Wedding planners, venues prepare for new reception capacity restrictions

A bride puts a ring on a groom at a wedding.

Minnesota wedding venues and event planners are once again changing plans this year after Governor Tim Walz announced new restrictions for social gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a Twin Cities wedding and event planner, Jenna Culley thought she had seen it all until the pandemic.

“Going through those emotional ups and downs with them was a lot more emotionally taxing on me than I really gave it credit for,” said Culley of Jenna Culley Events.

This year has been full of altered plans, smaller guest lists, postponed weddings and bride and grooms left feeling in limbo.

“It’s ok to grieve, it’s ok to feel sad that your wedding plans got changed,” said Culley.

Now Culley has another change to tell her clients about. Starting in just a few weeks, their guest lists will have to be cut down again.

“I wasn’t surprised and with the breakouts we’ve seen come out because of weddings, I understand the decision,” said Culley.

Governor Walz announced starting on Friday, November 27 celebrations, including wedding and funeral receptions, will be capped at 50 people and must end by 10 p.m. On Friday, Dec. 11, that number will go down to 25 people. Wedding ceremonies and funerals will not be impacted.

Walz said the Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed nearly 200 outbreaks in the state connected to social gatherings like wedding and funeral receptions.

“I feel like I’ve been a shrink for a lot of people,” said George Maverick of Fab! Weddings.

Maverick owns three wedding venues in the south metro and is working to navigate this latest change.

“This is going to be another one where we send emails and get on the phone and talk to people and walk them through options,” said Maverick.
Through it all, he’s trying to keep his business afloat.

“They’re doing their best and we are the primary spots for spread I get that,” said Maverick. “I hope they would do something to spread the load a bit financially.”