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Richmond Weddings on Hold Due to Coronavirus

Wedding photo
Leslie Herman (left) and Emma Richards (right) are one of the many Richmond couples that had to put their wedding on hold to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. (Photo: Carly Romeo & Co.)

*VPM intern Alan Rodriguez Espinoza reported this story.

Most weddings are held in spring and summer, but because of concerns about COVID-19, many Richmond ceremonies are being put on hold.

Emma Richards and Leslie Herman of Richmond had to call off their early May wedding as social distancing measures and other restrictions were enacted across the commonwealth.

“We just honestly could not tell you what our next move is, and I think a lot of other people -- whether we're talking about weddings or really anything else right now -- don't know what their next move is either,” Richards said.

Gov. Ralph Northam has recently banned public gatherings of more than 10 in an effort to curb the spread of the disease.

Rebecca Longoria is Richards’ and Herman’s wedding planner. She says the couple’s wedding is one of the over 30 events she’s seen get cancelled or postponed since coronavirus precautions began.

“I don’t know how long this is going to last. I don’t know when to tell them it is a safe time to have their loved ones travel and be with them for a very special and monumental day -- and I’m supposed to be the person that knows,” Longoria said.

Richards says one of the hardest parts of calling off her wedding was knowing the financial repercussions it would have on the various vendors she’d booked. Longoria says the impact has been “massive” for her and others in her business network.

“Unfortunately, this has affected all of us,” Longoria said. “You have people that are solely dependent on this being their one stream of income. I am lucky that I have an additional stream of income but if I don’t have weddings or parties, I don’t really have a spot at my job.”

About 160 people from across the country were invited to Richards’ and Herman’s big day. In the days that would have led up to their wedding, the couple is instead spending their time in self-isolation.

“This sucks, but you’ve got to take steps to move forward and figure it out,” Herman said. “And at least we have each other.”