What a year of unexpected surprises?! With Covid-19 invading every aspect of our lives and all weddings planned for the year, let me recap where we are amid Covid-19 protocols and laws impacting weddings at Pelican’s Landing.

Coming off of quarantine, stay-at-home orders in the spring, we found ourselves right at the doorstep of wedding season spring 2020 everywhere in the U.S. Not only were we as a country trying to better understand this invisible invader that impacted all aspects of social interactions, but air travel was limited at best and everyone was soberly aware of their health predispositions and those of their loved ones. Spring weddings were not feasible, there were just too many impediments and still too many questions about safety, how readily Covid-19 spreads and limited healthcare options.

Meanwhile, with the bridges opening up to non-resident property owners the week before Memorial Day, we found ourselves super busy here in the OBX. Locally we were thankful to have this scheduled to happen a week before one of the busiest weekends of the summer, Memorial Day weekend. We could get a glimpse of the impact of having more people here like the impact on supplies, the spread of Covid-19, and we could get the much-needed business to keep our local economy afloat. Property owners were not only getting away from their densely populated hometowns but they were checking in on their properties while getting them ready for the vacation rental summer season. Thankfully the local supply stores were able to ramp up their inventories and unrented rental weeks were starting to book up. In fact, the demand was growing. Families from all over were ready to leave their quarantine digs for a dose of Vitamin D and beach time, while properly socially distanced at a vacation rental beach house. The Outer Banks is actually a great spot for this! Large homes with lots of amenities, shoreside, bode well for pandemic getaways.

Many weddings scheduled for Spring/Summer 2020 were moved to the same date in 2021 while others were moved to the Fall 2020. Although public and commercial spaces are not scheduled to reopen for wedding receptions to date, private rental homes are exempted and renters can host weddings at special event homes. We, in fact, are scheduled to host our first wedding of the year next Sunday, August 2nd , a wedding originally planned to take place at the Whalehead Club down the street. The Whalehead is a state-controlled park and is restricted from having social gatherings, so their wedding planner Ashley Earnhardt from Southern Hospitality Weddings was quick to reach out to see if we had availability when they learned there was no chance of a wedding there this year. We, in fact, just became available as we just had a cancellation. We were thrilled to make this couple’s dream come true.

Today, with a resurgence of Covid-19 cases popping up at a faster rate after a flattening of the curve in the spring in several states including (central) North Carolina, many are skeptical about travel plans to the Outer Banks. From before the bridge opened back up, we went from less than 10 cases to close to 300 cases made up of both visitors and locals to date. We’ve had hundreds of thousands visitors every week for the last nine weeks, its safe to say about 40 million visitors so far this summer. I would say this is indicative of few things. Specifically, the threat is manageable. if you know your group and everyone does their part to socially distance, wear masks (when needed), wash hands and just use common sense to limit exposure to potential spread chances are very low for the spread of Covid-19. What does this look like at your wedding this year?

It’s proven that rental homes are not a source of community spread if properly cleaned between renters. There are no known contaminations to date from rental homes to guests. We do our part by sanitizing and cleaning with the proper care, chemical and supplies. We also provide sanitizer, soap and paper towels for guests to use. For weddings, it’s highly recommended to use disposables for food and drinks. Hosting your reception outdoors is the perfect way for guests to keep their distance and avoid sharing the same breathing space. Communicating to your guests about these precautions along with limiting physical contacts like handshakes, hugs and touching surfaces (light switches in the bathroom or door knobs), wedding receptions should be relatively safe. If anyone feels under the weather or has a temperature, they should not attend the festivities. Videotaping and skyping are two ways to share your wedding day with friends and loved ones that are not able to attend.

If you need help with your wedding this fall, we still do have some dates open. If you would like to book your wedding for 2021, now is the time to book your date as dates are already limited from cancelled 2020 weddings moved to 2021. 2021 available dates will be further limited as vacationing in the OBX is expected to be in high demand. Finally, I recommend event insurance and “cancel for any reason” trip cancellation insurance for all travelers to protect you financially in case of unforeseen circumstances. I look forward to hearing from you at pelicanslandingobx@gmail.com.

~ Peace in the OBX

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