Florida couples canceling weddings because of COVID-19

Posted at 9:08 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 21:10:36-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Center for Disease Control is now recommending canceling gatherings involving 50 or more people.

On Monday, President Donald Trump went a step further on Monday afternoon advising the public not to have get-togethers with more than 10 people.

RELATED: Trump issues stricter guidelines to stop virus spread, Americans asked to limit gatherings to 10 people

Both recommending concerts, conferences and even weddings be canceled or postponed because of COVID-19.

The move is stunning the wedding industry nationally and here in Florida.


Wedding planners, photographers, venues and other vendors are having to heavily weigh the consequences of closing up shop because of the coronavirus pandemic. Some though are heading the warning early, including brides who are already canceling their ceremonies to be safe.

ABC Action News reporter Andrea Lyon spoke with photographers, planners and boutiques Monday to find out some couples are choosing to either postpone or cancel all together.

Sierra Jones with Sierra Ford Photography says just this morning, she received a call from one bride choosing to postpone coming to Florida to get married, plus another phone call from a venue notifying her that they are rescheduling all of their weddings for the next several weeks.

“Half of their guests couldn’t make their wedding,” Jones said about a Canadian couple who had planned to get married but their guests would have to travel from all over the nation to be there. On top of that, many other guests would not be able to make it due to travel issues or the risk of contracting the virus.


The United Kingdom, where COVID-19 has spread to at least 1,551 citizens, is ramping up restrictions, which has affected another Florida bride who planned her overseas wedding there for this coming wedding.

Unfortunately, it was canceled at the last minute.

“Her wedding was being canceled and this venue overseas is not refunding. They are not cooperating and they have been planning their wedding for the year and everyone is here and they really want to get married on this particular date - it’s important for them.” Roberta Noronha with The Bridal Finery told ABC Action News.

Instead, Noronha says the wedding community came together over the last week to make it happen in the U.S. instead.

The Bridal Finery says their business hasn’t been directly affected but they have had a few dress fitting rescheduled because of postponed ceremonies.

“We are just trying to navigate through it all as everyone is,” Noronha said.

On Monday, we spoke with one of their clients who had planned a larger wedding for this coming weekend but because of the coronavirus and the CDC warning, she’s decided to postpone her large celebration later, but have an intimate get-together at her father’s home, dress and all, on the same date.

“It’s really stressful and it’s more stressful thinking about everyone else,” Mattie McCotter, the bride-to-be said.

McCotter didn’t want family to risk traveling through the airports during the outbreak. She especially was worried about her sister who has two autoimmune disorders, which would make her more susceptible to COVID-19. The bride also has another family member who is pregnant and without because the virus is still new, the CDC hasn’t announced specific regulations for women who are carrying a child and how the virus could affect them or the fetus.

According to The Knot, they do recommend the following if you plan on canceling or rescheduling your event:

- Notify vendors immediately
- Give guests a heads up ASAP
- Look over your contract with vendors
- Check your wedding insurance (if you have it)
- Celebrate the day anyways, in a more intimate manner