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More wedding guests allowed after some COVID restrictions lifted

Much needed relief for events biz in Orange Tier
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Posted at 5:33 PM, Apr 16, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- As San Diego slides in the lighter shades of the state's color-coded system, COVI-19 restrictions for the events industry are easing up. For the wedding industry, this is a much needed relief.

Who doesn't love love?

"We want to celebrate it with our family. We want everyone to be a part of this," Rob Farrow said.

Farrow is the CEO of aisleplanner.com, a Solana beach software company with products that help wedding planners plan. But during the purple and red tiers, planners were not able to do what they do best.

"As planners, it is our job to know everything about everything, and what we don't know we find the answer to, and there was no answers to be found," wedding planner Laura Schwandt said.

Schwandt's company, Serendipity Events, had 30 weddings in 2019. Last year, they only had four. She said navigating the changing guidelines in the different colored tiers has been the biggest challenge. Venues and vendors went under, clients canceled, and others downsized their dream wedding.

"They postponed twice, they had two different venues, and ultimately ended up with ten of their immediate families who had all been vaccinated there," Schwandt said about a micro-wedding she had planned.

Thursday, the state updated its COVID-19 guidelines on weddings. Now in the Orange Tier, outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 people, and capacity can increase to 300 if all guests show proof of a negative covid test or full vaccination. With the same rules, indoor capacity maxes out at 150.

For the industry, this is a game-changer. But for planners like Schwandt, this still requires a lot of work, especially with couples now wanting last-minute modifications according to new rules.

"Can we have a dance floor? Can we see eight people at our table instead of six people at our table? Can we stand during cocktail hour? How do we make that happen in the next seven days?" Schwandt said of all the questions she received.

Farrow and Schwandt both predict Fall 2021 will be a wedding extravaganza for all the couples who have been waiting patiently to say 'I do.'

"I think there is a pent-up demand right now, and so I think everyone is really excited to get back into it," Farrow said.

Guests are still required to wear masks and practice social distancing at all events.