Many Occoquan businesses may take a hard, indirect hit from sequestration, simply because there would be less money to spend, Hawthorne House owner Diane Boli said.
"I think every business is going to be affected by it," Boli said.
Yet despite customers potentially reserving their money for the essentials, Boli thinks her loyal customer base and her spot in the wedding industry will pull her through.
"With our customers, it's fairly specific. It's a bride getting married on a particular date, and so she's determined to send out her invitations in a time frame," Boli said. "Many times, people put money aside for the wedding. Now, whether they'll trim it a little here and a little there, that could be one thing. But usually with a wedding, parents or the bride and the groom have prepared for that."
Customers might choose to pay for thermography printing instead of letterpress printing, but they're unlikely to forego invitations entirely, Boli said. Instead, they may make cuts at the wedding reception, by serving hors d'oeuvres instead of a full meal.
"Long ago, people got married, and they had a cake and tea and punch in the church social rooms, and that was the reception," she said. "When you think of the austerity after World War I or World War II, they still had the reception, but it was an abbreviated celebration."
Boli has grown her customer base largely by word of mouth over the 28 years Hawthorne House has been in Occoquan.
"We have done wedding invitations this year for brides that, when they were born, we printed their birth announcements," she said.
Her customer base is mostly in Northern Virginia, with some customers in Richmond or Maryland. Boli and the Hawthorne House graphic design team offer custom work to customers who want something a little more personalized. To learn more or to order online, visit the Hawthorne House website.