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Weddings In The Coronavirus Era: How Hollywood Redefines “Happily Ever After”


Weddings In The Coronavirus EraWith COVID-19 reducing all gatherings, The Hollywood Reporter has spoken with industry experts who are re-evaluating their perfect walks on the aisle.

On March 13, Kelly Kovacs, director of development for Iron Ocean Films for Jessica Biels, logged onto Instagram to share the news she was afraid to write: that she and her fiancé, musician John Schroeder, made the difficult decision to postpone their upcoming wedding. the 28th of March.

“We decided that since our priority was having our family together, we really couldn’t live with ourselves if we would ask people to put themselves at risk in order to travel or be surrounded by a large number of people. That’s not how we wanted to enter into a marriage — with corona being the most unwanted guest at our wedding,” Kovacs told the Hollywood Reporter.

The question of postponing or even canceling a joyous occasion like a wedding has also affected couples like Emma Stone and Dave McCary, who had planned to get married in Los Angeles last weekend, and producer Randall Emmett (The Irishman) and Vanderpump Rules star Lala Kent, who have moved their wedding from April to July.

Each couple has to decide what to do for themselves, and it’s an incredibly personal decision that people have to make. This is one of the best moments of your life, “said Kovacs.

She and her fiancé were monitoring the news hourly for two weeks before making the call, not trying to panic, but wanting to show the right amount of concern as they were very close to the date. “There were so many moving parts, and everything was lined up exactly how we wanted, then you wake up one day and the World Health Organization says there’s a pandemic. This is one of those things you never expect or could never predict can be what uproot your entire marriage, “he recalls.

Wedding and event planners in particular do their best to make the most of an unimaginable situation. “We solve crazy problems that you never expect to happen in these days and weeks of marriage,” says Stefanie Cove, whose former clients include Karlie Kloss and Molly Sims. “The frustrating thing is that coronavirus is something we had no answer for. Trying to find the best way to guide people while allowing them to make their own decision in an emotional period has been very difficult.”

Fortunately for Kovacs and Schroeder, their wedding planner, Layne Kula Allen of The Penny Layne, was able to completely transplant their wedding from March to early November (venue, vendors, and everyother thing involved. “We were about to pay our final security deposit, but we decided to speak to our wedding planner, who is one of my best friends, about how to responsibly speak to our vendors and location. Cancellation policies under the circumstances,” said Kovacs . “And we were very, very lucky because each provider was flexible and we were able to take our marriage and move it to a new day.”

Tony Schubert, CEO and founder of Event Eleven, who has planned events for Amazon Studios, Capitol Records and Rolex, anticipates that there will be a change in contracts for the cancellation costs of the two production companies, as well as sites to come. “I hear horror stories on some sites that do not reimburse brides during this period and on other sites that simply hold deposits regardless of what is described in the contract. Most standard agreements contain clauses, but they will be more detailed,” said.

On a more positive note, Sharon Sacks of Sacks Productions, the A-list wedding and event organizer, has shown an altruistic attitude in the facilities, extending the deadlines, allowing to modify the dates and the application of funds to those dates. “Many policies are changing because it is a unique situation,” he told THR. “We are currently experiencing a great attitude from major Hollywood events and customers where they are fully prepaying now, many event providers and venues allow customers to move their events at no additional cost.”

Particularly in light of the prohibitions preventing travel and gatherings of 50 or more people, event planners have developed strategies for their events on a case-by-case basis.

“People are not going anywhere, and events in the immediate future like March, April will certainly have to be moved. Hopefully, if things get better and the ban on events of 50 or more is lifted, May and June events can always happen, “Cove said. “But if not, they will really have to start studying transfers. I host a lot of destination events, and I have three European weddings in June. Also the idea of ​​whether people can really leave the United States or not.” They will have a domestic wedding or a wedding in Los Angeles. I think in two weeks we will know much more. ”

Gina Wade, who considers Hulu, Showtime and Netflix as clients, noted that some of her events have been canceled, but several are postponed.  “Initially, the conversations were about finding creative options for events, such as reducing the number of guests or coming in small groups or guests at different times. But so far, most of our clients find it irresponsible to put their colleagues and guests at risk. ”

Similarly, Schubert said that “Goal # 1 is to keep people safe” and that, aside from an event that was already in production for Event Eleven, “there is no other option to keep one of our projects alive in this stage since the ban on large gatherings of more than 50 guests. ”

But the notion of postponement instead of total cancellation has been the name of the game and the hope of the event organizing community.

“I am a big fan of postponement because I am also concerned about my industry. There are so many people in this business who were working every day and suddenly don’t have a job for the unpredictable future, they need this job and these events are postponed and not canceled, “Cove said.

Sacks saw the event planning industry unite and unite during this difficult time. “The foundation of our work is to plan and produce memorable celebrations,” he told THR. “We are confident that the industry will recover stronger and more creative than ever.”

Kovacs congratulated the event organizers, who are discovering how to make this job work in such new circumstances. “We are all going through this test, and none of us has prepared for something like this,” he said. “What the event planning industry is talking about is so much what their work entails: creative problem-solving and catering solutions that meet the needs of others. This is truly a time for providers from around the world to come together to help. to the vision of their clients. ”

Above all, Cove has seen that many of its clients are happy to wait. “They are very happy to be postponed and not canceled. As unpleasant as it is for my clients who have to postpone their dream wedding or don’t even know what to do with their wedding, everyone realizes there is a bigger picture her People want to get married. They always get married. And since we are all trapped inside and many of us are going a little crazy, I think there will be a lot to celebrate once it is all over.”

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