COVID-19 pandemic a trying time for wedding venues

Posted at 7:26 AM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-13 08:26:07-04

The global outbreak of COVID-19 has led to the postponement of events large and small from birthday parties, to weddings, to the Democratic National Convention this summer.

But it's also caused issues for couples who are recently engaged and now searching for wedding venues to book.

At The Bowery Barn in Rubicon, owner Jessica Pike said the average booking for weddings is roughly 18 months in advance. The barn is open year-round, but Pike said the "peak season" is April through November.

While some newly-engaged couples are looking into booking a space for their weddings, other couples that were set to tie the knot this spring are bumping back their dates to the fall, Pike said.

"We're trying to do as much as we can to be accommodating," she said.

She noted postponing a wedding is difficult.

"It trickles down to caterers, to photographers, to event planners, really to everybody involved. The best we can do is communicate and work together," Pike said.

"A lot of couples are looking at Fridays and Sundays as potential options," Pike said. "Because, say you wanted a Saturday in the fall, those dates are now more booked up than they would normally be at this time."

Pike said many couples are flustered and nervous about booking a venue during the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's really hard to give advice right now. I wish we had a crystal ball," Pike said. "But the last thing I'd want people to do is rush into a date just because they're booking up so quickly."

In an effort to help couples who have seen their wedding planning come to a halt during this pandemic, Pike is offering virtual tours of the barn.

"Is it perfect? No. But it does give people the opportunity to see it," she said.

Pike guided TMJ4 News on a digital tour of the barn via Skype.

She noted how potential customers can pause to ask her questions along the way - just like they could if they were visiting the Bowery Barn in person.

"We've had quite a few bookings," she said. "We've had people who have booked without coming out here for a tour. So we have to, in a sense, just carry on as we normally would. We're taking bookings, we're booking people maybe further out than we're used to. God forbid, if this goes longer than anticipated, we'll just keep working with couples as we have to push things out further."

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