HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii’s booming wedding industry was brought to a devastating halt by the pandemic, and is now waiting to restart.
Despite the uncertainty, vendors are already planning new protocols ― and seeing a trend toward micro-weddings.
“A micro-wedding has all the components of a traditional wedding, but on a smaller scale: 10 to 20 people just your closest friends,” said Marisa Hartzell, wedding planner with For The Good Events.
Tawni and Jeff Harwood of Aloha Artisans have a Kalihi warehouse where they store all sorts of fancy furniture, pillows, rugs, dishes and decor.
“Micro-weddings are a new animal to us. Before, it’s about packing in numbers before all this happened. Since COVID, it’s about keeping that decor and the standard for everything you had in your wedding, but keeping it in small numbers,” said Jeff Harwood.
Tawni Harwood shows a table setting that would normally fit eight to 10 people, but under social distancing guidelines, there are two to four place settings instead.
The Hardwoods say their business was doing roughly 20 weddings per week. But then came 150 cancellations, rescheduled and postponed events.
“We’ve got brides and grooms just devastated,” said Tawni Harwood.
"It's really hard because people don't see how much goes into a wedding, the DJ, the hair, makeup, the gown, the suit, the food so all of us are waiting," she added.
They fear some wedding vendors won't last the shut down.
"That's really sad because I think everyone that's involved in this industry deserves to be in this industry," said Jeff Harwood.
But the Hardwoods are holding out hope that they can restart resized wedding events perhaps in August with more coming on board in 2021.
“We are ready to get you guys married and ready to celebrate love and we think that love is essential,” said Jeff Harwood.