Tri-Cities wedding vendors excited to enter Phase 2

KENNEWICK, Wash. – Just like most industries, wedding vendors were greatly affected by Coronavirus restrictions.

“The wedding was on then it was off then the guest count had to change so that was really tough,” baker Elena Gavin said.

“Really scary time of course for any small business; just kinda buckle your seat belt, it’s gonna be a rocky ride,” boutique owner Amber Keller added.

Elena Gavin, co-owner of Layered Cake Artistry and Amber Keller, who owns Blueberry Bridal Boutique, reflected on the beginning of the pandemic.

“Most of our business comes from weddings, so especially with weddings that’s been a roller coaster ride and my heart goes out to our 2020 couples because the guidelines were changing week by week,” Gavin said.

READ MORE: Phase 2 Reopening

Elena and her sister, who design cakes, cookies and other extravagant baked goods, were forced to adapt to a world of online business and serving customers from afar. “After the panic set in, we quickly went into problem solving mode and we just kinda had to adjust how we do business and sort of pivot and get creative and find new ways to bring in revenue because we are event based.”

In her boutique, Amber was tossed around just as much as 2020 brides and grooms, who had already planned their wedding.

“How can you plan a wedding and how can you buy a wedding dress if you don’t know when your wedding date is going to be?” she said.

Still, both businesses pulled through, and with Phase 2 guidelines allowing a guest capacity of 25 percent or 30 people, whichever is less.

“Having a larger guest allowance will definitely make a difference for us in our business,” Elena said.

“It’s a plus, so more and more brides are planning so they’re coming in they’re seeing me they’re getting their dresses,” Amber said.

Both ladies credit the support of their loyal customers and fellow small business owners to get through a tough year.

“I do this job because I love helping brides and I love that feeling,” Amber said.

“We feel very very blessed because the support really is huge, we’re feeling and honestly we wouldn’t be here without them,” Elena added.

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