phase III

Venues and Bridal Industry Upset After Conn. Delays Phase 3 of Reopening

Those in the business of venues and vows are having to make more changes, that includes brides and grooms, after Governor Lamont announced he was delaying the start of Phase three.

People we spoke to were holding out hope that Phase 3 would allow for the gathering of bigger groups.

 “It alarms us majorly because the PP loan has been exhausted, so we’re kind of just waiting at this point,” said Steven Shonty, the owner and general manager of Topstone Restaurant & Banquet Facility in South Windsor.    

He wasn’t happy to hear Phase Three had been paused, which means indoor private gatherings will remain capped at 25 people and with outdoor events set at 100.

“Normally by this point we have done at least 50 private parties by this point and we’ve done zero,” said Shonty.

Bethel, Connecticut native Eileen Gribbin has already canceled her wedding twice.

“I would be terrified if something happened at my wedding or thinking I’m hosing an event that maybe I shouldn’t have.”

The now New Jersey resident is thankful she booked a small August wedding outdoors now that phase three has been pushed back.

She’ll continue to monitor our states updates as she plans her big bash hopefully for November, “We’ll continue to postpone. We just want a big party with all of our friends and family.”

“A lot of these couples have taken 250 guests list down to 100 and the idea of taking it to 50 or 25 because of this pause or roll back, that’s a really difficult thing and they’ve spent thousands upon thousands of dollars," said wedding planner Kia Martinson of “Engaged Connecticut” out of West Hartford. "It’s a loss for the venue, it’s a loss for the couples"

Martinson had dozens of messages from clients Tuesday morning to figure out their next steps.

“We’ve been really tired, we felt like we’ve been ignored as an industry, and it’s not really to be helpful to our couples if we don’t know what’s going on.”

Her advice in the meantime: take a deep breath and be kind when you communicate with your venue because, “remember that everybody’s hands are tied.”

As Topstone’s owner knows all too well,

“I would just hope that the people who are in charge of our state would give us some kind of structure or timetable of what’s going to happen,” said Shoney. “It’s just a slap on the face to those who are relying on this. We’re just going to go under."

At this point, there’s no timeline for when Phase Three will happen or what it may look like.

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