Wedding venues struggling for business during COVID-19 pandemic

Gov. Phil Murphy has tightened restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings as cases of COVID-19 rise.
And while events such as weddings and funerals are exempt from some of these limits, those who work in the wedding industry say that they are still struggling during the pandemic.
“It’s definitely put a dent into our finances. It’s been really hard,” says Joan Brown with the Community House of Moorestown.
The Community House is usually entering its slower season for this time of year. But Brown says that this year has been different overall, with 70% of the spring, summer and fall weddings bumped because of the pandemic.
“We still have about 40 weddings though that were postponed to later dates such as 2021. Maybe one or two in 2022,” Brown says.
Wedding venues are still limited to 150 people or 25% capacity. For the Community House, this is only 70 people for indoors. Brown says that the limits are forcing the venue to get creative.
Brown says that the reason that the business was able to stay afloat is due to the outdoor space that is available. Brown says that the Community House was able to go through with about 30% of the weddings scheduled this year by either utilizing the front lawn or limiting the number of guests and going inside.
“We had a large tent on our front lawn, which was able to accommodate about 150 people. Some weddings were 100, some were less than that, but anything over 70, the weddings were outdoors with some indoor capacity,” she says.
Brown says that she is not too concerned should new restrictions go into effect for weddings this winter because the winter is the slow season. But she says that come March and beyond, it would be a different story.
“We have 60-some weddings on the books, and we are looking at going forward with them and hoping that COVID comes to an end or becomes a manageable end,” says Brown.