After postponing for so long, families are gathering again for weddings ― and funerals

Those planning weddings and funerals had to hold off during the pandemic, but now they have their hands full.
Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 4:03 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 24, 2022 at 5:13 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Those planning weddings and funerals had to hold off during the pandemic, but now they have their hands full.

Organizers say they’re incredibly busy helping a backlog of people who had their plans postponed because of COVID.

Wedding photographer Joseph Esser said it is a welcomed problem after two slow years.

“If you’re trying to plan a wedding now, there’s a lot of competition for venues and places,” said Esser. “With companies, photographers, and whatnot.”

Esser owns Esser photography and is the president of the Oahu Wedding Association.

“We really have had a really difficult last couple years,” Esser said. “To rebound the way that we are is a good feeling.”

Now, large masked groups can gather as long as everyone 12 and up is vaccinated or tested.

They are restrictions that haven’t exactly restricted the rush.

“This week was insane,” said Tessa Gomes, who owns Fred and Kate Events and is on the board of the association. “It was kind of the culmination of weddings that were scheduled and postponed weddings that finally happened.”

She said that while planners are busy, there are many still hesitant to plan a wedding because there have been so many restrictions.

Those planning funerals are seeing a similar trend.

“So the mortuaries, in general, are seeing an influx of people wanting to do services pretty immediately,” said Kawehi Correa, the president of Aloha Mortuary.

Correa said the demand for funeral services has never been like this.

Many families waited until all the relatives could attend.

“Now they’re able to do that in the way that the individual would have wanted to see,” Correa said.

Attendees need to be masked, and depending on if everyone is vaccinated or tested, the building can be at full capacity.

Correa said it is a big improvement over when only 10 people were allowed. She said she’d rather see the rest of the restrictions drop, though.

“I would really like to see a regular celebration of life prior to this pandemic, where families can intermingle,” she said. “And really give their proper respects to the loved one.”

Wedding planners also tell me they hope rules loosen soon, but they’re happy that the ‘I do’s’ are plentiful these days.

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