Wedding suppliers rally after shock business closure
AN AWARD-winning Whitsunday wedding planning business has sadly closed its doors.
It was confirmed today The Wedding Planners Whitsundays, believed to have been in operation since 2014, was insolvent. It is unknown how many employees will be affected.
On Saturday, the business's website, Facebook page was not displaying correctly.
The landline number provided on the website was not in operation, and the mobile went to a message bank.
It could be a big blow to the industry that rakes in $74 million for the region annually, however it has brought the resilient spirit of local suppliers to the fore as they are rallying together to ensure brides and grooms still celebrate their big day.
They are moving heaven and earth to support these couples in hosting their ceremonies, some of which are costing about $40,000.
I Do Whitsunday Weddings celebrant Annie Lloyd-Lewis said in less than 24 hours, the industry had 'galvanised' with people calling in favours from all over to ensure couples who had invested heavily - both financially and emotionally - weren't left high and dry on their big day,
"There is a reason we use iconic Heart Island to symbolise love and ceremonies in the Whitsundays. Weddings are big business, but we're a small community with a big heart," she said.
"We are doing what we can to support these brides and grooms."
A venue, catering company, entertainment, florist, decorator and celebrant have all banded together, and will be providing their services to a couple affected by the closure of TWP free of charge.
The wedding will be on Wednesday, with some of the vendors potentially being thousands of dollars out of pocket.
But Ms Lloyd-Lewis said it was important to look at the big picture.
"We are the most amazing group of professionals and although we work in our own businesses, we also work together as a team," she said.
"It's not just the wedding industry potentially affected, it's accommodation providers, restaurants, hire cars, and companies who offer tours around our stunning region that will also be hit if we don't pull together," she said.
"It brings in $74 million to the Whitsundays, and it's in everyone's best interest to support it as best we can, and if that means we give our services for free for a small period, then golly gosh what a small price to pay in the big scheme of things," she said.
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Tash Wheeler said it was a sad time for the industry, following the news about the insolvency of The Wedding Planners.
Mrs Wheeler said TW would be working closely with WeddingsWhitsundays.com and would take the lead on media and communications to assist couples who were possibly affected by the event.
"We are so proud of how the Whitsunday industry has already started rallying to ensure the couples will have their dream day," she said,
"The generosity and support from this little community we call home is truly humbling."
The Wedding Planners Whitsundays have been contacted for comment.