WETHERSFIELD, Conn. — The COVID-19 pandemic essentially shut down the wedding industry in Connecticut. What normally is a busy wedding season turned into cancellations across the board.
At the Webb Barn in Wethersfield, it was no different. It hasn’t held a full-on wedding at all this year. Events quickly had to be re-arranged to accommodate brides, grooms and wedding parties.
“It’s been challenging. What I’ve been doing is holding backup dates for people in the hope that they will be able to do their original date, and if not, they have gotten their vendors and everyone set up on this new date just in case,” said Katie Sullivan, the Webb Barn Rental Coordinator.
Sullivan says what added to that challenge was the constant delay and lack of information in state guidelines for wedding venues.
“That’s been the biggest frustration. I talked to one person and they told me I can’t do anything at all. I talk to someone else in the state and they tell me I can follow restaurant guidelines, but really we’re not a restaurant, so we can do outside, but we can’t do the number of people inside that a restaurant can do. We’re really more of an event space, so we’re following that event guideline,” said Sullivan.
The Webb Barn has been trying to accommodate couples by holding smaller, outside ceremonies.
“We’ve been doing what we are calling elopements, so people have been coming and just holding their ceremony here and then they make other arrangements for whoever they’re getting together with. We have beautiful, beautiful grounds and people are happy,” said Sullivan.
The venue is now looking to offer a micro-wedding package that will allow some sort of ceremony and a reception come the fall. Sullivan says this pandemic may change the wedding industry in the long run.
“My feeling is that people are going to be more laid back. I think what’s going to be important to people is going to change, so it’s going to be less ‘Oh my goodness, that’s the wrong one color flower in my arrangement or my decorations aren’t exactly perfect.’ I think they’re going to be more focused on ‘I’m here with the people I love, marrying my best friend,’” she said.
The Webb Barn is holding a flash sale for those micro-wedding packages. For more information visit https://webb-deane-stevens.org/weddings-event-rentals/