Last year, Arlington Acres, a family dairy farm wedding venue in LaFayette, had 22 weddings scheduled.
Only four of them actually happened.
“2020 was nothing short of devastating for the wedding industry,” said Katie Jerome, owner of the popular venue.
The past year was economically devastating for many companies, especially in the event industry. Fortunately, most of Jerome’s couples have moved or even further removed this year instead of canceling so she didn’t have to repay very many deposits.
For Jimmy Golub, the owner of our farm in Manlius, last year was a different story.
“Every wedding we had was canceled last year,” he said.
Golub returned tons of deposits to people who were canceling, which was challenging to say the least.
“And it wasn’t like we had the money in a drawer waiting to give it back to you. We, we had to, you know, we had to come up with that money,” he said.
Fortunately for Golub, weddings are really just a side gig for Our Farm. Her farm also has a petting zoo, a corn maze and a pumpkin patch. In terms of their harvest, which is their main source of income, their pumpkins and sweet corn had a tremendous year.
At Arlington Acres, Jerome also found another way to get the community to their venue despite the pandemic.
“We actually hosted pop-up drive-in movies,” said Jerome. “So we put a screen by the side of our barn and, you know, got a projector and an FM transmitter, and early in the pandemic, well, all of last year. [we] hosted pop-up drive-in movies for the community “
In March, the state eased restrictions on weddings, which now allow up to 150 guests, but restricted restrictions such as mandatory testing and dancing regulations. Golub said these were perfectly valid restrictions even while the vaccine was being introduced.
“I feel a lot better about the limitations we can live with,” he said. “You are sensible and we want it to be safe anyway.”
Despite their struggles over the past year, this wedding season is coming up hopefully to make up for some of their losses.
Golub says that all of his available weekends on our farm are already booked for the entire season. And at Arlington Acres, Jerome says her weekends are double or even triple booked.