LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kentucky will begin phase three of reopening its economy on June 29.
The final stage allows gatherings of 50 people or fewer, public swimming, and event venues to reopen with restrictions in place.
As a result, wedding receptions will be allowed to take place.
Limestone Hall at the Historic Courthouse in Lexington is gearing up for its first events. Venue owner and president of the Lexington Event Company Kaelyn Query said they are having frequent conversations with brides and grooms about what will need to be different.
“We’re working with folks to make sure it still feels intimate and special, but that it also feels safe,” said Query.
State guidelines limit venue capacities at 50%. All staff and vendors are required to wear masks at all times and clean frequently touched areas consistently.
Query said vendors, like florists and caterers, will need to arrive and set up at scheduled times to allow venue staff to clean in between. Only one vendor will be allowed at Limestone Hall at a time, according to Query.
“It gives us a little longer of a day, but the trade-off is we’re going to be as safe as possible,” said Query.
The limitations in capacity have forced some weddings to drastically reduce their guest list. According to Query, some people have chosen to work around this by inviting half of their guests to the reception and half to the ceremony.
“So, splitting the group where it would have been a 250-person celebration, now it’s 75 here, 75 there,” she explained.
Banquets and self-service drink stations have been completely eliminated from the list of options for the time being, according to Query.
“You’ll have the cutting of the cake, but it won’t be cake gets put out on the table for a wedding.”
During a wedding, when it’s time to dance, Query said there are options to choose from during the event planning. If there will be dancing, the space needs to be proportionally twice as large for the number of people to allow for social distancing. Brides and grooms may also choose to eliminate dancing altogether.
“It’ll just be ceremonial dancing. Everybody is making different choices.”
Signs will be placed around the venue to remind people to practice social distancing and adhere to any pre-determined policies.
“It’s going to look a little different. Nobody wants tape on the ground with arrows pointing how you go, but it’s either that or we don’t have the event.”
State guidelines encourage the use of masks by guests but do not require them in order for a venue to operate.
“You know, we can’t force someone to wear a mask,” Query said. “We’re going to highly encourage it and we’re going to ask our clients that they highly encourage folks who are not feeling well to not attend to try to help minimize as much as possible.”