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Montana wedding industry embraces challenges from pandemic

Posted at 11:22 AM, May 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-16 13:23:12-04

BOZEMAN — The wedding industry has faced many challenges over the years, but no one was prepared for a pandemic happening during one of their most popular seasons.

“It’s definitely affecting by the thousands, easily. We’re definitely not looking at hundreds," said Wedding Coordinator Chanda Wirtz.

Wirtz is known for taking challenges and turning them into cheers when it comes to weddings.

“Taking their ideal vision that they had for their day originally and then putting that on something that’s different but not necessarily less. It’s just a new concept,” she explained.

And she’s used to working in high-stress environments.

“Giving them emotional support, mental support, clarity, and saying this is okay and coming up with alternative ways to be able to have the day that they want but make it extra special,” she said.

But she faced new challenges as the coronavirus outbreak hit the wedding industry. One of Wirtz’s clients originally planned for a wedding that included over 200 guests.

“Now, we have gone down to 16 people and that just is our closest immediate family: our parents, my grandpa, our siblings and their significant others,” said bride-to-be Sydney Rivers.

But regardless of the changes, this soon-to-be bride says you have to remember what’s important.

“At the end of the say, the most important thing is you’re getting married. I know people get really tied into the big, extravagant wedding and reception and having everybody there. But, most importantly it’s about you and your significant other,” Rivers said.

Despite the many obstacles and challenges, Nick and Sydney will be saying “I do” in July.

For more of Wirtz's work visit here.