HAMPTON, Va. – The wedding and event industry is struggling with the current COVID-19 restrictions.
In Hampton, The Historic Post Office, built in 1914, is now an elegant event venue. Management is working hard to keep its doors open.
“We’ve had to postpone several couples up to three times,” explained Kelsey Leeper, Venue Manager for The Historic Post Office.
Leeper says they can hold a wedding ceremony because it’s considered a religious event; however, under current guidelines, they could only have up to 10 people at a reception. She says they rent out the facility as a package deal, and it just wouldn’t be feasible.
Clients are forced to postpone. In fact, since March of 2020, they've had nearly 40 cancellations and more than 60 postponements.
The Historic Post Office is fighting to operate with similar restrictions as a restaurant.
“We are just hoping we can talk with somebody on coming up with some guidelines - not just for us, but for all event venues to safely be able to operate,” stated Leeper. “Just like somebody would be able to go to Walmart and be able to shop with certain guidelines in place, we think that events should be able to happen as long as we are safe and conscious about it.”
The facility is more than 20,000 square feet, so Leeper says it would be reasonable to keep guests socially distant.
Leeper has been in touch with the governor’s office to confirm guidelines, and most recently, she has urged them to consider a change. She created an online petition to raise awareness regarding the event industry and hopes to bring change.
“I’m feeling like people are just desperate to have their event and move on with their lives. People want to start families. They don’t want to keep this wedding planning for years and years and years, because planning a wedding is stressful enough,” Leeper commented.