Couples opting for smaller weddings amid continuing pandemic

HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) – The wedding industry is one of many largely impacted by the pandemic. It’s caused many couples to have to make difficult decisions about their big day. Now, many are celebrating in a smaller way.

Loren and Richard Pepple, often look back at photos from their October wedding.

It was in a small room in Worsham Chapel in Henderson because their whole wedding party was only about 15 people.

“Getting married in COVID, number one, getting married and starting a wedding in general is already so frantic,” said Loren. “Add COVID into everything, and it’s that much more difficult.”

Loren says a lot of her family falls in the high-risk category, so a big wedding didn’t feel safe. Especially for her grandfather, Dennis.

“My papaw who was here during the wedding, he was about to go in for heart surgery, so number one a big wedding wasn’t a good idea with COVID.”

Pem Pfisterer Clark owns the chapel and officiated there for decades. She says many of her couples have been doing the same thing lately.

“We’ve had a lot of those, most of them have been right here in the chapel,” said Clark. “In the Commonwealth of Kentucky you’re required to have two witnesses. For some of these weddings we’ve provided the witnesses, it’s just been the couple. It’s had so much to do with COVID.”

Many couples tried to plan in 2020, again in 2021…

“…And then they just got tired of waiting! They decided, hey what we really want to do is get married,” said Clark.

Couples, like the Pepples, have found the small celebration was exactly what they needed.

“You show up, you say your vows, you have your close family with you,” said Richard. “You take pictures, it gets over pretty quick and you just get to spend time with your new loved one.”

“It’s everything you want out of a wedding, without all the hoopla, and planning and decorations,” said Loren. “It takes out all the frustrating things.”

Looking back on their day, it’s just fond memories, no pressure.

“It doesn’t have to be all of that,” said Loren. “It can just be a little small group of your close ones.”

“Just like life in general, do what makes you happy,” Richard said.

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