Wedding industry continues to face hardships with COVID-19 restrictions

Wedding industry continues to face hardships with COVID-19 restrictions
Weddings during a pandemic

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Small businesses are feeling the impact of the new COVID-19 restrictions in Virginia, including the wedding industry.

The Barn at Walnut Grove, in Elkton, held 14 weddings in the fall of last year. This year, it’s been 4.

Owner Paula Lam said running a business that is meant for social gatherings is difficult.

Lam said at Walnut Grove they have been enforcing safety guidelines at events like limited capacity, attendees are asked to wear masks, and COVID-19 questionnaires upon arrival. But Lam said keeping up with the business during this time is tough.

“Finding out on a Friday that we have even more restrictions on Sunday makes it hard for us to pivot to a new business plan, when we’ve already had to do that multiple times this year,” Lam said.

The Barn at Walnut Grove has been trying to keep business afloat by opening the space to businesses for socially-distanced meetings, but said they are still losing 80% of the revenue that weddings would bring in.

As for the future, Lam said they are having some weddings rescheduled to next year, but haven’t given a tour of the venue in months. Typically this time of year, Lam said she would be giving 4 tours on a Sunday. Lam adds that other industries are also being affected like photographers, caterers, and other small businesses.

“Really what it comes down to is, these restrictions will be lifted one day, but will the small business be able to survive?” Lam said.

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