Weddings were downsized, postponed, or canceled during the pandemic. Level Blue means some venues can accommodate more people.

DENVER – Michelle Strode has albums and wedding photo albums on her laptop.

They remind her of an easier time.

“I will always remember that wedding,” she said, pointing to photos from March 2020. “It was the last wedding before this pandemic and before the guidelines drastically changed events. It is our last “normal” wedding here in Moss. “

Strode talks about Moss Denver, a venue in Denver’s Sante Fe Arts District, where she works as a venue manager. Weddings make up about 90% of the business.

“2020 was of course a difficult year,” said Strode. “We wanted to have one of our best years as an industry.”

That was before COVID-19. In the past year, weddings had to shrink, postpone or even cancel. And the list of rules began to grow.

Moss Denver rode the pandemic roller coaster with the couples who wanted to get married there. In addition to limiting guests, social distancing measures were implemented in the building in the event space, allowing wedding guests to sit, eat, and socialize in small, pre-arranged pods. Masks were required and temperatures were taken at the front door.

“I miss the room full of love, emotions and celebrations,” said Strode. “And we were just trying to keep a smile on our faces and remind our customers what they are here for.”

But 2021 brings better news for the hardest-hit wedding industry: vaccinations.

Colorado has just reached a major milestone, vaccinating 70% of people over the age of 70.

This means that five-star certified companies in counties in the yellow tier can now switch to the blue tier and open with greater capacity.

Moss Denver applied for and got approved for five-star certification a few weeks ago.

“With this certificate we can say: ‘We are safe. We take care of the safety of your guests. We will take all necessary precautions and do everything for you, ”said Strode.

For Moss, Level Blue means a capacity of 50% for up to 175 people. This is the guest size at most pre-pandemic weddings.

“So exciting!” Said Strode. “Still with social distancing measures and masks, of course, but it just gives our guests a little more leeway to agree to these guests.”

Strode is quick to credit the entire wedding and events industry for supporting one another over the past year. The Colorado Event Alliance was founded last March and now advocates special events for companies.

“We are a team, believe it or not. All venues are one team, ”said Stephanie Helzer, sales and marketing director for two venues: Ironworks and Mile High Station.

Both venues also have a five-star certification and are keen to develop more capacity.

“We were really scared in January when we customers said in September and October and even in December, ‘Hey, I think we have to pull the plug, I don’t think it’s going to happen. ‘We really needed it. This is an enormous boost in confidence for our customers, ”said Helzer.

With Level Blue taking effect immediately, Helzer said customers will have more capacity in March and customers booked for the later year will have peace of mind. According to Helzer, Level Blue means a capacity of 225 for the Mile High Station and around 160 for the ironworks.

“Oh my god! This is the average wedding! This is everything we ever wanted,” said Helzer. “These couples were amazing. They get it. They still want to have their event … They were great. They have renewed my spirit in humanity. “

At Moss, Strode is also optimistic with Level Blue.

“It gives me hope for the future and how we will develop and what events will look like when it is safe again,” she said. “I really hope that the vaccines and these safety measures will increase consumer confidence that you will be safe at an event.

“I can’t wait to see these celebrations and the happiness that comes into the room,” said Strode.

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