Coronavirus: How the pandemic changed wedding receptions in Ohio

MIAMISBURG — Brides decide on flowers, caterers, and photographers. 2020 brides also have to plan around a pandemic.

Shawna Burns and James Morton had to change their wedding date. They were supposed to get married in May. Then they rescheduled for August 14th.

“It’s finally here,” James Morton said ahead of his Miamisburg nuptials.

He and his soon-to-be wife got ready separately, but they shared the same sentiment about the day.

“It feels great. It’s exciting. It’s nerve wrecking. I have a lot of jitters, so it’s exciting,” Burns said.

Her groom was also looking forward to a lifetime together.

“I’ve never met anyone like her before. She is a tremendous woman,” Morton said.

The pair had to make changes to accommodate Ohio’s pandemic rules. Their guest list dropped from about 250 to fewer than 100 people.

The team at Magnolia Estate, the couple’s venue, changed its layout to accommodate social distancing between tables.

“Our normal diagrams don’t work. We kind of threw those out and then I got out a six foot stick,” Angela Lemke Magnolia Estate’s wedding coordinator said.

The venue also had to move catering tables and change bar rules.

Wedding planner, Kathy Piech-Lukas said if parties are inside, people have to wear masks.

“It is your responsibility. It is not the responsibility of your venue. It is not the responsibility of your vender or your DJ. It is your responsibility, and guests are going to take their direction from you,” Piech-Lukas said.

She said this year couples are trying to make guests feel as safe as possible, by including hand sanitizing stations and displaying signs about wearing masks.

Instead of thinking about the changes, Burns and Morton focused on what the day was all about.

“We are going to be married. We are going to have fun. We’re going to be with our loved ones and that’s what matters,” Burns said.