“We’re now nearly two weddings a week from May to October,” said Johan Johanson, owner of The Gardens Wedding Center in Allenton.
Last year, 40 percent of the company’s weddings were postponed to 2021, according to Johanson, who said some additional weddings this year have extended again.
Overall, however, business is returning to normal rates.
“We’re seeing more bookings and tours than in the past,” said Johanson. “The comfort level of the universe seems to be improving.”
He said the size of weddings at the Allenton location has also adjusted. Last year the number of guests was often in the range of 25 to 50 people, and this year there are often 100 to 150 guests per wedding.
Johanson noted that the Gardens Wedding Center takes advantage of “beautiful outdoor space” and “the wonderful land breezes we have here in Washington County,” which can help calm those booking their weddings and taking coronavirus precautions want.
“Being outdoors helps having that level of comfort,” said Johanson, noting that the center’s staff also carefully follow all recommendations in the health guidelines.
The grounds have interiors, including a historic chapel, that wedding parties usually use in bad weather.
There are three wedding venues within the Washington County Park System: Glacier Hills County Park in Hubertus, Homestead Hollow Park in Germantown, and Sandy Knoll County Park in West Bend.
Krystal Wangerin, business services manager for parks, said wedding planning activities had increased at all three locations.
“This spring has been a little sporadic, but as we move into summer we’re pretty full,” she said.
“Glacier Hills and Homestead Hollow are fully booked for 2021. Sandy Knoll has some dates available,” she said, noting that the two new locations have seasonal deals Dates for weddings while Glacier Hills is open year round.
The sites are now fully booked through 2023 and have waiting lists.
“A lot of people have postponed appointments due to COVID-19. There is an increase in inquiries and interested parties, ”said Wangerin said. People who frequent the park locations are drawn to the flexible food and beverage options that allow weddings to select vendors of their choice, Wangerin said. Others appreciate that the proceeds from weddings held at the locations go back into Washington County’s parking system.
Wangerin said there have been different approaches among those planning upcoming weddings.
“I think some people They may be moving forward as planned and others are taking a more limited approach, ”she said, noting that the parks offer multiple avenues for spread and social distancing.
“We continue to encourage all tenants to review the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department guidelines on how to use our parks and host safe events in our parks,” added Wangerin.
At The Gardens Wedding Center, now in its sixth year, Johanson is asking each wedding party to determine which health guidelines their guests should follow.
Overall, Johanson is optimistic about the coming season.
“I am very confident that we will have a fantastic year,” he said.