Coronavirus outbreak forces wedding industry and engaged couples to get creative

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- "The coronavirus has been devastating to the wedding industry," said Alan Katz, Presiding Officiant at the Cute Little Wedding Chapel in Long Beach.

Katz has had to reschedule almost every wedding over the next two months. He said he's been forced to furlough the majority of his staff because there are simply not enough weddings.

"The county clerk is closed and we can't get any marriage licenses to issue couples," he said.

Katz understands the disappointment that couples are facing.

"It's a big challenge; not just the monetary, but the emotional challenge," he said. "They dreamed that their wedding was going to be a on a date and now they have to be rescheduled to a different date."

Jessica Richens and Ryan Fleming understand all too well.

"We had the 28th of this month on the books with our venue and we've been looking forward to it," said Fleming.

The Newport Beach couple made the last-minute decision to reschedule their March 28th wedding in Escondido to a different date in October.

"Right now, everyone has been understanding," they said. "Venue, Airbnb, DJ, photo; everyone in the wake of this coronavirus is very understanding."

24 Carrots Catering and Events in Costa Mesa has found a silver living amidst the pandemic.

"We have access to great purveyors and great food sources that our community doesn't and our promise to everyone in our community and our clients is that we are going to feed them exceptional food," said Carizza Villa, Director
of Marketing at 24 Carrots Catering and Events. "The coronavirus outbreak hasn't affected that, but it just looks a little bit different."

Since events are being canceled and postponed across the Southland, 24 Carrots Catering and Events is now offering meals for families of four or more.

"We are trying to feed the community and keep our people working," said founder Norm Bennett.

The Orange County business is offering its Family Meal through home delivery to local customers and will call pickup. 24 Carrots Catering and Events is also providing pantry staples like meat, dairy, eggs, flour, and toilet paper for delivery and curbside pickup.

As for the couple from Newport Beach, positivity is key.

"At the end of the day, it's just a day to celebrate with people and if it happens next week or in 7 months, its totally fine," said Richens. "Love isn't canceled."

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