VB event planner feels effects of coronavirus; says it could be a year before business returns to normal

Business

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Cosie Crosswhite is the master wedding planner for 1 Elegant Event and Wedding Planning in Virginia Beach.

Many of her clients are here in Hampton Roads, but she also does destination weddings and others across the country.

Things were going great — until the coronavirus hit.

“The past couple of months has been wild. It’s been such a roller coaster. We’ve had to reschedule a lot of events, we’ve had a lot of events canceled, and we’ve had to help girls downsize events,” said Crosswhite.

She says the biggest issue comes with rescheduling a venue and hoping that a new date is available. Many clients are losing money as not all venues are giving full refunds for cancellations.

Some brides are now trying to plan as far out as 2022, just to be safe.

“We’ve lost a ton of money, a lot of things. We have clients on pay schedules they’re not paying, not because they don’t want to, but because they’re not employed. They’re not getting a check so they can’t pay us if they’re not getting one,” she stated.

She says it’s not just the event planners; the photographers, venues, and caterers are losing a ton of money right now too.

Especially with the holiday weekend ahead, Crosswhite says she normally has at least one wedding, birthday parties, and family reunions to set up.

“This weekend we have nothing. I don’t have anything honestly because you can’t have anything, and it’s kind of strange, for the past 15 years Memorial Day weekend has been just mayhem,” Crosswhite explained.

She says it’s a snow ball of money lost and there’s no telling when things could get back to normal.

“Even if [Gov. Ralph Northam] said we are able to go back to doing events in like July of 100 or 200 people, do you know when you send out the invites and tell people to come who’s really going to come?” Crosswhite said.

Crosswhite anticipates things will take at least most of next year to get back to how it was.
She also says many of the event planners work with the festivals in the area, which are now canceled.


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