Local wedding industry looking to bounce back in 2021
Hundreds showed up on Saturday for Jaycees QC Bridal Expo Saturday
DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - “I don’t know that we’re the exact first expo that’s happened since the pandemic but we are one of the largest and first to come back and we feel like we did it safely,” said Jaycees Bridal Expo Co-chair Joan Kranovich.
This year’s QC Bridal Expo comes at a critical time this year as the wedding industry looks to bounce back after a tough 2020.
“It’s been tough I mean it’s been a tough year for any events, of course the events industry, the wedding industry, tourism in general,” Kranovich said, “We probably have had about a third of our vendors in previous years either gone out of business or just are struggling to keep up so it’s been really tough, it’s one of the hardest-hit industries, brides and grooms, I just feel so bad.”
Jaycees originally thought of doing the expo virtually but felt the general public knows how to handle large events in the pandemic.
“We’ve considered possibly doing something virtual with the expo but we just felt it’s the time to be in person, our vendors have been hurting so bad, it’s at a point in the pandemic where everyone knows they need to wear a mask, they need to wash their hands, they need to do all the protocols that are needed,” Kranovich said.
AAA Rentals Manager David Hawk agreed with doing things in person.
“For businesses like us and lot of these other ones it helps a lot, there’s only so much you can do over a zoom meeting, brides want to sit in the chairs, they want to touch the linens, see what they’re getting,” he said.
Even with 2020 being a challenge for his company, Hawk said he feels confident in the way events can be executed in the pandemic.
“We got an idea of what’s going on, we know how it could be a little more safe with hand sanitizer stations and temperature checking and stuff like that, we can do safe events now where nobody didn’t just really have any great guidelines in the beginning,” he said.
Those who attended the expo are hoping for a COVID-free wedding though, like Morgan Teel, whose getting married in early August.
“Obviously there’s been some hiccups (in wedding planning) and if this happens, what’s the plan B for it but I feel like all of our vendors have done a really good job for if COVID is still a thing, I’m getting married in August so hopefully fingers crossed it’s not,” Teel said.
Vendors like Crystal Gray who have been in the bridal business for over 30 years are optimistic with a more normal return in the Summer and Fall due to the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The vaccine and things like that I’m hoping that it will open up a little bit more, and not only that, not only just the vaccine but I feel like the more people that get it, we’re going to be through that hurdle so I’m hopeful,” Gray said.
For now, people like Teel are enjoying the fun of planning before getting too worried about the future.
“It is so much fun and it’s just so cool to see all these different vendors and I don’t know, be around people, you’re not always around people these days,” she said, “Just hoping that things do get settled down and everything goes smoothly, just everything is going smoothly, finding vendors that we need and everything’s just been falling into place really well.”
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