IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) – With the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccines and the lifting of restrictions, things are slowly getting back to normal. This is especially true for wedding and event locations in the region.
The Avenues Wedding and Event Center in Rexburg was just one of the myriad other wedding venues in eastern Idaho badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We came into our new building, excited about the dynamism that brought with it, and then had to cancel overnight,” said owner Sara Jensen.
Jensen said they had to cancel about 20 weddings and events.
“It was scary, we asked ourselves if we had to close our doors permanently,” said Jensen. “Just because of the economic impact, we didn’t know how long it would take, we didn’t know what would happen to us.”
The Avenues designer Debi Baggett added, “It was a scary time when we lost all of these weddings and weren’t sure when they would come back.”
The Barn on First in Idaho Falls was also hit. Deanna Ockerman, the co-owner, said they didn’t do as well as the year before and had many small weddings limited to just 10 people.
“We had a lot of people booked and they didn’t want to cancel completely, so they only invited their 10 people,” Ockerman said. “And just had little tiny weddings. So we only liked an hour, they have to come in, have that and go.
Now that vaccines are being given and restrictions are being lifted, business is picking up.
“It’s really starting to pick up, we’re super booked,” said Ockerman. “I think I only have one Saturday through November that is currently available. And everyone seems to want Saturday.”
Ockerman said she doesn’t like turning people away so she encouraged weekdays as well.
Jensen and Baggett also look forward to the future of The Avenues.
“I am very hopeful for the future. I have a feeling that the pandemic is just coming to an end. It is very hopeful that we can take everything that comes in the future as it comes,” said Jensen.
And both venues are confident that they can make the bridal day special and stress-free even during a pandemic.