NORTHERN MICHIGAN, (WPBN/WGTU) -- Brides across the country have had to cancel or reschedule their big day and depending on how long Governor Gretchen Whitmer's latest executive order lasts, it could impact many more.
In northern Michigan, you can have up to 250 people outside, but only 10 people inside for a social gathering.
On a typical summer weekend, an event space would be full of more than 100 people, but because of COVID-19 and the latest executive order, people are having to move their events from one beautiful space to another.
“We’ve gone from probably 35 to 40 weddings to less than 10,” Amy Hendrickson of Amy Kate Designs said. “And even less than 10 we don’t know if we’ll even be able to complete those for our clients because of this last order.”
Planning a wedding, or any event for up to 250 people, isn't easy; trying to plan during a pandemic, is even harder.
"You have to socially distance your guests at tables, six feet of social distancing, same household can be sat at the same tables,” Melissa Conradie of Conradie Event Design said.
“People have a clear vision of what they want whether it’s for a wedding or a corporate event and to make changes can be really challenging,” said Bryan Cloningger, Director and Co-Owner of Nature.
Cloninger was supposed to be hosting an event at Nature this weekend.
Now, the events are being pushed to next year, or outside.
"We have the space we have 80 acres but not everyone is in that situation,” Cloninger said.
Right now, the cap is 250 people for outdoor social gatherings, that includes the guests and the vendors who are also adjusting to change.
“We have plexi on our bars," Amber Jaeger-McKenney of Tonic & Lime said. “We can’t take anybody’s dirty cup from them or a cup or a can or bottle or something that they have already touched or consumed from. So that has definitely changed.”
On the catering side, there's no longer self-serve buffets.
"A lot of catering companies have transferred to, what I call for lack of a better word, cafeteria style so that means they serve a buffet,” Jaeger-McKenney said.
Like many northern Michigan businesses, the event industry relies on summer events.
So, with many of them postponed, these professionals are arranging some other ideas.
“We have a mobile cooler that we take to weddings and we took all the shelving out and we turned our mobile cooler in to mobile flower shop,” Hendrickson said.
But on the bright side, a slow 2020 could mean a busy 2021.
“We had 14 couples reschedule to next year and then we increased our next year’s schedule to do our normal 20-plus the 14, so it'll be a busy year for us,” Cloninger said.
A willful violation of the executive order could result in a misdemeanor charge and a fine up to $1,000.