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Couples navigate wedding planning as health orders begin to lift

With health orders soon lifting, many couples are preparing for the weddings they put on hold over one year ago.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — For couples planning their special day, last year was difficult. 

Many couples had to reschedule their wedding date for this year or even further. Now, with health orders lifting in a matter of weeks, plans could slightly change once again. 

Alyssa Rohan is hosting around 500 people at her wedding, set to take place July 31. That wasn’t her original wedding date.

Tori Herington also had to adjust plans. She had a small wedding last year but plans to hold their reception on July 16. 

While celebrating their weddings separately, the two work together and have been discussing their experiences with each other. 

“I just feel like it’s finally here and I’m getting excited now, and finally just relieved it’s actually going to happen,” Herington said. 

Both brides said, with health orders lifting June 2, they’re working with their separate venues to see what the plans are moving forward. Both agree, if the venue allows for it, it will be up to guests whether or not they wear a mask or come vaccinated. 

“For the masks, it’s really up to them. At this point a lot of my family and my fiancés’ family has been vaccinated. We lost his uncle COVID so a lot of us are vaccinated and, you know, just ready to get things back to normal,” Rohan said.

Nicole Zielinski is getting married on July 3, which was her original date.

“With the restrictions being lifted, yes it will be up to the guests and their comfort levels to wear masks,” Zielinski said, adding it feels amazing that "things are going in the right direction." 

Despite a range of emotions, Zielinski is feeling hopeful, looking forward to marrying her fiancé and beginning their lives together.

As for planning a wedding, a big part of that is the venue.

Anand Saha, the Co-Owner of Mozart’s, said they’re seeing business starting to pick up and getting numerous calls with people wanting to plan events. Right now guests and staff are still asked to wear masks and social distancing, following CDC guidelines.

However, after June 2, when the health orders are lifted, he said guests will be allowed to come in without masks.

“We are following every possible measures to keep people safe, us safe, we need to get back to work, we need to have businesses back,” Saha said.

As for larger parties, guests are able at this time to have 120 people attend an event. After the lift of health orders, he said it’s possible more guests can be add to the list.

When it comes to the decision on whether people have to wear masks, or be vaccinated, Saha said that’s still a question. They are waiting to get more feedback and guidance from the Governor.

“I’m assuming, I’m hoping it’s on the venues, it’s our business and our reputation, so we want to make sure what we do, we do correctly so everyone knows out there that we are following the rules and making sure everybody’s safe and having a great time,” Saha said.

Wedding planners Leda Anderson with Events Held Dear and Myriam Solomon with Myriam Solomon Consulting said they are both getting more and more calls to help plan events.

Both mentioned that couples planning weddings are calling with questions such as, “What do we do next?.” 

Both planners are working with the venues and other event staff to make sure everyone is on the safe page about new guidelines, masks and social distancing.