Raimondo: Large summer weddings ‘not likely’ to happen this year amid pandemic


NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) ─ As Rhode Island prepares to enter a three-phased approach to reopen the economy, Governor Gina Raimondo shed some light Wednesday on what that means for couples planning summer weddings.

“It’s not likely you’re going to be able to have that wedding, in person this summer in Rhode Island if it’s 50 people or more,” Raimondo said during her daily briefing.

Raimondo said that the state might be in a place to lift that restriction to 100 people by August, but that depends on whether the number of COVID-19 cases in Rhode Island continues to decline.

“It’s really important that we take it easy this summer so we don’t have an outbreak,” Raimondo said.

Chelsea Geigerich and her fiance, Chris Anselmo, have been planning their July wedding in Newport for two years. They now have the task of cutting their guest list from 207 to 50 people.

“We’re trying to decide how we can make this event still really, really special, and still get married this year with the parameters that we’re given at this point,” Geigerich said.

Raimondo said that couples who want to reschedule their weddings need to negotiate contracts with their venues.

Wedding planner Kaitlyn Haines tells Eyewitness News she was on the phone all day Wednesday working with couples on what to do next.

“The venues in Rhode Island have been fantastic and amazing to work with – rescheduling, no questions asked,” Haines said. “Full deposits, everything. Some have even allowed full cancellations getting their full deposits back.”

Most of the 18 weddings she had planned through her business, KH Weddings and Events, in 2020 have rescheduled to 2021. 

“These past few months have been crazy, but we’re trying to stay ahead of it and we’re staying calm,” Haines said.

Raimondo said that she’s unsure what the restrictions will look like for fall weddings and asked for patience from the public, while she waits to see if Rhode Island can flatten the curve.

“Keep tuning in every day because every day, as I consult with experts, talk to other states, learn more about where we are, I’ll be providing more information,” Raimondo said.

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