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Bride in limbo after Val Vista Lakes HOA votes to cancel events

Bride in limbo after Val Vista Lakes HOA votes to cancel events

GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – A bride-to-be is scrambling to re-plan her wedding after she was notified her venue is no longer hosting events starting at the beginning of next year.

“Yesterday, I got a phone call from the general manager of Val Vista Lakes telling me they were canceling all events after January 1st, 2023, and they said it was because of legal reasons,” said Amy Greco. “It’s not actually the HOA company. It’s actually the HOA board members that are voting against having the events there. The only thing that I could think of is that they want to host events there themselves and maybe because Val Vista Lakes is such a popular venue, they’re not able to do so. Which is fine, but I feel they should honor my contract.”

Greco said she wanted the venue so badly that she booked her reservation in August 2021 for her wedding in March 2023.

“Since I moved here in 2006, I wanted to get married there mainly because of the lake and the views there. Because of the docks, it reminded me of my hometown in Long Island,” Greco said. “It was a must for me. That was the first thing that I booked, and then I kind of built the wedding around that.”

Val Vista Lakes said in an email to Greco that she would be returned her $1,000 deposit. However, Greco said she doesn’t know what will happen to her vendors.

“It’s kind of like build your own wedding. So it’s up to me to pick all of my vendors and book them and put it all together,” Greco explained. “I have everything booked. I have my caterers booked, I have the bartender, invitations are sent out, there’s a hotel room block already booked, RSVPs are already coming in. If I were to have to go somewhere else, I don’t know that I can bring my vendors with me, I don’t know if they can refund me the deposits. I don’t know what’s within my budget anymore. It’s all kind of ruined.”

Greco said she wanted Val Vista Lakes as her wedding venue before meeting her future husband. She’s hoping there’s still a way to make it happen.

“The general manager from Val Vista Lakes, or the HOA company, had called me and said that there is a loophole and if I find any resident in Val Vista Lakes that will sponsor me for my event, I’m still able to have it,” Greco said. “But I don’t know anyone that lives in Val Vista Lakes because I’m all the way here in Phoenix.”

Arizona’s Family reached out to the vice president of Val Vista Lakes, but we have not gotten a response.

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Events biz still facing challenges as wedding season looms

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It’s not all love and roses in the wedding industry these days.

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Those roses don’t cost what they did in 2020, almost nothing does.

Liz Clark, owner of Chair Decor in Vaughan — which supplies event rentals such as chairs and linens — said the lifting of most pandemic lockdowns and restrictions has led to increased bookings for June onward as couples finally get to tie the knot.

What couples are finding, though, is that the big day comes with a bigger price tag.

“The cost of a wedding right now is considerably higher than what we were looking at two years ago,” she said.

Floral packages alone have gone up 30%, according to Clark.

“Inflation, cost of labour, cost of food — all that stuff has gone up somewhere upwards of 20%-30%,” she said. “That is a big problem that a lot of clients are having in terms of what they originally budgeted and what they’re now required to pay. Those are difficult conversations from a business perspective … That’s another sad reality of the business right now.”

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Many couples are happy and excited to get married, and that’s a great feeling for those in an industry that has spent the past two years managing postponed and cancelled bookings.

The industry now sees a refreshing new client base putting down deposits and booking new dates.

“As much as we’re optimistic for this year, it’s hard as a business,” Clark said. “We are dealing with two years of zero revenue. As much as we’re going to be busy this year, it’s going to take us years to recover from those two years.”

Julie Kwiecinski, of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), said many small businesses, particularly in hospitality, and event organizers shoulder the same burdens.

The average COVID-related debt for Ontario small businesses is over $166,000, and 56% of those who took on this debt have yet to pay back any of it, she said.

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In a new survey of CFIB members in Ontario, 81% indicated they were having difficulty keeping up with government costs like taxes, premiums and fees and 89% with other expenses such as gas and insurance.

The survey also shed light on the severity of the supply chain issue, with 84% finding it hard to get the products they need for production and sales, she said.

Only 27% of Ontario small businesses which responded to the survey indicated they had fully recovered and 12.5% still have a long way to go, she said.

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The CFIB is asking the federal government to increase the forgivable portion of their Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan to at least 50% and to extend the repayment deadline beyond December 2023.

“The federal programs will end on May 7 so after that time, you’ll probably see really the lay of the land as to who’s going to survive and who isn’t because that’s when the chickens come home to roost,” Kwiecinski said. “There’s no lifeline for business to hold onto… the business has to make a decision.”

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Wedding & Events Coordinator – Pedestrian Jobs

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About Us 

The Lussh is a stunning warehouse style event space and wedding venue located in Woollongabba. We host weddings, parties and corporate functions. Our aim is to give our guests and clients a memorable experience in a beautiful setting, complemented by our team’s amazing customer service, personality, and creativity. 


The Role 

We are on the hunt for a talented and enthusiastic Weddings & Events Coordinator to join our growing team! You will be responsible for facilitating the seamless coordination of your own weddings, social and corporate events. This role requires high-level client contact from the initial enquiry and sales stage, through to the on-the-day coordination of the event. This is an exciting and varied role that will give you the opportunity to use both your logistical planning skills and creative flair. 


Responsibilities and tasks include but aren’t limited to:  

  • Sales, including answering enquiries, taking venue viewings and converting to bookings.
  • Manage your time efficiently so that all clients are being attended to at each stage of their planning process, managing the development and coordination of their events.
  • Attendance for the initial portion of your client’s events, supporting bump in and formalities, and ensuring all that was planned is executed correctly.
  • Liaise with clients to ascertain their precise event requirements & clearly relay that information to the operations team through event run sheets and floor plans.
  • Assist clients with all styling needs and outsource styling elements that are not in-house.
  • Focusing on growing your personal portfolio by upselling beverages & in-house styling and hire packages. 
  • Maintain a 24hr turnaround time in responding to all emails.
  • Liaise with suppliers regarding bookings & logistics of bump in/bump out.
  • Ensure insurance, legal, health and safety obligations are adhered to for all events.
  • Achieve set KPI’s & targets including that all events have been paid for in full, prior to execution.
  • Support other events coordinators as required and directed. 


At this stage, we are envisioning this role as a casual position with up to 25 hours per week, including some weekend and evening shifts (when you have events), with the opportunity to expand into full time hours for the right person. Additional event hours (with current RSA) would be available if desired. 


About You 

  • Flexible availability (including weekends and evenings up to 8pm).
  • Previous experience in a similar role is highly preferred.
  • Confident and capable, with the ability to hit the ground running in most situations.
  • You will have a positive, solutions-focused attitude, with the flexibility and willingness to be part of a committed team.
  • You will be able to work autonomously and possess a sound knowledge of event coordination within a venue environment.
  • Strong attention to detail is essential, as is a determination to seize opportunities to surpass guest expectations and enhance guest experience from the very first moment of contact.
  • Previous event styling experience would be highly desired. 


While previous experience in an events role is highly desired, training could be offered for the right candidate. Rather than just previous experience, it is essential to us that you possess the right attitude and above qualities as this is something that can not be taught! 


Why Work With Us?

As a relatively new Brisbane venue, we are at an exciting time of growth! Our 2022 calendar is almost completely full, and 2023 is filling up fast. We also have some exciting renovations and expansions planned, and are looking for amazing people who are looking to expand their skills and grow with us.   


As a part of our team, you will be able to: 

  • Take ownership of your own clients and events  
  • Have the opportunity for individual growth and career development   
  • Be part of a growing company that values your input and welcomes creativity and the sharing of ideas
  • Competitive hourly rate with penalty rates for Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.

What Next?

If you would like to join our growing team, and be part of delivering incredible event experiences in a stunning environment, please send your resume through to

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BRINGING DREAMS TO LIFE | Wheat and Honey Events helps couples produce their perfect wedding day – VC Reporter | Times Media Group

BRINGING DREAMS TO LIFE | Wheat and Honey Events helps couples produce their perfect wedding day - VC Reporter | Times Media Group

Photo shown above by Innis Casey Photography

by Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer

The wedding day is meant to be one of the most beautiful, memorable and special events in a person’s life. A lovely location, flowers, delicious food and the betrothed couple bedecked in their nuptial finery are all necessary elements for this most splendid of occasions. But a wedding holds so much more on its tulle-and-lace-draped shoulders. This is a place where the personality, culture and values of the couple take center stage, and no two celebrations are alike.

To truly create the wedding of someone’s dreams requires an extraordinarily personal touch. Such careful craftsmanship is the raison d’etre of Wheat and Honey Events.

“We like to be available to our brides and grooms from the time they hire us until the end of their wedding,” explains owner Annette Kirkhuff. “A lot of people say I’m like a Mama Bear — I care about their weddings as much as their parents do.”

Bringing a vision to life

Wedding coordinators come in all flavors (and price points), of course. There are those who will help you on the big day, directing florists and caterers, getting guests seated and prompting the walk down the aisle. There are those who will work with the couple for a month or so beforehand, helping to organize and finalize the details. But Kirkhuff prefers to work with her couples for a year or more, to make sure every aspect is handled without a hitch.

Elegance en plein air, perfect for an outdoor wedding. Photo by Caroline Yoon

“I’m not a fan of the ‘coordinator for a month or a day’ model,” she says. “We spend a lot of time together. I need to understand their vision and their ideas.”

Wheat and Honey is based in Simi Valley, but puts on weddings (and other events) all over Southern California. Often, Kirkhuff comes on board once the couple has set a date and booked the venue — although she’s also been the one to help them find their location, too. Regardless of which comes first, Wheat and Honey is involved throughout the entire planning process.

“We work with the bride and groom from the beginning to the end,” Kirkhuff confirms.

Communication is key — to get a sense for what the couple is imagining, but also to get to know them. What do they like and dislike? What are their challenges? What kind of budget do they have, and what are their top priorities? Kirkhuff is fully available to offer advice, support and expertise to hammer out all the details.

With an excellent eye for design, Kirkhuff will execute the look and feel of a wedding that reflects what the couple envisions, whether that’s a sophisticated black-tie affair or a rustically elegant outdoor soiree. But first and foremost, she sees the design process as a group endeavor.

“We like to collaborate with our brides and grooms to make their wedding personal and collaborate on design,” she says. “When they walk away, they can feel like it’s *their* wedding.”

But Kirkhuff’s skills go way beyond the look of the event. She’s fully prepared to guide her clients through every step of the wedding planning process. Where and how to spend their budget, finding the right vendors (from rentals and caterers to photographers and florists to hair and makeup people), where flexibility might be required. 

“We get an idea for a budget and a vision and prioritize vendors — what’s most important? We don’t want any surprises on the day of . . . .[Couples] spend a lot of money on these weddings. They need to be executed the way you talk about.”

Personal touch with years of experience

Kirkhuff grew up in North Hollywood, and came to Ventura County in 2008, working for Command Performance Catering. As the sales and event manager, she flawlessly executed around 150 events a year. A photographer friend, who had seen Kirkhuff in action, noted that she had more to offer than just catering skills. Eventually, she decided to take a risk and branch out on her own.

Annette Kirkhuff, founder of Wheat and Honey Events. Photo submitted

In 2016, she opened Wheat and Honey Events with her daughter, Katie, who had run a small company called A Day to Remember. (Katie now lives in Texas and operates Wheat and Honey Events in the Dallas area.) With years of experience under her belt and a solid reputation for professionalism and customer service, she quickly established Wheat and Honey as a leader in the industry, putting on dozens of wedding, corporate and nonprofit events every year. For 2022, the company has been nominated in no less than three categories — Best Overall Vendor, Best Event Design and Best Wedding Planner — by California Wedding Day magazine.

Kirkhuff’s knowledge of all things related to events no doubt plays a role in Wheat and Honey’s success. But it’s her personal touch and genuine love for what she does that has couples clamoring for her services when they’re ready to tie the knot.

“It isn’t just a job for us,” says Kirkhuff. “I spend a year with the bride and groom and we say goodbye at the end of their wedding. We miss them! Developing the relationships with vendors as well as families is one of the things I love most about this business.”

Planning during a pandemic

“When the pandemic hit, it affected our business . . . along with every other business in the world,” says Kirkhuff. 

The weddings may have been put on hold, but she was still there for her couples, who needed her more than ever. 

“We worked with clients to move their wedding dates into 2021. Some we’d been working with for over 30 months! We all work together in this industry to make this as smooth as possible for our clients.”

Kirkhuff kept busy with some style shoots and mirco-weddings, but never stopped letting her clients know that they were valued and still had her support. Again, that personal touch for which Wheat and Honey Events is known was a balm to many couples nervous about COVID, their weddings and everything else.

When vaccines became available, weddings were back on the books in 2021, and it hasn’t slowed down since. According to Kirkhuff, clients are pleased that things have opened up even more in 2022, with mask mandates dropped, for example. But there are still conversations to be had in the wake of the coronavirus

“We talk a little bit about if COVID hits again,” she explains. “We have clauses in our contracts to protect our clients, too. And of course, we are fully compliant with all health and safety regulations.”

Hospitality heart

A few things Kirkhuff emphasizes again and again about the wedding process: Communication is incredibly important, and the vision of the wedding couple is paramount. Kirkhuff also feels very strongly that the betrothed should be able to *enjoy* their big day . . . not feel stressed out about it. From start to finish, Wheat and Honey Events will guide, advise and support clients through every aspect. As Kirkhuff states on the company’s website: “We at Wheat and Honey Events . . . allow you to be a guest at your own event.” 

“A wedding coordinator and planner needs to have a hospitality heart,” Kirkhuff insists. “Couples should see happy faces from all the vendors and guests to make sure their day is a loving day. And they need to know that it’s all organized — so they can relax.”

Wheat and Honey Events,, 805-624-9350,



hed// Trends for 2022

Annette Kirkhuff of Wheat and Honey Events is quick to say that every wedding is as unique as the people getting married, and trends can be hard to determine. But there are a few things that seem to have become popular the last few years.


dek// White on White

“White is really big . . . People are doing a lot of white weddings, with white colors and white florals, or mixing white with soft florals.”

She attributes some of this to the prevalence of Pinterest and Instagram, both of which are “huge in our business.” A bride sees a photo of something she likes, and tries to emulate that. And on these platforms, “white has been big these last two years.”


dek// Colored suiting

Interestingly enough, she is seeing more color showing up in menswear, and a move away from high formality.

“I’ve seen a lot of tuxes with color . . . and more casual weddings with cocktail attire rather than black tie.”


dek// Sleeves in style

For wedding dresses, Kirkhuff says, “Trending right now are sleeves. A lot of brides are able to have sleeves that are detachable — so that they can take them off for the reception, for example.”


dek// Breaking with tradition

As relationships and conventions have changed, so have wedding couples and parties. Weddings for same-sex or nonbinary couples are on the rise, and attendants run the gamut.

“A couple of my weddings have had flower boys and men rather than flower girls. I’ve also seen bridesmen and groomswomen.”


dek// Live musicians with DJs

“I’m finding a lot of brides and grooms bring in a live DJ — maybe a drummer or another musician playing while the DJ is spinning.”


dek// Food for thought on food trucks

Food trucks have grown in popularity, particularly for outdoor and more casual weddings, but Kirkhuff cautions against jumping too quickly on this particular bandwagon.

“Food trucks don’t work for traditional weddings,” she says. “They don’t have people serving the guests and taking care of them. Sometimes the bride and groom don’t feel like food is their priority, and that’s fine . . . However, it’s important to have really good service no matter what you’re eating.”

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Legacy on the Bricks takes worry out of creating special events; now booking into 2023

Legacy on the Bricks takes worry out of creating special events; now booking into 2023

KEARNEY — Bailey Bolte always dreamed of being a wedding planner. Now she has achieved that dream.

On Dec. 1, Bolte and her husband Cody opened Legacy on the Bricks at 16 W. 21st St. It’s a venue for weddings, receptions, anniversaries, graduations, quinceaneras, birthdays, bridal and baby showers and more.

It can seat up to 450 people. Its large windows allow sunlight to warm and brighten the dining room. Its walls are white and the floor is gray so clients can decorate in any color scheme they choose. They can choose from black, white or gray table linens.

Legacy on the Bricks has been three years in the making.

Bolte was a paramedic with CHI Health Good Samaritan for five years until she married Cody in the summer of 2019.

Legacy on the Bricks

Bailey Bolte, right, consults with a couple about an upcoming event. She prefers that people make reservations to meet with her, but walk-ins can sometimes be accommodated.

Then, seeking more conventional working hours, she opened The Wedding Sisters in June 2020. She runs that business out of her home with the assistance of her sisters Brianna Paxton; Kimberly White and her husband Mahlon, and sister-in-law Chelsey Petersen, who lives in Minden. They rent linens, custom centerpieces, aisle runners, tables, chairs and other items for weddings and other celebrations.

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She loved that venture, but she and Cody still dreamed of owning a wedding event venue. They scouted the region for a location, but came up empty. “We started planning back in 2019, but then COVID hit, and that stalled everything,” Bolte, a Minden native, said.

One morning, not long after Bolte delivered son Ryker in October 2020, she happened to drive by the building at 16 W. 21st and noticed that the east end, the former home of Jacobi CarpetOne Floor & Home, was empty. Jacobi had relocated to a new site on Kearney’s north end.

“I was driving with my little newborn and I saw the ‘for lease’ sign. We looked at it that afternoon and ended up buying the whole building,” she said.

Legacy on the Bricks

Bailey Bolte poses outside with the sign on the door at Legacy on the Bricks at 16 W. 21st St.

The purchase was final in June 2021. They spent the next six months renovating the 8,000 square feet they use for Legacy on the Bricks. Fitness 101, a 13-year-old business, remains in the building’s other half.

The Boltes tore out everything except the support beams. They put in new plumbing, heating and air conditioning. They painted, installed carpeting and put in a state-of-the-art speaker system, along with seven 70-inch television screens, a sound system, six chandeliers and lights to change the color of the room.

They also put in tables and New York-style venue high-end chairs rather than standard banquet chairs. While the venue can seat up to 450 people, Bolte said tables and chairs can be arranged for groups of any size. “We can get creative,” she said.

So far, business is off and running. Bolte has planned 23 events for 2022, including birthday parties, anniversaries, quinceaneras, weddings, preschool programs and quilting shows. The entire month of June 2023 is booked, and July 2023 isn’t far behind. “We still have available dates for 2022, and a few open weekends, but the community has embraced us. It’s been awesome,” she said.

She and her husband run the business by themselves. They expect their second child, a daughter, on March 15.

Bolte knows how critical wedding planning can be. She and Cody were to get married at the Younes Conference Center on Aug. 3, 2019, but when floods tore through that structure on July 9, those plans suddenly changed.

Legacy on the Bricks

Tables are elegantly understated for events at Legacy on the Bricks, including weddings, birthdays and showers.

“I was working that day helping move guests out of hotels, and I knew right away our wedding wasn’t going to happen there,” she said. But they couldn’t find another available venue that would hold their 600 guests.

Then Barb Petersen, Bolte’s mother, called the Kearney County Fairgrounds in Minden. The fairgrounds were to be closed that day in preparation for the county fair, which was to start the day after the wedding. “But I prayed about it,” Petersen said. “The next morning, the fairgrounds called. They said they would let us rent it if we had it cleaned up before Sunday morning.”

Peterson, who owns her own design business, Classic Interiors, led 80 friends and relatives in transforming the fairgrounds into a beautiful wedding venue.

“We put lights on the ceiling. Friends steamed all the tablecloths. It was so special. So many helping hands showed up. Neighbors, the community of Minden and our family really came to our rescue,” Bolte said. True to their word, they had it all cleaned up by 4:30 a.m. Sunday.

That’s partly why Legacy on the Bricks can accommodate 450 guests. Few event sites in Kearney can hold large crowds.

Legacy on the Bricks

Flowers and big, bright mirrors make the ladies room an inviting place.

Bolte also did last-minute wedding planning for her sister Brianna’s wedding in May 2020. The ceremony was to happen in Minden, but Brianna’s fiance was in the U.S. Air Force, and when COVID-19 hit, he was not allowed to leave Georgia.

“We all loaded up in a 49-foot motor home pulling a 14-foot trailer,” Petersen said. “I sent blueprints to a landscaper in Georgia, and he built a stamped concrete patio and a pergola. We transformed her backyard in just three days, even staining the fence and doing landscaping.”

Bolte added, “It was an intimate wedding, with fewer than 20 people, but we made it beautiful. We love thinking on our feet. We’ve probably been through any situation people might bring us.”

She and Cody named their business Legacy on the Bricks because both lost a beloved grandparent in May. “We started talking a lot about legacy, and we realized people can start their legacies in our venue. We like to say, “Your legacy starts here,” she said.

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Bingemans booking weddings at former Hacienda Sarria event space

Bingemans booking weddings at former Hacienda Sarria event space

KITCHENER — The event space formerly known as Hacienda Sarria is once again being used as a venue for weddings and other celebrations.

Bingemans is now booking events at the 1254 Union St. site in Kitchener. The venue, once a former steel factory that was transformed by the late Ron Doyle to resemble a centuries-old Spanish villa, is now being called the Union Event Centre.

But even under a different name and with a different company co-ordinating events, the venue hasn’t been able to shake its connection to the bankruptcy of Hacienda Sarria in 2020.

In response to Bingemans’ advertisements on Facebook, people have recognized the venue and pointed to the Hacienda event company’s bankruptcy that led to more than 100 couples and organizations losing their deposits.

According to documents from BDO Canada, the licensed insolvency trustee handling the bankruptcy case, creditors are owed more than $1 million from wedding deposits, prom bookings, and other events. Documents show the company had been losing money for years.

Mitch Taylor and his partner were among the couples who put down thousands to have their wedding there. He said the timing of Bingemans hosting events in the space is “extremely disappointing” to see.

“We wouldn’t really feel so bad and disappointed about weddings being hosted there if there was resolution to the situation at hand,” he said. The bankruptcy case is still ongoing.

Taylor said at this point, he and other creditors aren’t expecting to see their deposits returned — at least not willingly.

If the bankruptcy case closes and no money is recuperated, the group looking at filing a commercial lawsuit against the bankrupt 1836816 Ontario Inc., also known as Hacienda. Taylor said it would be great if couples could get their deposits back but it’s more important that the responsible parties are held accountable.

“Bringing justice to light is really a hot motivation right now, and obviously recuperating money would be a cherry on top.”

The director of Hacienda was Nadine Doyle. The property at 1254 Union St. was owned by her father, Ron Doyle, but following his death last year, the property is now owned by Suzanne Doyle and Nadine Doyle.

Multiple attempts to reach Suzanne and Nadine were not successful.

Taylor said when he heard Bingemans would be holding events at the Union Street venue, it raised a number of questions for him and others, including: what happens to the money Bingemans is paying to use the venue?

“Is that money going to the owner of that venue who ultimately is linked to the bankrupt corporation?”

Taylor said those responsible need to be held to account, if not just for this situation to serve as a “wake up call” to any other corporations potentially considering bankruptcy “and doing this to other people.”

If people see what happened with Hacienda and become hesitant about leaving deposits with other event co-ordinators, “what is that stigma going to do to the event industry?”

Bingemans’ president, Mark Bingeman said his company made arrangements with the landlord of the Union Street property earlier this year to utilize the space for events. When asked by The Record, Bingeman would not share the name of the landlord, or identify the numbered company.

He said he wasn’t able to comment on the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings because his company had no involvement with Hacienda Sarria or the bookings that were terminated in 2020.

Future of the property unknown

In the fall of 2020, the Union Street property was put up for sale for nearly $8 million. It’s unclear if efforts are still being made to sell the property.

Bingeman said he didn’t know about the long-term use of the space as an event venue. His sales team is focused on booking events for this year only and isn’t looking beyond 2022.

Bingemans will be treating this location like all the other venues offered to clients, he said. All deposits and payments will be made to Bingemans only.

“All we know is, any clients booking with us can be rest assured that their events will be executed as they expect.”

He said the venue still has plenty of dates available for spring and summer weddings. The Union Street site isn’t included in the list of venues on Bingemans website, but has been shared on their social media accounts.

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Wedding and event bookings surge as pandemic restrictions ease

Wedding and event bookings surge as pandemic restrictions ease

People who work in the wedding and events industry are seeing a surge in bookings thanks to upcoming changes to pandemic restrictions.

Starting March 1, indoor venues like event halls can operate at full capacity. Proof of vaccination will no longer be required but the mask mandate will remain.

“That gives our staff confidence. Knowing that business is coming back,” said Bingemans owner Mark Bingeman.

The ballroom at Bingemans that can hold around 1,000 people.

Some venue owners said it’s a relief to see restrictions begin to ease, but it will still take time to bounce back.

“Unless you have something already planned, our recovery tends to be delayed by anywhere from six months to a year,” said Bingeman.

“Wedding venues are available Monday to Sunday now because they can’t keep up. And it is kind of the same thing with photographers now we are kind of being forced to take on extra work,” said photographer Karin Hughes

Hughes said she hired eight new workers to help with the 40 weddings booked in 2022.

“It is so abnormal to already be fully booked,” Hughes said.

Amaka Obodo is a fashion designer and owner of Queendavis Bridal Atelier in Kitchener. She said her phone is ringing off the hook, but it’s a good problem to have.

“I was worried about closing because I had colleagues in the industry that closed up their businesses,” Obodo said.

The designer said she is fully booked until May because brides who originally planned to get married at the start of the pandemic are coming back around now.

“They had only 25 people attending their wedding, so they didn’t want to have that. So they had to move it to 2022,” said Obodo.

Kanchan Ladhar and her sister got custom bridesmaid dresses made by Obodo for their brother’s wedding in the fall.

“I am like blown away. I feel like a princess,” said Ladhar. “I found pockets in my dress and I love it.”

Ladhar said her brother plans to have about 400 people attend his wedding. His family is grateful a guest list that long will be allowed, under the new restrictions.