Relaxed COVID rules let couples say ‘I do’ to summer ceremonies

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 5:36 PM EDT
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ESSEX, Vt. (WCAX) - Welcome news for Vermont’s wedding industry-- updated COVID travel guidance means the big day is back on for many couples. That means postponed ceremonies can happen again, but not everyone will be able to squeeze in a ceremony this year.

“A long-awaited sense of somewhat relief. I’m not going to say all relief. We’re still a long way from ever being back to normal,” said Jon Lang, who owns the Barns at Lang Farm.

“It’s gone back to 2019 our regular schedule. You know, weddings coming in a nice flow every weekend,” said Kris Eaton, who owns Chappell’s Florist.

“DJs and venues have just been annihilated, and so this is really, really big, positive, important change for them,” said Carmen George, a justice of the peace.

The wedding industry is getting back on track for ceremonies this season thanks to new state guidelines. Unvaccinated people planning to visit Vermont must have a COVID-19 test within three days of arriving in the Green Mountain State. If you are vaccinated, you don’t need to get a test. By the Fourth of July, there will be no outdoor gathering capacity limits.

“It’s, you know, nice to see things opening up. So our brides that were waiting two years to get married are excited that they can get their big weddings,” Eaton said.

That means barns and ballrooms will be filled with dancing. If you’re worried that it’s too late in the year to lock down plans for your wedding, Lang says it’s not.

“Everybody has all the background. All you have to do is update the invitations, and proverbial, you know, pull the trigger on it. You know, make it happen,” he said. “If you have good guidance, and you rely on your vendors and they have openings, it certainly can be done.”

But if you’re looking to plan a wedding, that could be harder to pull off this year.

“We’re fully booked up and we are not only doing all of our postponement weddings that we had, but we also had a really huge influx of new ’21 clients coming in,” said Jackie Watson, who owns Jackie Watson Events.

That’s because there are three years’ worth of weddings vendors are trying to squeeze into two years. They expect 2022 to be a very busy wedding year.

“Love is not going to be stoped by COVID. People are getting married,” George said. “It’s a great time to celebrate that friend and family.”

“If you’re looking for a wedding, I’ve got a place,” Lang said with a laugh.

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