HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - At the end of last month, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi modified Tier 3 of Oahu’s reopening plan to allow weddings with up to 100 guests.
That day, the wedding industry breathed a collective sigh of relief.
“We were relieved but also somewhat hesitant because we just weren’t sure how things would go,” said Natalie Christensen, owner of Aloha Bridal Connections.
Wedding planners like Natalie say that they are moving forward with cautious optimism and taking the necessary steps to keep everyone safe and any further restrictions at bay.
“We are organizing health screening questionnaires for guests, doing temp checks and fielding lots of phone calls and texts,” said Sandra Williams, owner of Finishing Touch Hawaii.
Vendors are also happy with the modification and grateful to have a little more security moving forward after a year of struggling.
“It’s been a challenging year, but we hope this is the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Joseph Esser, owner of Joseph Esser Photo and Video.
Blangiardi said previous requests to allow weddings were shot down by the state. However, ramped up vaccination efforts and strict safety rules may have played a role in the decision to allow the change in the latest push.
Many wedding vendors have taken a massive hit over the last year as a result of the pandemic — from florists, to event planners and more. Couples have often opted for COVID-era weddings, significantly downsizing the scale of their dream event.