Coronavirus is canceling my livelihood: Wedding organizers try to stay positive

Industry blindsided by economic shutdown
Posted at 9:51 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 01:01:02-04

DENVER -- In a matter of days, the novel coronavirus has upended life as we once knew it, and those who work in the events and weddings space are also feeling the pinch.

“Plans are changing by the minute,” said Courtney Hayes-Jurcheck, owner of The Day Of Weddings.

In the world of wedding planning, there are always ups and downs, but nothing like the past six days for Hayes-Jurcheck.

"It's been a little bit of a ghost town the last week,” she said. “In terms of phone calls, e-mail inquiries - we usually get about two-to-three a day."

She and her partner haven't had a single call since last Tuesday, yet Hayes-Jurcheck is still keeping an optimistic outlook.

“I founded my company on positivity and being a positive ring leader," she said. "The thing that I love is that because we are all in this together, it feels like the community is working together to say - of course, no matter what we need, we're going to work together on this."

With the CDC's latest guidelines discouraging all events of more than 50 people, and the Trump administration advising people to gather in groups of 10 or less, the weddings and events industry is under tremendous stress right now.

"There's just a lot of nervousness,” said Christopher James, owner of Insight Media Productions. James has a half-dozen weddings in April.

"It is a little concerning,” James said. “People are probably being a little bit more cautious with their spending."

But James is also optimistic.

“For my business, most of my weddings - I'm not too sure I'm worried about right now because most are in June, July, August and September."

His side gig is driving for Lyft.

"I am doubling down in as much work as possible," James said.

And he, like Hayes-Jurcheck, is trying to stay positive.

"My personal take is, I know what I signed up for,” James said. “So, the type of work that I do - it has these pitfalls. The aspect of you are your own boss, and all that stuff, but that comes with a heavy price."

For Hayes-Jurcheck, this bizarre new reality comes with a great deal of responsibility to be kind and good to one another.

“I'm hoping once we get through this we're going to realize the value of in person connections and events," Hayes-Jurcheck said. “I really believe that the only way to heal our world is to continue to celebrate love. Marvel in the amazingness that we've found one person we want to spend the rest of our lives with."