Wedding industry struggles during pandemic

RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – As wedding season kicks off, several couples are faced with the decision to postpone or cancel their big day amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It’s hit several venues pretty hard,” said Rhonda Rows, owner of Glade Creek Farm. “Some of them decided to close completely, and that’s just an option. We’re not going to do that.”

While Rows hasn’t had any cancellations, she says some of her brides are getting antsy. They face the nightmare of changing something many have dreamed of half their lives.

“We were able to secure a cake, secure a location, get a photographer, get a pastor,” said bride-to-be Laura Lucas. “Our friends were going to be a part of it. There were so many great things that were happening and it seems so unreal how easily and quickly it was coming along.”

Lucas couldn’t imagine putting off the ceremony to marry the love of her life. After spending the past few years praying for her happy ending, she decided sooner rather than later was her best option.

“God had been telling both of us that we were supposed to be together. He has a heart of service, he cares about people and just the way he encourages me. He’s my best friend.”

Laura and Levi have been together for a year and got engaged last month. They planned to get married in April, but thanks to the pandemic, they’re tying the not on Facebook Live this weekend.

“I’m not sure what to expect because everything keeps changing. I’m just living in the moment, but when I think about getting to spend the rest of my life with him, I’m excited.”

Although it’s not the happy ending either had in mind, Lucas can’t wait to start the rest of her life with her soon-to-be husband.

Sponsored Content
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at