“As businesses, they can’t keep canceling and rescheduling. If events can actually go ahead, putting all the safeties into place — vaccination, testing, all of that — it’s hard for a venue to allow a client to cancel or change a date without any repercussions,” she said.
Seth Rosen, 37, and Martha Burla, 36, who live in Chicago, were originally supposed to get married in January 2021, but postponed the event by a year. “The idea of scaling down, doing something smaller, just having a small family event wasn’t really interesting to either of us. We said we’ll wait and have a full wedding when we can,” Mr. Rosen said.
News of the Omicron variant was particularly frustrating, he said, because the venue they booked for their wedding on Jan. 15 would not allow them to cancel or postpone and still get their money back. Citing safety concerns, guests also started to drop out, resulting in the type of scaled down event that the couple had hoped to avoid by postponing in the first place.
“Last year, people were kind of forced to cancel. We didn’t have options then, the city was on lockdown, we had to cancel,” said Ms. Burla. “But this year doesn’t really feel like we have options either.”
Mr. Rosen said the cancellations were “fully understandable,” adding “we’re not mad about it.” Without any alternative but to move forward, the couple went into a quarantine for two weeks at the beginning of January.
“Because the venue wasn’t letting us cancel, I thought, ‘What’s the worst case scenario?’ And either of us getting Covid was obviously the worst case scenario,” Ms. Burla said. The lead-up to their wedding “was a series of highs and lows,” including guest cancellations all through December and “at least 20 cancellations in the two days before the wedding.” The couple had originally invited 180 guests; in the end, around 90 people attended.
But “most importantly,” she said, “we got married, had a beautiful and very fun day, and no one caught Covid at our event, which felt like a miracle.”