Coronavirus

Actions

Local brides, wedding venues worried about impending social gatherings order

Posted at 5:56 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 19:42:08-05

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — In the coming days, Ohio governor Mike DeWine is expected to issue a new order putting restrictions on social gatherings, like banquets and wedding receptions That news is putting plans for local venues and betrothed couples in limbo.

From cancellations to postponements or scaling back their plans drastically, wedding venue owners and soon-to-be-married couples have been through the wringer in 2020. Though they’re worried about this new order and what it might bring, they’re going to try to make the best of this situation.

“It's definitely been a hard year,” said Melanie Zivkovich of Cleveland.

Hard is an understatement. Zivkovich and her fiance planned to get married earlier this year, but then things took an unfortunate turn.

“Our first wedding venue caught on fire so we lost the venue, lost the date,” Zivkovich said.

Zivkovich said she almost lost hope, but after canceling those plans five months ago, she and her fiance landed the last date available at the Lake Erie Building in Lakewood and are planning to say "I do" in just nine days.

“I have been very stressed out,” Zivkovich said. “And I'm sure my fiance is too just because he is listening to me go off about it all the time, but it's hard because we've done everything we can to try to stay safe and healthy and protect ourselves and others. I don't know, it's just been so difficult watching these cases rise.”

That stress has now turned to heartbreak after Gov. DeWine announced an impending order putting restrictions on wedding receptions and other social gatherings. He attributed those gatherings to the spike in coronavirus cases across the state.

“I almost don't even believe that we're going through this again,” Zivkovich said. “We were 10 days away, and here we are not sure of what's going to happen in the next nine days.”

Hannah Caraballo is the Director of Special Events at the Lake Erie Building. The venue has hosted eight weddings since the first order was lifted and she hoped things would be smooth for the final four.

“I don't want to say that I didn't see it coming, but at the same time I think I was just very hopeful that it wouldn’t,” Caraballo said.

Until that order is officially issued, she said she can’t offer much guidance to clients, but she’s trying her best to support them during this time while preparing for the worst.

“If the order brings us back down to 10 people and they just want to have a ceremony with 10 people, I don't have a problem with that. We'll make it work,” Caraballo said. “If they end up keeping where we can have 300 people and we can still have dinners, we just can't have dancing or open congregate areas, I'm totally fine to do that as well. We'll work with them on that.”

As of now, Zivkovich is planning to push forward with her wedding plans even if the orders means she’ll have to change things for the third time.

“Our main goal is just to get married and be able to celebrate with our closest loved ones and friends and family. So if we could just even host a dinner and keep everything safe and healthy that way we're not opposed. We’re ready to get married and start our lives together,” Zivkovich said.

Gov. DeWine has not revealed all the details of that order yet, but said open congregate areas can no longer be open, meaning people will have to be seated and masked unless they’re eating and drinking.

RELATED: Gov. DeWine updates mask, social gathering orders, threatens closures in 1 week if trends don't improve

Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Rebound Northeast Ohio News 5's initiative to help people through the financial impact of the coronavirus by offering one place to go for information on everything available to help and how to access it. We're providing resources on:

Getting Back to Work - Learn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.

Making Ends Meet - Find help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.

Managing the Stress - Feeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.

Doing What's Right - Keep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.

We're Open! Northeast Ohio is place created by News 5 to open us up to new ways of thinking, new ways of gathering and new ways of supporting each other.

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Ohio, a timeline of Governor Mike DeWine's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Northeast Ohio, and link to more information from the Ohio Department of Health, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the CDC and the WHO.

See data visualizations showing the impact of coronavirus in Ohio, including county-by-county maps, charts showing the spread of the disease, and more.

The CDC and the Ohio Department of Health are now recommending the use of cloth face coverings in public to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Read more about the CDC's recommendation here. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make a face mask from common household materials, without having to know how to sew.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

What Happened Now?