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Jacksonville bride-to-be postpones wedding over coronavirus concerns

San Marco salon owner is also feeling the effects of wedding cancellations

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Weddings are also feeling the effects of the coronavirus, as President Donald Trump is asking people to not gather in groups larger than 10 people and avoid travel.

After months and even years of planning, brides-to-be are having to cancel their special day.

From the moment Sara Gentry got engaged to the love of her life, she has spent months getting ready for her special day -- from saying yes to the dress to her bridal shower and even her bachelorette party. But in the last few weeks, COVID-19 has left things up in the air.

“We have just been waiting it out, staying positive like we are going to get married -- ‘It’s going to get fine. It will blow over,’” Gentry said. “It doesn’t look like it’s going to blow over anytime soon. So, (it’s been) extremely stressful.”

Less than three weeks away from their wedding day in Las Vegas, Gentry and her fiancé decided to postpone.

“I called my grandmother up and I was letting her know, but I was thinking and you could tell in her voice, she was, like, ‘I will go.’ But she was terrified,” Gentry said. “And I don’t want to do that to her. Mainly, my call to her -- it was my deciding factor. She was just, like, we can always reschedule. So, I just wanted to make sure everyone stays safe.”

A San Marco salon has also been feeling the impact of wedding cancellations and coronavirus concerns.

Mandi Kelloway, the owner of Once Upon a Stylist, has had her business for 18 years now. And for the first time, she’s worried about whether or not her business is going to make it. Wedding appointments are a big source of income, as she said she can make as much in one day as she might make in an entire week at the salon. And with wedding cancellations happening left and right, Kelloway doesn’t know what’s going to happen.

“We rely every weekend on these weddings and for the income to come in to keep our stylists or our makeup artists or all the employees employed, so that is definitely taking a toll right now,” said Kelloway, who added that some clients have even chosen to postpone their appointments.

Kelloway has been taking extra steps over the last few weeks to keep the salon sanitized and clean, and keep her clients at ease during what she said has become an unsettling time for everyone. Clients will find a sign and wipes as soon as they walk through the front entrance.

Kelloway said she’s encouraging brides who have to cancel their weddings to consider Sunday weddings to make the booking process a bit easier. She said another option is to go through with the wedding ceremony with your bridal party only and stream it live to friends and family so they don’t have to miss out.

Mandi Kelloway, the owner of Once Upon a Stylist, is taking extra steps to keep her San Marco salon sanitized and clean.
Mandi Kelloway, the owner of Once Upon a Stylist, is taking extra steps to keep her San Marco salon sanitized and clean. (WJXT)

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