Following the announcement by Governor Jay Inslee, the wedding venues are now adjusting to changes related to the new mask and social distancing guidelines.

SEATTLE – It’s an industry that has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Countless weddings have had to be canceled or postponed over the past year due to concerns about the coronavirus.

Now companies in all industries are struggling to adapt after Governor Jay Inslee announced that Washington will follow federal guidelines that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors unless state, locality, tribe state otherwise or company specified guidelines.

The foundry in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle is operated by Landmark Event Co. of Seattle, a company currently in compliance with updated mask guidelines.

Sam Benton is the company’s director of operations and said the governor’s announcement was again and changing everything.

“We just figured it out right, so we are in the preliminary stages of everything. Of course we will be basing ourselves on the guidelines that are provided to us,” said Benton.

Landmark Event Co. oversees three wedding venues including the Fremont Foundry, the ruins at Lower Queen Anne, and Skansonia in North Lake Union.

As with most wedding venues, the pandemic has been a challenging year for Landmark Event Co., but Benton said weddings book quickly when things normalize.

“We’re very busy. Obviously things are open now, and that’s a really great thing for us. Now, however, the new mask mandate was released yesterday and we’re trying to control how it looks for us and our guests,” said Benton said.

Benton said those who are fully vaccinated will no longer have to wear masks, but those who are not vaccinated will still have to wear one. Guests who go to the dance floor are still required to wear a mask and guests should be ready to show proof of vaccination, Benton said.

“At any point in the evening, we as a company can ask you to provide proof of your vaccination card,” said Benton.

Inslee said during his update on Thursday that companies may enforce their own policies if customers are required to wear masks.

“Now the only thing that matters is that everyone’s safety is our top priority,” said Benton.

Other wedding planners have slightly different rules. Rebecca Grant, owner of New Creations Weddings, runs a wedding venue in Snohomish.

Grant said he was working with other wedding planners last week to advocate specific COVID-19 guidelines for weddings in the governor’s office. The governor’s announcement came as a shock to her.

“Jaw fell. I mean, it was completely unexpected,” said Grant.

Grant said fully vaccinated guests no longer need to wear a mask at their venue, but those who are not vaccinated must continue to follow the state’s Phase 3 reopening guidelines on social distancing and masking.

Grant said their guests do not need to provide proof of vaccination.

Grant said she was looking for more detailed guidelines on how to wear masks, especially for weddings. By then, wedding coordinators like Grant and Benton said they would work it through.

“We as business owners have to do this ourselves, so we’ll find out because we always do,” Benton said.

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