Contact 2: How the pandemic affected the wedding industry

Contact 2

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — For Katie Kootman and Andrew Cohen it wasn’t exactly love at first sight.

“At first I wasn’t sure and I kept putting him off.” Said Katie Kootman.

But with a pen, paper and persistence Andrew made his mark.

“Really our romance blossomed over I left her a lot of notes. I’m a big writer so I kept getting after her.” Said Andrew Cohen.

“With the writing of the notes, he convinced me.” Added Kootman.

He popped the question in November 2018 and they set their wedding date for April 25, 2020.

“We were sitting back going this is a really great decision. And then mid-March came and we were like, wait a second, this might not be the best decision anymore.” Said Cohen.

With the coronavirus spreading fast they made the difficult decision to postpone their wedding.

“I’ve got an 89-year-old grandma. Katie’s is mid-90’s. We just want everyone to be safe. If we’ve got to push it a couple months, that’s ok. Safety was definitely the first thing we thought about.” Said Cohen.

“I was like, wow. This isn’t going anywhere anytime fast.” Said wedding photographer Mike Cassimatis.

Andrew and Katie hired Cassimatis to photograph their wedding.

“I think I had 20 on the books for 2020 and 16 of those weddings had to move to 2021. Some have moved to 2022.” Added Cassimatis.

A Covid conundrum event producer and designer Alison Laesser-Keck is trying to manage.

“We have to protect our current clients. We can’t just start shoving seasons worth of weddings and not deliver a high level of service that our clients ultimately deserve.” Said Laesser-Keck.

Without a clear picture of when large gatherings will safely resume, she fears a grim outcome for many wedding vendors.

“The fact of the matter is, how many people do you know can afford not to work for two years? I think a lot of companies, flat out won’t survive this unfortunately.” Added Laesser-Keck.

But as long as couples continue to save their dates, there will be receptions to plan and pictures to take.

I know going into the post-pandemic world, the dance floors are going to be packed. It’s just going to be amazing.” Said Laesser-Keck.

“Being able to see people congregate once again and not have to worry or be afraid of one another is really at the heart of what I do, so I’m really looking forward to that a lot.” Added Cassimatis.

“The world is much bigger than the two of us. We’re ok with however it must shake out. It’s our own love story. We have two records of everything, and that’s ok. Our rings are still going to have our original date.” Said Cohen.

Speaking of that original date…

April 25th, 2020 was the most horrible weather day. Mike texted me, you’re lucky. It’s a horrible day out there. So we’re seeing everything positively at this point and we definitely have a of love growing here.” Added Cohen.

How’s that for pandemic perspective?

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