Beginning next month, venues are set to begin hosting events like weddings and banquets. The preparations come after Governor Lamont announced rollbacks in COVID-19 restrictions set to begin in May.
Joanna Ciavarella and her husband, Frank, have had to play the waiting game to exchange their vows surrounded by loved ones. Constant changes in guidelines forced the New York couple to elope and wait to get married in their dream destination in Connecticut.
"We started to realize that having a wedding of 300 attendees inside in November just didn't seem feasible nor safe," said Ciavarella. We were just very excited after the decision and particularly moving into the warmer weather and months is exciting and will allow us to have some flexibility."
When the couple heard about the rollback of restrictions in Connecticut, including that venues can operate at full capacity beginning May 19, they were ready to start booking their weddings.
"We're just really excited to get back to the planning and seeing what we can do," said Ciavarella.
Ashley Sodipo is the C.E.O of Ashley Sodipo Events and is Joanna and Frank's wedding planner. Sodipo said that she's excited to get back to helping her clients and believes this decision will mean a boost in business after months of enduring a tough time.
"It means so much to us that we can finally help couples celebrate their love," said Sodipo. "I think it's going to take a community of people to really get everything up and running and for people to remain in businesses."
At the Aqua Turf Club in Southington, the venue has several events planned for the month of May with their first wedding with lifted restrictions taking place on May 21.
"We were pleasantly surprised and very excited in getting ready to getting back to doing what we do," said Karen Alex, manager at Aqua Turf Club.
The venue is known to host weddings, banquets, and proms. The business is now shifting its focus to May and beyond while keeping clients safe and happy.
"We're following what they want us to do so if everybody follows what's supposed to take place, I think we'll be okay," said Alex.
Starting May 19, event venues and restaurants will be able to open at full capacity.