New Orleans wedding industry starting to bounce back

Some vendors reporting a bump in bookings

New Orleans wedding industry starting to bounce back

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Governor Edwards’ new relaxed COVID restrictions could bring some relief for the wedding industry, even though event halls are still capped at 50 percent capacity or 500 people.

From photographers to florists, many are booking up.

Wedding hair and makeup stylist, Rachel Barbin says she’s booked 38 weddings so far this year and new inquiries come in every day even though she says Summer is a slow time for weddings in New Orleans.

Popular destination wedding location, the Edgar Degas House, is starting to see not only their weddings, but tours and bed & breakfast guests return.

“No record breaking numbers, but just to have activity is a godsend,” Founder and Director David Villarubia said.

Villarubia is thrilled to keep the doors open and says it’s the smaller weddings they’re starting to see.

“We have many weddings that were postponed, from last spring, of course, when this began, into the fall of last year into the spring of this year, and now into the fall of this year,” Villarubia said.

The Degas house has also been helping out other booked up venues ease the pressure.

“What might have been competitors were coming together to really get that great end result,” Kellie Levy, Director of Sales and Operations at The Cannery said.

Levy says every vendor in the industry has been struggling together.

“We built this and to see that possibly it could all crumble within moments or a year, was extremely hard but we just knew we weren’t going to give up,” Levy said.

But it’s a welcome challenge for Levy, trying to find space for people who have postponed while serving the people who already booked upcoming dates.

“It’s starting to be what dates do you have available? I don’t mind a Thursday, a Wednesday would work for me,” Levy said the soon-to-be married couples ask her. “They just are at this point I think that a lot of people have learned that we can’t have control of everything.”

Newlyweds Katie and Greg Prieur have learned to roll with the pandemic punches with a “minimony” on their original April 4 date. Katie’s brother got ordained and they streamed it on Zoom to over 500 people, but they pushed back the actual ceremony to July.

“Within five days we had to cancel when the governor had made the newest update and so things were restricted again,” Katie said. “So, Kelly from the Cannery she came to our house we sat there trying to come up with a plan.”

Even though their first anniversary is right around the corner, the Prieur’s say they feel relieved it’s all finally happening.

“We’re excited and feeling better about it because we did officially get married last year, but that’s kind of taken a lot of stress out of it,” Katie said. “We’re like, you know what? The party is going to happen when the party happens and it’s going to be awesome.”

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