CERRO GORDO COUNTY, Iowa - A wedding is an important and fun celebration in someone's life.
But with the coronavirus pandemic throwing a wrench in all facets of life, and forcing the temporary closure of services and businesses like wedding venues, it left many couples forced to delay the big day.
However, there's good news: wedding venues are allowed to reopen as of today in Iowa, though with new guidelines.
Ahead of the delayed start to the wedding season, Diamond Oak owner Scott Bultje is preparing his picturesque venue that overlooks the Winnebago River outside of Mason City and Clear Lake to adapt to those new guidelines. For instance, you'll see tables being spaced out a bit more from each other, with each table having a maximum of 6 seats, PPE being available for staff, limiting occupancy to half capacity, and not allowing self-service food options like buffets and drink stations, with staff manning them instead.
Despite the changes, Bultje is wanting to make sure that the special day is monumental and memorable.
"The bride and grooms are concerned about the safety of their guests, especially if they have grandparents or elderly family. People have really tried to come up with a solution, and we've worked very hard with them to find a solution that meets their criteria and works for our schedule."
During a typical season, Bultje hosts about 40 weddings, which have collectively brought in around 10,000 guests. Even with the current situation, he has a busy summer ahead of him, including a few weekends where there will be 3 ceremonies back to back.
"We had about a dozen weddings scheduled for May and June that have rescheduled to later dates. Some of them have pushed back to later in the season and some have rescheduled for next year."
KIMT also reached out to Music Man Square, which has also been utilized as a wedding venue. Operations Manager Nick Whitehurst says most of the weddings that were to take place this year have been rescheduled for next year.