weddings. It is very weird to now look at my schedule after this last week and not have a single wedding until May 16 at this point,” Wagner said.

She has decided to waive fees for her clients that usually go along with rescheduling dates.

Wagner said that while her clients’ big days are at the forefront of her mind, she is also considering how they would cope with her or husband getting sick.

“Thankfully we have a pretty solid community of photographers that have stepped in and said, here are the dates I am free and we can step in for each other as need be,” she said.

She reminds couples that wedding venues and vendors are often used to accommodating unforeseen circumstances. She recommends reaching out as soon as possible to see how they can work with you in this difficult time.

Despite everything, couples and vendors alike that we spoke to remain optimistic.

“It’s definitely a bummer. But I'm, you know, I'm 32 years old. I've been planning this day since I was a little girl,” Head said.

“But at the same day, I’m walking out with a husband. I just got to keep reminding myself we're having a wedding for a marriage. We're not having a marriage for a wedding.”