Local couples making new wedding plans now that banquet halls can reopen next month

Coronavirus

MEDINA, Ohio (WJW) — Wedding receptions that were put on hold can now resume after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that banquet halls can reopen on June 1 with up to 300 guests.

“I wish this announcement would have happened three weeks ago, because now our wedding is still cancelled. The new date was August sixth of this year,” said Jimmy and Alicia Jiminian.

They were married on April 4 in a small ceremony at a church in Medina, but they still don’t know when they’ll be able to hold a reception. Their new date in August was pushed back as it remained unclear when banquet halls could reopen.

*Read more stories on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, here.*

“I feel for the brides because it is their special day,” said Martin LaMalfa, CEO of LaMalfa, a banquet hall in Mentor.

He says the past two months have been challenging for his business. LaMalfa can now bring back staff and has rescheduled about 75% of his clients. His first rescheduled event is set for August, and he says there will be changes to comply with safety guidelines.

“By adding plexiglass in strong areas, spreading out tables, rolling silverware, no glasses, which is unusual for us. The tables aren’t as pretty as they used to be,” he said.

LaMalfa says he is eager to invite guests back to his banquet hall, and he’s cautiously optimistic that people will be ready to book such large gatherings here in the near future.

“I think we’re in a weird position right now, I think we all gotta gradually grow into this,” said LaMalfa.

Meanwhile, Alicia says she and Jimmy will just wait to have a celebration.

“I don’t even care if at this point next year, we just throw a big barbeque in our backyard, as long as we have food, alcohol, a DJ…that’s all you need to have a good time,” she said.

When banquet halls do reopen, they will be required to adhere to the same safety guidelines that restaurants must follow.

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