The Rebound: Opening a wedding venue during a pandemic

Posted at 5:00 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 17:50:43-04

RICHMOND, Ky. (LEX 18) — Life as we know it has turned upside down in 2020.

As for life-changing events such as a wedding, those are either postponed, canceled, or completely different. That's led to scrambling for both the bridal party and venue owners.

As her own wedding day came on the radar, Shelby Schneid Hundley says her family thought of a new business venture right on their farm. The goal was to convert part of the family farm into a wedding and event venue with an agricultural theme.

"So doing a farmers market, or hosting 4H or FFA events, we definitely want to support our ag community as much as we can as well," said Schneid Hundley.

The SMK Agricultural Venue was supposed to open in the summer in time for Shelby's own wedding.

"Self-parking, it includes a bride and groom suite. The bridal suite has an on-suite bathroom, so the bride never has to leave the suite. Guest bathrooms that are handicap-accessible. We also offer indoor and outdoor ceremony options," said Schneid Hundley.

Wedding venue Shelby.JPG

But due to COVID-19 restrictions, the opening day was pushed back. The pandemic has also offset the supply chain as construction continues.

While not the big affair she planned for, Shelby did have her wedding last month in front of family and friends in what she called a "micro wedding."

"We did everything from socially distanced tables, only seating the tables at half capacity. So a table that fit eight, we only sat four. We had hand sanitizer on every table. We offered masks to everyone that came in," said Schneid Hundley.

The venue is open for tours and engagement shoots, and Schneid Hundley says couples are picking dates for 2021. She says micro weddings are an option for those that worry about possible restrictions continuing.

The hope is to have a grand opening this winter, but she says they'll also be flexible for the unexpected road ahead.