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Wedding and event venues coming back to life after COVID-19 pandemic

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - With the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines and restrictions lifting, things are slowly getting back to normal. That's especially true for area wedding and event venues.

The Avenues wedding and event center in Rexburg was just one of the countless other wedding venues in eastern Idaho to be hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

"We had gotten into our new building, excited about the momentum that that was bringing, and then we had to cancel overnight," owner Sara Jensen said.

Jensen said they had to cancel about 20 weddings and events.

"It was scary, we kind of wondered if we would have to close our doors permanently," Jensen said. "Because of just the economic impact, we didn't know how long it would last, we didn't know what would happen to us."

Debi Baggett, the designer at The Avenues added, "It was a scary time when we lost all those weddings, and not sure when it would come back."

Also hit was The Barn on First in Idaho Falls. Deanna Ockerman, the co-owner said they didn't do as well as the year before, and ended up having a lot of small weddings, limited to just 10 people.

"We had a lot of people booked, and they didn't want to completely cancel, so they just invited their 10 people," Ockerman said. "And just had little tiny weddings. So we just did like one hour, they got to come in have that and leave.

Now as vaccines get administered and restrictions lift, business is picking up.

"It's starting to really pick up, we are super booked," Ockerman said. "I think I only have one Saturday until November that is available right now. And everybody seems to want Saturday."

Ockerman said she doesn't like to turn away people, so she's been encouraging weekdays as well.

Jensen and Baggett also feel excited for the future of The Avenues.

"I feel really hopeful for the future. I feel like even just having the pandemic coming to a close, it's really hopeful that whatever does come in the future, we can kind of just take it as it comes," Jensen said.

And both venues say they're confident they can make the bride's day special and stress-free, even during a pandemic.

Article Topic Follows: Rexburg
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Rachel Fabbi

Rachel Fabbi is a reporter, anchor and producer for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.


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