Wedding venues picking back up with business during pandemic

Wedding venues picking back up with business during pandemic

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - More event venue owners and future newlyweds now have the peace of mind to start planning weddings again now that Louisiana has entered Phase 3.

Venues say things have just started to pick back up for business within this past week after Governor John Bel Edwards lifted bans and eased up on several restrictions.

Among the restriction changes, indoor events like weddings will be limited to 50 percent of a building’s capacity, with no more than 250 people in attendance. The ease of restrictions comes as a blessing to wedding venue owners.

“My phone has been blowing up,” says Victoria Huber, owner of Magnolia House. “We’re excited to get back to normal. Sitting on the Texas border, we’ve had a lot of Texas brides, believe it or not, calling for venues.”

Some of those future brides, engaged for over a year, are waiting for the day when they finally can tie the knot, safely.

“When I heard the Governor was lifting the ban, then it made me feel a little bit better,” says bride, Hannah Fontenot.

“I was happy, but at the same time I was like these people are crazy,” says bride, Brianna George. “This is a scary time right now, you don’t know what the future holds.”

Magnolia House had to refund over $85,000 this past year, and lost over $200,000 in revenue.

“We had a lot of small weddings this year,” says Huber. “We had over 60 on the books, but we only had 30 that actually happened. We had over 30 postponed for this year. We saw weddings go from 300 to 100 - 75 people with state regulations.”

Even though couples can have more people in attendance at ceremonies, some are still hoping the mask mandate will be lifted.

“I don’t like wearing masks, but I do it anyways,” says Fontenot. “I want maybe like 120 people.”

“I’d rather be safe than sorry, like I said,” says George. “If we can keep each other safe, that’s the best thing possible. No one knows what’s going to happen, so why not take the necessary precautions.”

Several venue owners are still playing it safe by taking temperatures at the door, and dancing is still not allowed during ceremonies under the current Phase 3 modifications.

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