Wedding plans have been turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic, but there’s some hope for couples planning a summer wedding in New Hampshire.
Gov. Chris Sununu on Tuesday gave the green light for outdoor celebrations -- with some serious restrictions. Tables will have to be six feet apart and there can’t be more than six people per table.
The news came as a relief to Lauren DiBonaventura and her fiancé Corey, who were supposed to get married this weekend. With so much uncertainty right now, they pushed their wedding day to July 4.
“We’ve had so many talks about whether we should just elope, what should we do,” DiBonaventura said. “Should we keep ordering things for the wedding, or should we not?”
Their venue, LaBelle Winery in Amherst, is ready to go.
“Today is a happy day,” said owner Amy LaBelle during a virtual interview Wednesday.
LaBelle had to furlough 90 employees at the beginning of the coronavirus shutdowns and then used all her savings to continue paying their health benefits.
“It’s been the great honor of my life to build this place up, so to sit back for the last 10 weeks and try to figure out how to salvage it and wonder if we will make it has been really hard,” LaBelle said.
This week, she was able to bring back more than half of her employees.
The tables are spaced out and servers with masks are helping guests on the terrace. For weddings, there won’t be any gathering at the bar and signs will remind people about social distancing on an expanded dance floor.
“We’re just trying to make it a smooth process for these couples,” LaBelle said.
So, while it might not look exactly like she had imagined, DiBonaventura admits, these months of social distancing will make her wedding day even sweeter.
“Being able to be surrounded by that much family and friends in one place is going to be something we haven’t experienced in so, so long, so I think it is going to be extra special,” she said.
Labelle is expecting the governor to relax the wedding restrictions in the next phase of reopening, but there’s no idea yet what that means or when that might happen.
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