KCMO couples scramble to adjust wedding plans amid renewed COVID-19 restrictions

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — New COVID-19 restrictions announced Monday in Kansas City, Missouri, have left

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — New COVID-19 restrictions announced Monday in Kansas City, Missouri, have left some couples scrambling to make changes to upcoming weddings.

The Safer at Home restrictions include a 10-person gathering limit within KCMO city limits and weddings are not exempt unless the health department approves a mitigation plan beforehand.

The restrictions are leaving some brides, including Kate Salisbury, with tough decisions to make.

“It’s hard to not feel really picked on by the world right now,” Salisbury said.

Salisbury moved her wedding from the Uptown Theater in KCMO to a venue across the state line in Wyandotte County, where weddings are exempt from gathering limits after the new restrictions were announced.

“That’s great and obviously helpful for us, but we are not taking advantage of that and having some giant party,” Salisbury said. “It just allows us to have that smaller, intimate ceremony with the people that we really care about without having to cut any of them out.”

While she said rearranging plans has been a nightmare, she doesn’t have any hard feelings toward Mayor Quinton Lucas, who imposed the restrictions.

“It is science-backed, it is for a reason, it is to keep people safe, and so we respect that 100%,” Salisbury said.

Salisbury will have 35 guests at spaced-out tables. She is also asking anyone who will be in her formal wedding photos to get a COVID-19 test one week before the ceremony.

The reception will take place in 2021.

“It’s kind of getting married and then celebrating in a year,” Salisbury said.

Planning a wedding during the pandemic already took its toll.

Salisbury said there have been several moments of panic and angst upon realizing the wedding she has been planning for 20 months won’t happen the way she envisioned it.

“It’s also tough because you have to go through that grieving process so quickly to picking yourself up and saying, ‘If I still want to get married, I have three weeks to plan it, so guess I better get on the phone,'” Salisbury said.

Salisbury plans to hire a crew to film the ceremony, which she will replay next year at her reception.

Videography businesses, like Rushing Productions, have experienced an influx in calls for their services, especially live-streaming options.

Owner Jordan Rushing said he decided to invest several thousand dollars in live-streaming production equipment at the beginning of the pandemic.

“It has definitely helped us out with our bottom line for this year as far as making up that difference of what was missed and what was transferred to 2021,” Rushing said.

He already has 17 weddings booked for next year compared to the typical four or five at this point during a normal year.

Couples outside KCMO are waiting on pins and needles to see if they’ll need to make changes, too.

Overland Park resident Taylor Evans plans to have her wedding at a venue in Platte County, which currently doesn’t have any restrictions on gatherings or capacity.

But Evans said she realizes that could change at any moment.

“You dream about this day your whole life and you just think that everything’s going to go perfectly, but, of course, it’s 2020,” Evans said.

Evans said she and her fiance will get married in his parents’ backyard as a backup plan.

(We’re) just trying to stay as positive as we can this next month to get through it,” she said.

Under KCMO’s emergency health order, weddings with more than 10 people in attendance can be approved by the KCMO Health Department if a plan for reasonably preventing spread at the event is presented and approved.

A KCMO Health Department spokesperson said it has received about 20 phone calls and emails as of Tuesday from people interested in obtaining the required form, which has yet to be published online.

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