ENOSBURGH — Now that Gov. Phil Scott has rolled out a timeline for reopening, the rush to rebook weddings is on, but is it too soon?
Lize Gates, of Dairy Center Catering in Enosburgh, says her bookings are through the roof.
“I’m booked every weekend all the way through the middle of October. Let’s say I have something scheduled for 95% of my summer,” she said.
But don’t let the numbers fool you.
“A lot of people are booking from last year,” she says. In fact, of the 32 weddings scheduled last summer, Gates only catered eight. “Because I wanted to follow the rules, people cancelled for me and just did their own thing in their backyard. It’s just exciting to know that they’re going to be able to happen this year.”
According to a survey from wedding website The Knot, nearly half of all U.S. couples who planned to get married in 2020 postponed part of their celebration, and of the couples that got married, one-third of them are planning another celebration.
Judy Risteff with the Vermont Wedding Association says those numbers will be skewed this year.
“You’re going to see parties ... but they already got married ... so how do you count that? I can’t count how many I know of that got married and have planned a party for this summer,” says Risteff.
Risteff also says that normal anxieties around having a wedding have been heightened by the issue over whether people in wedding parties are vaccinated.
“Here’s the wild card ... the kids. We’re racing to get vaccines ready for kids but we're not there yet. I know of a flower girl for a wedding at the end of May and she will need a negative test three days prior to the wedding to be safe," says Risteff.
A trend coming out of the uncertainty over indoor restrictions has led to a surge of outdoor activities.
“This age group are gamers and because there are so many outdoor weddings, they put together an array of outdoor activities whether it’s cornhole or croquet or whatever, they’re outside,” she says
Another trend this year is to keep the wedding guest list down and to use that savings to splurge more on décor, food or alcohol.
“I think the name of the game right now is to just be as flexible as you can,” says Risteff.
For Gates, it’s a time to party but also be cautious.
“I want my customers to be safe and I want my employees to be safe but I’m so excited!” she said.