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Winnipeg wedding vendors scramble to prepare after capacity increase

Click to play video: 'Changing COVID-19 restrictions impacting Manitoba weddings' Changing COVID-19 restrictions impacting Manitoba weddings
WATCH: Global News Morning’s Kahla Evans speaks to an event planner about what the changing COVID-19 restrictions mean for couples planning their weddings this summer – Jul 15, 2021

As the province moves to open up further from COVID-19 public safety measures on Saturday, one industry is feeling the rush.

Ray Louie, owner and general manager of The Gates on Roblin, said his six phone lines, cell phone and email have been inundated since the news of increased capacity allowances broke Wednesday.

“About 25 different weddings in the last 24 hours have said ‘we need to change our guest list.'”

Read more: Movies, casinos, museums re-open under Manitoba plan — for fully vaccinated

As of 12:01 a.m. on July 17, couples will be allowed 150 guests at outdoor weddings. Gathering sizes are limited to 25 people indoors.

Of the 25 weddings Louie was contacted about, the owner said all of them are set to take place before the end of August, with a dozen impacted in the next three weeks.

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Despite having less than half his regular staff, Louie said they will do whatever they can to make every wedding work in the time they have.

“We are going to do everything we can to accommodate people because we really owe them that,” Louie said. “We want to do right by them, we want their day to be special.”

Click to play video: 'Many engaged couples choosing to delay weddings, some looking to late this summer' Many engaged couples choosing to delay weddings, some looking to late this summer
Many engaged couples choosing to delay weddings, some looking to late this summer – May 6, 2021

For some, that means re-inviting guests previously un-invited due to health order restrictions.

Read more: Longtime Manitoba wedding venue Hitch’N Post to close after 37 years

Amanda Douglas who owns a self-titled wedding planning service said while re-inviting guests may have been in bad taste in the past, she doesn’t think guests will care during a pandemic.

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“I think the guests would rather be there and have a party and celebrate safely than not be there,” Douglas said.

The wedding planner echoed Louie’s sentiment of “making it happen” when it comes to doing whatever the couple wants, especially after some have postponed multiple times.

“I think everyone is working long hours deep into the night just to make things happen,” Douglas said. “Now we’re just picking up what we can, doing what we can for couples who are still going forward safely with their weddings.”

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