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Wedding venues offering 'intimate ceremonies' for couples affected by coronavirus

Some West Michigan venues are offering a backup plan for couples whose wedding was affected by coronavirus: Intimate ceremonies.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

One of the strongest messages from public health officials right now is: Avoid large groups of people. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has acted upon that advice by banning groups of 50 or more people, and the CDC recommends people do not gather in groups of more than 10 as a frontline defense against the spread of COVID-19. 

One of the victims of these mandates and recommendations is weddings. Couples who were planning to get married in the next couple of weeks have been forced to make new plans for their big day. 

But some West Michigan venues are offering a backup plan: Intimate ceremonies.

The Goei Center in Grand Rapids said that they have put together a package for couples to get married on April 11 that includes a ceremony, an officiant, a coordinator, flowers, decor, cake and champagne. 

Couples are welcome to bring their photographer, a marriage license and six other people. The total cost is also only $700. 

RELATED: Wedding industry takes hit under ban on large gatherings

The Goei Center will be hosting seven of these weddings back-to-back in April. "As the health and safety of our guests and team is a top priority, we will sanitize the space between each ceremony and limit the number of people in each party," the venue said on Facebook. 

The Goei Center said they will also monitor the current situation and make changes as needed. Plus, couples won't have to pay until the day of the ceremony due to the constantly changing situation. 

Wildwood Family Farms in Alto is also offering a similar option for couples. Over three days, March 28, April 11 and April 17, they are offering four two-hour time slots for couples to have a wedding ceremony. 

The $500 intimate ceremony includes access to the whole farm, a coordinator, a barn, a bridal suite, decor, cake utensils, coffee and chairs. The maximum capacity is 10 people, to comply with CDC guidelines. 

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