COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – Wednesday was the first day for Ohioans to go maskless if they desired, and those in the wedding industry such as florists and reception halls are already enjoying the spoils the state opening back up.
“It’s just really beginning to heat up, not only for summer, but we’re looking forward to fall,” said Rose Conrad, of the Best Western Plus Dutch Haus Inn and Suites. “A lot of weddings are planned in the fall.”
Conrad said they have hosted some wedding receptions, but they were more intimate and quickly planned, which they were able to accommodate quickly since they have three reception halls to pick from.
“We’re finding that people are planning these little pick-up weddings, real spontaneous,” said Jenny Wehr, owner of The Willows by Wehr. “They’ll schedule a big barbecue to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to have a big barbecue, and you’re going to get to know my fiancé’ and they turn it into a wedding, and so they surprise everyone that’s a guest at their event.”
The smaller spontaneous ceremonies and receptions take away the pressure of finding a gift for guests. It also relieves some pressure on those in the industry who were on hold for a year.
“We are seeing an increase and staff is very joyous about it, and we feel like we’re getting back to normal. We’re a real team here, so whenever we have people come in and the gatherings are successful, it makes us really happy,” Conrad said.
Conrad also said they’ve seen an increase other events such as retreats and reunions.
As for Wehr, now that people can attend proms and graduations, their business has really picked up.
“This year, 2021 prom, has been outstanding. It was our best prom in seven years,” Wehr said. “I’ve been in business seven years, and it’s been our best prom all in, so we were really thrilled about that.”
Wehr mentioned that funerals have changed to smaller one-day ceremonies, whereas in the past, it would take two to three days between calling hours and the ceremony. She also said many families ask for donations to charity in lieu of flowers, so that has been unusual.
“That has affected our industry as well, but we try to meet people where they are and do what they need for that occasion,” Wehr said.