13 Investigates


Las Vegas wedding industry takes massive hit amid coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 7:50 AM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 10:50:37-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Where is the love?

The wedding industry is one of the biggest moneymakers in Las Vegas, and 2020 was supposed to be a banner year. Then, along comes the coronavirus.

"We basically decided to renew our vows here in Las Vegas because, at the time, we didn’t have the proper wedding with the white dress," said Patrick. He and his bride, Maria, were planning to be married by Elvis on their 25th wedding anniversary.

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But the wedding chapel is closed, and Elvis has left the building.

Instead, the couple is settling for pictures in their rental outfits.

"The owner, Veronica, helped us out," said Maria. "The store is already closed...but just put on the dress and take some pictures, at least to have a memory."

It's a lovers letdown for the couple, and it's even tougher on Creative Bridal Wear.

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"We had a ton of fittings this month. Usually February, March and April are our busiest months," said Veronica Markowsky, owner of Creative Bridal Wear.

"They’re the months that carry us through," she added.

Markowsky hates hearing the phone ring lately, she says. It's usually because of a cancellation. She says her business has had nearly 300 this month alone.

"We’ve had a lot of tears over the past couple days. It’s really hard," said Markowsky. "It’s hard hearing our brides call us and they’re sending out an SOS. I don’t know what to do yet."

Even couples who already tied the knot are running into issues. They can't get their marriage licenses filed because the Clark County Marriage License Bureau is closed.

For Creative Bridal, it means painful cuts.

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"As of right now we had to lay our employees off. Not indefinitely. Just until we figure out what’s going on," said Markowsky.

Markowsky says all she can do now is hope wedding bells will soon be ringing again.

"When we open up, hopefully after 30 days, we can open up and go headfirst into an amazing year," said Markowsky.

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