RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) – Kelly Gardner was thrilled to find out that Governor Cooper had lifted restrictions on indoor events this week.

She plans to get married in Hillsborough in two weeks.

“Our wedding ends at 10 p.m. and we’re trying to get people home or back to the hotel through the curfew. I was stressed about whether my wedding would be canceled or if we couldn’t enjoy it.” Kelly said.

Indoor events can soon be run with a capacity of 30% or a maximum of 250 people. The overnight curfew has been lifted along with the alcohol curfew, which experts say will allow events to proceed at a more normal time.

The new mandate also means that guests sitting at the same table do not have to come from the same household.

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“It’s great to receive this news that we can be 30% or less of 250 because my 30% is 224,” said Nicole Clayton, owner of Cloth Mill, a former textile mill that it took over in 2015.

The capacity inside is more than 700, which means it can safely accommodate more than 200 guests under the eased mandates.

All but 10 of the 50 weddings planned for 2020 at the location did not take place.

This is the venue they picked in @HillsboroughGov. It’s an old textile factory that was a big developer of jeans during World War II.
The owner is thrilled that she can have more people here. Technically, they can have more than 200 since their fire capacity is more than 700. # Abc11 pic.twitter.com/kxMCAq238J

– Josh Chapin (@ JoshChapinABC11) February 26, 2021

Wedding photographer Kate Pope also had little to do. “I think the trend is reversing,” she said. “I think people feel safer now that we have a vaccine and that’s encouraging, but it was weird.”

Wedding industry experts say the relaxed restrictions will help medium to large-sized venues more, but any step in the right direction is a good one.

“I was on cloud nine,” said Kelly.

She had dreamed of getting married in Italy but chose North Carolina and Hillsborough because her mother is from Warrenton.

She and her husband live in Mount Vernon outside of New York City.

“I am extremely grateful,” she said. “For all brides who have had to cancel, this is the light at the end of the tunnel. I am very blessed that I do not have to cancel or postpone anything.”

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