Totally stressed probably doesn’t begin to describe the emotions running through the minds of couples set to wed at Foxborough’s Lakeview Pavilion that burned beyond repair over the weekend. “So devastated our dream wedding is no longer,” wrote a bride-to-be on the Knot’s Facebook event page for couples affected by the fire. The wedding publication created the “Help Lakeview Pavilion Couples Find A New Wedding Venue!” page to connect displaced couples with vendors in the community to help sort out their now not-so-solid plans.
“The Boston community is very strong, and the wedding community is just as strong and very close-knit,” said Gracie Lou Events’ Adrienne Duys Mendonca. “Obviously I’m biased, but after working in other communities in different parts of New England, I’ve noticed that nobody is as close as Boston.”
Venues, photographers, and vendors have all pitched in on the Knot’s page, offering blocks of dates that haven’t yet been booked and services to couples in a bind. One bride posted her date in late June, in the heat of wedding season, to the page and within hours, 20 responses from venues had piped up.
“In this dire circumstance, it’s best to recoup your losses and open yourself up in a time that everyone has been so helpful and willing,” said Mendonca. “Don’t panic. Easy to say but hard to do.”
The Lakeview Pavilion had approximately 200 couples booked through fall 2015 and released a public statement that they will refund the weddings affected. They also noted they will meet with couples to assist them in finding an alternative venue.
Lauren Wells of Lauren Wells Events said when dealing with other factors that are dependent on logistics, such as entertainment and photographers and custom orders for invitations and decor, sticking to your date when finding a new venue should top your priority list.
“Couples should make a list of their booked vendors that are the most important to them with the hope that everyone is flexible,” she said. “Then try to stick to your original date and find an open venue first.”
Doesn’t work? Try the Friday prior. Guests and vendors who have already set their travel plans may be able to make the small adjustment, added Wells — and given the circumstances, it’s likely that everyone will understand.
And for eternal optimists, it’s times like these that Wells reminded couples that it’s good to stay positive — even when you’re freaking out.
“Focus on the fact that you’ll still be getting married,” she said. “And it will still be the best day of your life.”Rachel Raczka can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and tweeted @rachelraczka.