LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — What's more romantic than a Valentine's Day wedding? But in the age of a pandemic, even Cupid's taking a hit.
That's bad news for the Las Vegas wedding industry. 13 Action News anchor Tricia Kean spoke with some in the business, who say there are finally some glimmers of hope.
LOST 75% OF BUSINESS
"We were on schedule to do an epic 2020 and it was a complete disaster for us," says Creative Bridal co-owner, Kelly Bain.
She can't put a creative spin on 2020. Her rental gown and tux shop has lost more than 75% of its business. 2021 needs to be a bounce back!
"As far as the wedding industry, it isn't really back on its feet yet. But it's gaining momentum," says co-owner Veronica Markowsky.
She says love is slowly taking bloom. Valentine's Day is generating the most business they've seen in months. Even if it's not much.
COMING FROM OUT OF STATE
In February 2020, Creative Bridal did 300 weddings. This February they have about 50.
"Most of them are from out of state. They come in from California, Arizona, a lot of people from Texas. They're still coming from other states to get married here," says Kelly.
FEEL MORE THAN SAFE
Couples like the Swensons from Minnesota, who feel everything possible is being done to protect visitors.
"We're both Vegas people... machines are shut down. Every other machine. They're doing a great job in that respect. I think we feel more than safe," says Joshua Swenson.
SMALLER WEDDING PARTIES
"Definitely there's been a drop in our busyness and also in our group sizes. I think that's where we're feeling it the most," says Jose Alonzo with the Chapel of the Flowers on Las Vegas Boulevard.
He says wedding parties are definitely smaller, as a safety precaution. Weddings are also coming together much faster.
"The business has shifted from planning for about 6 to 8 months, to doing it all within weeks, because people don't know what's going to happen with the pandemic. People aren't wanting to plan out many months in advance," says Jose.
LOST INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
Chapel of the Flowers will have about 60 weddings this Valentine's Day. But they've lost about 25% of their business that usually comes from outside the U.S.
"It has been a huge shift in who's coming. What we're getting more is mainly drive in states; California, Arizona, locals that are wanting to get married," says Jose.
STILL THE WEDDING CAPITAL
While the business has changed, at least for now, Jose says he's confident couples will be back.
"This is Las Vegas. It's the wedding capital of the world. I feel like we do things here, not a lot of people do. And we do it with a beautiful backdrop of the Las Vegas strip," says Jose.
GO TO VEGAS & GET MARRIED
That's exactly what keeps the ladies at Creative Bridal encouraged. They know couples will eventually be back for that Vegas experience they can't get anywhere else.
"They still consider it a fun place to come and get married and a lot of them, they're just to the point where they're like, we're just going to go to Vegas and get married," says Kelly.