Wedding businesses looking for major turn around in 2021

Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 10:30 PM CST
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ROTHSCHILD, Wis. (WSAW) - Weddings took a back seat in 2020 when COVID-19 forced many non-essential businesses to close down. According to Marathon County records, there was a drop in licenses and weddings held in Marathon County from 2019-2020. In 2019 there were 682 licenses given and 727 weddings. In 2020, there were 18 fewer licenses and 66 fewer weddings.

Those effects had a direct and major impact on local wedding-dependent businesses. Nearly two-dozen couples that booked the Rothschild Pavilion for their weddings later canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“We pretty much had the pavilion closed from the middle of March to the end of August. So that’s about 5 ½ months. It was just over $40,000 that we lost having to close for that long,” Rothschild Administrator Gary Olsen said.

Bridal stores also took a large hit in the summer of 2020. When the Safer at Home Order was lifted, couples began to reschedule.

“They either pushed it into fall last year, or they’re pushing it into this summer or fall,” Thelma’s co-owner Brook VanVuren said.

Things are looking up for the wedding-dependent businesses. Thelma’s is expected a busy summer as many dates for alteration and appointments are filled. Staff is also taking care of some of the wedding orders that were moved from 2020.

“Brides coming in needing to receive alterations from last year after having to postpone their wedding, we’ve seen a little increase in that,” VanVuren said.

The Rothschild Pavilion is also seeing an increase in booking—only two weekends in 2021 remain open and dates for 2022 are filling up. The venue is keeping its capacity to 275 people.

“People will drive as far as Milwaukee to get married here, maybe even farther. This is a great venue to get married in and people love it,” Olsen said.

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