CLEVELAND (WJW)– Couples who planned to get married in 2020 put off their celebrations to this year, hoping conditions would improve. Now, with COVID-19 cases dropping and vaccines being more widely available, is a wedding boom on the horizon?
Sadie’s Social Complex in Maple Heights had only been in business for a year when the pandemic forced owner Jamie Powell to temporarily shutdown.
“We could only accommodate 80 people before COVID, but now with people starting to do things and wanting to do smaller groups of things. We have definitely been having clients come in that want to do weddings and receptions here at the same location,” Powell said.
Keeping guest lists smaller, despite the COVID-19 vaccine being made available to more people, appears to be the norm, said Cleveland wedding planner Covesa Gragg, owner of Covesa Kelly Events.
“They’re growing little bit, by little bit. But there are still some mandates in place around the space versus the number of people, depending on how the space can socially distance guests,” Gragg said.
As of this week, the CDC continues to recommend that large gatherings be avoided, particularly those in which physical, social distancing cannot be maintained between people who live in different households.
There are several factors, including the setting of the event, indoor versus outdoor, the length of the event and number of people. There’s also COVID-19 vaccine access.
“A lot of our clients are black, are older and a lot of times, well, it seems like COVID, this vaccination has really not been open to a lot of the people that are our clientele,” Powell said.
Jacob Holland, owner of Gordon Green event space on Cleveland’s west side, said now that Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine loosened restrictions, more couples are going full-steam ahead with wedding planning.
But even with the vaccine rollout, they still must comply with masking and social distancing. Having outdoor space available, he said, a major plus.
“That’s ensuring that not only the guests are safe and at a safe distance, but also our staff,” Holland said.
The CDC also said people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can now gather indoors in small groups without wearing masks or social distancing. That is only if everyone at the gathering has also been fully vaccinated.