Wedding planners, brides frustrated with venue limitations amid COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 5:08 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 20:22:38-04

DENVER — What's supposed to be the peak of wedding season is still waiting to take-off despite other businesses reopening.

Wedding planner and designer for First Look Events, Brynn Swanson, says the special events industry is being left behind restaurants and other businesses.

"As of right now, the state is saying that you can have a gathering of 10 people or less. We've been directed that those special gatherings and events do include staff, whereas a restaurant they're at 50 people and 50% capacity, and that does not include the staff that runs the restaurant," Swanson said.

She says she was directed to go directly to the county first with their request for a variance, which would give them special permission to host gatherings of more than 10 people.

"And we are told by the counties -- we have the paperwork already. We see the variance. It's been approved on our level," she said.

In the middle of all the wait and see is Jenni Stanford and her fiance. She says their wedding is less than a month away.

"I would assume that nobody is going to come arrest me and my groom on our wedding day, but that's something that we're currently being faced with wondering, so is that a possibility," Stanford said.

Feeling like the day she's dreamed of for years is in the hands of government officials.

"It's hard for me not to be upset when I see that summer camps are able to open back up with 25 people, that pools can have 50 people in them, but I cannot have 11 people at my wedding. I can't even have my immediate family," she said.

Denver7 reached out to the state for comment, and they provided the following statement:

"Under recent draft guidance, places of worship will be able to have up to 50% capacity in person, but no more than 50 people at one time, including for weddings. Gatherings, such as receptions, are limited to 10 or fewer people indoors and 25 or fewer outdoors. The administration released draft guidance for religious services earlier this week and is hearing public feedback. The Governor signed an executive order early on in the pandemic allowing for marriage licenses to be obtained remotely and recently extended it."