NJ wedding venues not giving up on summer 2020
When will you once again attend a jam-packed, fist pumpin', New Jersey-style wedding?
Professionals in the industry understand these typically large indoor gatherings are on the back burner as the state attempts a safe rebound from the COVID-19 public health crisis. But they're not completely giving up on summer 2020.
"There are a few late July weddings that are still hoping that they will, in fact, be given the green light," said Jeanne Cretella, president of Landmark Hospitality, which runs several event venues throughout the Garden State.
Landmark venues have moved hundreds of weddings that had originally been scheduled for March through early July of this year, Cretella said, as executive orders from Gov. Phil Murphy continued to limit the number of people that can gather indoors.
Cretella said once Atlantic City casinos are given the green light to open — Murphy has mentioned he's hopeful for an opening around July 4 — celebratory gatherings of family and friends should be considered.
Cretella said unprecedented precautions would be taken, including public-facing employees wearing masks and sanitizing stations throughout the venues, but a venue's capacity may still allow for a decent-sized crowd to celebrate nuptials.
Earlier this month, Murphy partially lifted restrictions on gatherings. Outdoor weddings technically could occur, at a maximum of 100 people. That number is expected to jump to 250 on June 22, and to 500 on July 3. Indoor dining remains prohibited in New Jersey, and catering halls will likely be included when the state slowly allows patrons to once again eat inside.
August weddings are still on the books, for now, at Edgewood Country Club in River Vale. Candice Timmerman, director of events, said they're allowing couples to move their dates when the event is no more than four months out.
"I think we're very lucky the bulk of our couples are staying very calm and hopeful," Timmerman said.
The country club has moved about 40 events planned through July. Venues across the state, Timmerman said, are struggling to cater to everyone's requests for dates in 2021, as couples who wish to postpone their 2020 dates compete with newly engaged lovers who are planning ahead.
Timmerman predicts Thursday is going to be the "new Friday" for wedding venues, with the idea being that guests will choose to turn the event into a long weekend.
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