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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Wedding industry preps for big return in Michigan under loosened COVID-19 restrictions

Posted at 7:21 AM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 07:21:45-04

(WSYM) — Outdoor capacity restrictions in Michigan are history beginning Tuesday morning. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services lifted the limits, setting in motion one of two major milestones.

As of Tuesday, June 1, there are no capacity limits for outdoor gatherings or residential gatherings.

Capacity for indoor venues increases to 50%, and social gatherings are now regulated by the venue. Also, there is no curfew for bars and restaurants.

As we enter the summer wedding season, many people are feeling relieved that their wedding can take place, and those businesses are ready to welcome people back.

"I think the excitement and the feeling we have as vendors is just electric. We could not be more excited and happier for our couples who finally get to do what they wanted to do," Nichole Bertucci, who is an officiant, said.

Bertucci said there's pent-up demand for her and other wedding vendors' services. She says she's booking about three times the usual number of weddings in her 13-year career with outdoor COVID-19 restrictions over.

"We're not only doing last year's weddings that have been rescheduled to this year, but now on top of it, we're doing this year's wedding and for me myself I'm also doing a lot more small intimate, elopement-style weddings," she said.

"They had restrictions at the venues. You could only have a certain amount of people there. So that was tough for them. So it's really emotional," Photographer Keila Crawford said.

Crawford said that canceled weddings meant some venues didn't return deposits to couples, adding insult to injury, so the June 1 reopening date for many respresents a light at the end of a tunnel.

She said she has eight weddings in August alone.

"The last wedding I did, the bride expressed that she didn't think it would happen because they push the wedding back like 3 three times," Crawford said. "A lot of the couples are relieved they can finally get on with their special day. They're happy that they can be with their families and share their special day."

Even as restrictions are loosened, Bertucci said she's seen wedding guests be respectful of one another.

"I've really seen the community come together in a way that they're grateful that they get to be at a wedding and because they're grateful, they're willing to do whatever it takes to make everyone feel safe and comfortable in those aspects."

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

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

Find out how you can help businesses and restaurants struggling during the pandemic.

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Join the Rebound Mid Michigan Facebook Group.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.