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Bride says she "completely broke down" as hundreds of couples reschedule weddings due to coronavirus

Hundreds of weddings called off over virus
Coronavirus precautions put a damper on weddings around the country 04:06

A sign outside a New Jersey bridal shop states that brides are only allowed in the store one at a time, with a two-guest maximum. As Americans adjust to a new way of life amid the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of couples facing venue and service closures are canceling or postponing their weddings over fears of spreading the disease.

The wedding industry, like many others, has been disrupted by the pandemic. A Facebook group called "Wedding Disaster Support: COVID-19" has over 2,400 members and counting.

CBS News' Meg Oliver spoke to a couple just minutes before they said their vows at a Virginia courthouse on Monday, a far cry from their planned 300-acre wedding venue in Maryland.

"We are definitely excited to get married, that's really the point of this," bride Lauren Green said. "We want to be together, we're excited for that. Hopefully we will be able to celebrate with everybody else later."

Another bride-to-be, Collette Richoux, said she "completely broke down" when faced with having to change the event. She and her fiancé, Chris Morton, had been planning their New York wedding for over a year.

"Vendors book up to two years in advance somethings. Now that everyone is trying to reschedule, it's hard to find a new date that works for all our vendors," Richoux said.

However, Richoux said she believes health is more important, and wanted to share a message for other brides: "Just try to stay calm. Know that everything that's going on is bigger than what we can control."

On the industry side, businesses and wedding vendors are anticipating a financial hit. Zola and The Knot, two of the most popular wedding websites, are encouraging couples affected by cancellations or postponements to reach out to them for assistance. They have been offering tips to couples, like designating someone to help them call guests about the change in plans and talking to vendors to see if they can move the wedding date without a blow to their finances.

Liz Sellassie, owner of New York City bridal shop, Designer Loft Bridal, said she expects to be "decimated" financially in March, and that she had been fielding constant calls from panicked brides and mothers who are dealing with postponed weddings. 

"We will work with those brides. We will hold dresses for girls who have to postpone," Sellassie said. "We are all in this together and we just have to work together."

Wedding photographer Kenzie Rae McMullen said she was not just worried about her business, but her own health, being immune compromised.

"I have a bride who is planning to go forward with her wedding, as far as we know right now, and I am there for my brides," she said. "Going out to a wedding, any gathering even if it's only 50 people, is still more dangerous for me." 

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