Ohio Lockdown Limits Fall Wedding Planning

Ohio Lockdown Limits Fall Wedding Planning: Brides-to-be and wedding planners share how they are pushing forward

COVID-19 uprooted the lives of many and continues to be at the forefront of the minds of almost every American. Brides and grooms-to-be feel the profound ripple effect that the novel virus has. Governor of Ohio, Mike Dewine, is leaving weddings unregulated currently, trusting Ohioans to use good judgment. Couples planning their big day for fall 2020 are realizing that time is of the essence as COVID-19 presents challenges, while weddings planners and professionals adapt to these times.

Bride-to-be Natilee Santos spoke to what is on all our minds, during these uncharted times. “At the start of this year we had so many good things to look forward to. Now it seems like we’re going day by day in a heavy fog, not really knowing what’s ahead of us,” Santos said.

The COVID-19 Ohio lockdown extends its reach to almost summer, limiting shopping and planning opportunities, impacting business owners and silencing wedding bells throughout the state.Santos said that her wedding preparations have been put on hold.

“Right before this all happened, I had been planning to buy supplies for our centerpieces, I was shopping around for wedding shoes and a veil. Now, I can’t do any of those things. This pandemic has put a huge damper on our plans,” Santos said.

Current conditions highlight unique forms of communication for businesses, families, friends and professionals to stay connected. Limiting the spread of infection through video-chats allow businesses and couples to overcome the constraints of planning their events during the lockdown. Bride-to-be Caitlin Groh shared her next moves.

 “I was planning to schedule in person meetings with photographers, florists, bakers, but that’s obviously off the table. It’s slowed me down quite a bit, but I know all the vendors are able to communicate virtually so I’ll make arrangements to do so,” Groh said.

As the recommended size of groups decreases for public health concerns, couples feel pressured to reconsider their guest lists for even fall 2020 weddings. “With all the restrictions in place regarding gathering sizes, I have considered cutting the guest list down. It is important to us that family attends, and considering the risk factor of certain people’s ages, it may be smart to have a smaller event even at that date,” said Groh.

 Google Hangouts, Crowd-Cast, and Zoom are becoming increasingly popular video-chat platforms for holding virtual meetings and client consultations. Businesses are picking up these communication techniques to keep their clients and teams connected. Wedding planners are seeing an uptick of virtual weddings as the world adapts to new norms, and innovative companies provide couples with wedding alternatives.

 Kimberly Mack, owner at Dream Weddings & Events’ shared that her wedding and event planning company has utilized video consultations as part of their regular business practices and will soon execute a virtual wedding for a determined Northeast Ohio couple creatively moving forward with their theme wedding amid the pandemic, and plan to renew their vows at a potential second wedding after the public health crisis comes to an end.

 “When I suggested a virtual wedding, the couple was absolutely thrilled. We worked out the issues of picture quality, attendance and hacking,” Mack said. “We are planning a backyard wedding with only the couple’s parents and stepparents in attendance. We are going to run it just as she planned with her theme shining. The best perk is guests can watch it live and then see it in rerun later. The couple will also be able have a video of their ‘first’ wedding, which we can show at the reception later if desired.”

Mack doesn’t want couples to give up their dream weddings during this crisis and provided some insight for couples struggling to navigate the next steps in their wedding plans.

“There is a lot to plan. A lot can be done at home especially with the use of a computer. Computers and being sheltered gives couples the opportunity to do more comparative pricing shopping, think through their theme and listen to and decide the best music for their ceremony,” said Mack.

Despite the challenges that COVID-19 brings, Groh emphasized that above all – what is truly important is each other.

“You may not be able to have the celebration you expected, but you still have a life with the person you love. Going through this with your partner at your side – makes the relationship that much stronger,” said Groh.


Author: Jessica Liszkowski