WINDSOR, ONT. -- Wedding season should be in full swing but the pandemic has ground the industry almost to a complete halt.  

“I’m looking to open this weekend and I’m booked with appointments probably for the next two to three weeks,” said Brittany Belanger, owner of Bella Bridal on Erie Street.  

Belanger acknowledges that brides are still eager to get married and are not waiting to plan, despite the uncertainty.  

“Once they announced the retail guidelines, a lot of girls have been messaging me,” she said.   

That brings comfort to Belanger, who is expanding her business against the odds. She signed a lease to fill the former home of Angileri Designs next door, three days before the pandemic.  

This is her third expansion in five years.  

“The way I look at it, scared money doesn’t make money,” Belanger said. “It’s benefitted the other times so I’m hoping for the best.”  

She has earned the respect of Fil Rocca, president of the Erie Street BIA.  

“It’s obviously a little scary opening up something and expanding your business during this pandemic, but it’s also a time to rethink and restrategize and come back stronger,” said Rocca.   

The owners of Water’s Edge on Riverside Drive at Drouillard Road are being creative by offering “micro weddings.”  

“Micro weddings is a great way to bring in 20 or less people,” said owner Larry Horwitz. “Making a couple really happy having their wedding in a phenomenal venue at a very inexpensive price.  

Wednesday afternoon, Kayla Shephard and her soon to be fiancé visited Water’s Edge. Their matrimonial plans were thrown a curveball by the pandemic.  

“It is hard to plan because we don’t know when we can do it,” Shephard said. “We don’t know when we can have a gathering of 25 people or around that it is hard.”  

Horwitz says micro weddings are an option for brides who want to get married as soon as possible and perhaps have a big reception later.  

“You’re going to get your wedding done and taken care of, and you’re going to be married and happy for hopefully the rest of your life.”