Wedding business in Omaha-metro picks back up after devastating year

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 3:34 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -For months, wedding venues like Bellevue Berry Farm and Pumpkin Ranch have sat largely empty.

Couples started canceling or postponing weddings when the pandemic hit the Omaha-metro last March.

“Wow. We had over 100 booked. I would say 98% of them were canceled, you know, postponed,” said Ed Schaefer, Bellevue Berry Farm and Pumpkin Ranch owner.

Owner Ed Schaefer says weddings make up a large percentage of his total business, so without them, his business was devastated.

A year out, and things look much different.

“They are picking up. We probably have 70-75 booked,” Schaefer said.

Wedding venues are now accommodating couples who had to reschedule their 2020 weddings, on top of their already scheduled 2021 weddings.

“We did our first big one last weekend. It was almost 300 people.”

Those large numbers of guests are no longer the norm, though. Those helping to plan weddings at DC Centre near 120th and West Maple say they are seeing couples deciding to cut the guest lists significantly.

“We don’t have those 300-400 person weddings that we used to, you know, multiples during the weekends. We are doing a lot more 50, 75, 100 person weddings on the weekends,” said Cathi Melcher, DC Centre.

And those aren’t the only changes the wedding industry is seeing right now.

“They are just planning a little bit short-term. We are seeing a lot more of those brides that are planning six months out instead of a year or two years out now,” Melcher said.

As the industry has adapted to the new changes, those planning weddings say they are so excited to see life coming back to their venues.

“We need it. Everybody needs it!” said Schaefer.

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