Public Health Order

New Rules on Gatherings Revive Couple's Beach Wedding Plans

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People have been allowed to fill church pews, albeit cautiously, for a couple weeks now, but starting Monday there will be no limit on the number of worshipers allowed at outdoor activities, including wedding ceremonies.

“Well, literally we heard that like 15 minutes ago, so that’s really exciting,” Christian Madrid said.

Following new state guidelines, county leaders now say outdoor religious services, weddings, cultural services, protests and other constitutionally-protected gatherings no longer have capacity limitations.

The last few months, engaged couple Madrid and Isabelle Osborne watched their beach wedding plans change with the tides.

“It kind of got to the point that we had no idea what was gonna happen, we would like stress to even think of it,” Osborne said.

The coronavirus pandemic closed places of worship, wedding venues and most public places at one time or another. The husband and wife didn’t see a way they’d be able to walk down the sandy isle.

“For a while, you know, they had the ‘if you’re gonna be on the beach, you had to be moving.’ I was like, well I don’t think we are gonna be able to do that,” Osborne said.

While many couples canceled or postponed, this couple kept the plan to marry on August 11, no matter what.

“We were gonna get married regardless,” Madrid said. “It was either going to be us at the beach with our pastor 6 feet away or it was just going to be through courthouse.”

The recent easing back of restrictions has allowed their wedding plans to look more like what they had envisioned before the pandemic, but there are still some rules they’ll have to remain faithful to, like social distancing and facial coverings.

All doable for a smaller wedding of about 50 people.

“Hearing that we could actually have a ceremony and people could gather, I don’t know. Pure excitement I could say, we are still processing it right now,” Madrid said.

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