LIMA — With the unofficial wedding season approaching, area couples are feeling the threat of the limited gathering recommendations.
Brides Jamie Fullom, of Lima, and Sarah Allen, of Harrod, both have their weddings slated for the final weekend in May. They are both now having to look into backup plans.
Allen, set to wed Shane Stratton, of Bluffton, on May 29, said they are looking at a potential make-up date in August. Fullom and her fiance Isaac Woody, of Morristown, Tennessee, whose wedding is set for May 30, plan to go forward with the ceremony with immediate family and host a reception at a later date if need be.
“It’s kind of like a waiting game because you never know how long this will last,” Fullom explained. “At the same time, you have to have a plan B for if it does last that long. It’s just hard to know at what point you say it’s postponed or you’re still having it.”
Their plan is to see what unfolds in the opening weeks of April before making any final decisions — but as a planner, it’s been difficult for Fullom going through this.
“My mom and I have worked hard to make sure everything is done ahead of time. We’d planned to have the day free of any worries,” she said. “It’s hard because we planned for so long for that day to work and now it’s not working. That’s really the worst part is not being able to plan anymore and having to put all plans on hold.”
Allen also tried to hold out as long as possible, but finally got the recommendation to move her date from her venue in Ada. However, the venue has very few dates left in the time they’re looking to hold their services, and if they change venues, they risk losing the deposit.
“It’s been challenging just knowing that this is one of the most important days in a woman’s life, and it might have to be canceled or postponed,” Allen said. “We want to be able to celebrate with our family and friends rather than keeping the date with some family and friends not there.”
Allen and Stratton invited about 350 guests and face the task of notifying each of those guests of a potential date and/or venue change. Each bride also has the added stress of rescheduling their vendors for catering, photography, flowers, music and cake to see when they are all available.
Jennifer Neidert, of Joyous Occasions Fort Jennings, LLC, said it has begun trickling down to her business, which specializes in special event design and decor. Her two April weddings have been postponed while her May and June brides are in the same stage as Fullom and Allen.
“We have the easy jobs here — they have the hard job of rescheduling everything. We try to make this as stress-free as possible, but this is really stressing the brides out,” Neidert explained. “Most of these places book one to two years in advance. My 2021 is almost halfway full, for example, so to try and find somebody in six months or less with the people you want is a lot of times impossible unless there’s another cancellation.”
Luckily, both brides have been able to find the positive in the whole situation.
“We know that at the end of the day, we’re going to marry each other,” Allen said. “This is just a curve in a road and we’re just thanking God that all of our family and friends are healthy and safe, and we pray that they stay that way so they can come to our wedding and celebrate with us when it can happen.”
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.