Traverse City News and Events

Despite Virus, Soon-To-Be-Wedded Couples Are Marching On

By Beth Milligan | April 6, 2020

Each year, roughly 2.3 million weddings take place in the United States, with approximately 60 percent of them occurring between May and October. But as fears over COVID-19 (coronavirus) continue to infect virtually every aspect of day-to-day life, it’s time to ask an important question: Could the summer of 2020 be the summer without weddings?

In recent years, northern Michigan has become one of the top wedding destinations in the Midwest, thanks to its wealth of wedding venues and hotels, stunning settings, and almost-always gorgeous summertime weather. At the moment, though, it is effectively illegal to hold a wedding anywhere in the state. On Monday, March 23, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a “shelter in place” order that (among other things) bans “all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons not part of a single household.” In other words, weddings are almost unanimously on hold in Michigan until at least April 13. The CDC has also discouraged against any gatherings of more than 50 people through at least mid-May.

What does this period of mandated social distancing mean for northern Michigan’s booming wedding industry? In this week's Northern Express, sister publication of The Ticker, writer Craig Manning reaches out to wedding venues, planners, and vendors throughout the region to get a sense of what’s happening on the ground in the ramp-up to peak wedding season. Read the complete issue of the Northern Express online here, or pick up a free copy at newsstand locations (including grocery stores) in 14 counties across northern Michigan.

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