Wedding venues look to rebound from COVID-19

Local Coronavirus Coverage

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – With wedding season now upon us, Northeast Tennessee wedding venues are looking to rebound as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Also helping, gatherings of up to 50 people are now allowed.

Wedding and event planners told News Channel 11’s Blake Lipton many couples who had their weddings scheduled for early spring have rescheduled to the fall or next year.

“It’s definitely been a roller coaster ride,” said Kelly Story, wedding planned for Storybrook Events.

Story said she has had her hands full with rescheduling.

However, because Storybrook Farms only allows a maximum of 24 people for weddings, there has been some upside for the business.

“We have definitely seen a lot of people who weren’t originally planning a small wedding,” she said, “but have realized that they do have options, that they still can have what feels like a great traditional wedding with all the elements they want, just with fewer people.”

The Heritage, an events center and catering service, is now in its third year in business.

“When you can’t have a gathering, you don’t need the space or you don’t need food so, our business has been terrible,” said owner Linda Delong.

Delong said rescheduled weddings are causing her staff to pick up extra events on Friday and Sundays in the fall.

“We’re really busy for the most part always anyway during the fall and with this on top of it, the extra load, it will be a lot of long weekends,” she said.

Uncertainty over coronavirus has also posed a challenge for scheduling weddings.

“Early on,” said Delong, “I had people reschedule for June and even into May and then they get scared, and obviously we are not 100 percent, and they’ve had to reschedule again and again.”

Delong said The Heritage still has a few dates open in the fall.

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