Some couples postponed weddings last summer in hopes the COVID-19 threat would have subsided by now, Ware said.

Mission Point, a destination on southeast Mackinac Island, and other wedding venue operators have reported an increase in cancellations as some couples move their weddings to backyards or out of state.

Ohio lifts all public health restrictions on June 2nd and Illinois could be fully reopened by June 11th.

Leah Strate, a native Grand Rapids American who lives and works in Chicago, and her fiancé Brent Eaton have considered moving their August 6 wedding to Illinois or another location in Kent County that will have dinner for $ 150 Can take place outdoors.

The original location, Venue3Two, a renovated 1925 mansion in the suburb of Grand Rapids, Kentwood, can accommodate more than 50 people for an outdoor wedding when the ceremony and reception need to be outdoors, Strate said.

“We really want to be over 50 if possible,” said Strate.

The capacity limit causes the couple to scramble to find a new venue – and remove uncertainty about ever-changing government health restrictions.

Strate and Eaton are heading to Grand Rapids this weekend to visit Thousand Oaks Country Club, which recently added a larger tent for larger wedding parties. When it checks out, they’ll likely switch venues for the larger outdoor area as Venue3Two is ready to refund their deposit, Strate said.

“I feel like a pretty shy bride, but it’s been stressful for everyone,” said Strate, who works in sales at the Zachary Hotel near Wrigley Field in Chicago. “We just don’t know how to move forward. At this point we are three months out and just have to work out a plan.”

Paul Hess, co-owner of Epoch Hospitality Group, said his company’s wedding customers are asking why their capacity needs to be constrained when more than 70 percent of their guests are being vaccinated.

“I think it’s a great solution,” said Hess. “There really aren’t any downsides – it’s safe, it’s an incentive, and it also relieves people of that growing, bubbling pressure that builds up as their ability to live their lives continues to be restricted.”

The 70 percent vaccinated milestone is when Whitmer says mask mandates and other COVID restrictions will be lifted. With 65 percent vaccinated or an additional 1 million residents over the age of 16, Whitmer has announced that all indoor capacity restrictions will be lifted.

Novi-based Epoch Hospitality Group operates wedding venues at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills, and the Genesys Conference and Banquet in Grand Blanc.

Hess has long been a critic of Whitmer’s pandemic restrictions. Regarding the wedding restrictions, he asks why a venue like the Suburban Collection Showplace, with 18-foot ceilings in the exhibition hall and 20,000-square-foot ballrooms, has a higher air quality standard than a packed 747 airliner.

“The air quality and the distance that is allowed, the science is wrong,” he said.

According to Hess, the collection of vaccination information can be done confidentially and through a simple phone application that would require participants to confirm their vaccination status. The records could be destroyed 30 days after a wedding or other large indoor event, Hess said.

Wedding venue and hotel resort operators are poised to take on the headache of interviewing wedding attendees on their vaccination status, Winslow said.

“If the alternative is to just drop you (the customer) and watch them go to Indiana or Ohio, then do what you have to do,” said Winslow.


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