A NOTE FROM BARRINGTON’S WHITE HOUSE: As the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic set in, weddings planned for the next few months have turned from a joyful reason to celebrate to an emotionally fraught crisis to manage. We understand how sad this situation is for so many brides and grooms, and we want to help.
As a wedding venue that also hosts cultural events, we have been working through cancellations, rescheduling, and postponements for all of our Barrington’s White House events. As a result, our summer and fall 2020 schedule has opened up significantly, providing an opportunity for those who might be searching for a new wedding venue due to coronavirus cancellations.
As your premium wedding partner, it is our priority to make the wedding planning (and re-planning) process as smooth as possible. We are diligently working with brides, grooms and their families to make the most informed decisions we can at this time. As a venue with a capacity of 130, we have available dates spanning the rest of 2020 and are happy to help you tentatively book your new date, barring any further government restrictions.
To take away some of the re-planning risk imposed by the virus, we have implemented a temporary date-holding policy during this time. As such, your contract with Barrington’s White House may be cancelled or rescheduled by either party, without liability, damages, fees or penalties. Any unused deposits or amounts paid will be refunded if your event cannot be held due to COVID-19 restrictions put in place by the state or federal government. We hope that this policy will help make you feel more comfortable booking your wedding given the current situation.
Your wedding experience and memories are of the utmost importance to us. If we can help in your re-planning efforts, please reach out to Jennifer Salvatore, our Hospitality Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 224-512-4115. Continue reading as one local couple tells their side of the story of how the pandemic has affected them.
This story came to us from Kelley O., a bride who had scheduled a May wedding at Barrington’s White House. Here, the bride describes in her own words how she and her fiancé Al made the painful decision to re-plan their wedding, and how they are making lemonade out of lemons:
“With 65 days left before our scheduled May 24, 2020 nuptials, we should’ve been finalizing details on wedding programs and hotel gift bags. Instead, we were in regular conversations with our Wedding Dream Team (our key vendors, including Barrington’s White House) about whether to reschedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“The decision to reschedule your wedding is an emotional one to be sure. My fiancé Al and I have been together for six years, and like any bride and groom, we are eager to be married. As we contemplated the possible impact of Covid-19 on our wedding, there were several days of discussions with each other, family members, our church and our Wedding Dream Team. There were definitely a few sleepless nights and more than a few tears.”
“Ultimately, we decided to reschedule our wedding. There were two key factors that made our decisions a little easier:
- Our love for and commitment to each other: Al and I see eye-to-eye on most things. And when it came time to have a serious discussion about whether to postpone our wedding, we both agreed that the health and wellbeing of our family and friends is more important than holding firm on our original wedding date. We both have aging parents – a high-risk group in this pandemic. My entire family and many friends will travel from out of town to attend the wedding. But whether our guests are local or not, we simply weren’t willing to risk anyone’s safety.
- Working with our Wedding Dream Team: From the second we met each of our primary wedding partners, including Barrington’s White House, we knew they were special and would make our wedding day that much more amazing. They had earned the nickname Wedding Dream Team months ago, but in this moment of uncertainty, they have officially become more than our Dream Team – they’ve become extended family.”
Deciding to Reschedule our Wedding
“Our Dream Team has made this very difficult process much easier, and we’re so grateful to them for their flexibility and compassion. Our Dream Team includes our reception venue Barrington’s White House, Tamara Jaros Photography, Mayfield Flowers, Wild Asparagus Catering and Billet Doux Couture Stationery. As stay-at-home mandates and social distancing took hold in Illinois and around the U.S., Al and I were adjusting to staying in when we began discussing if we should have a Plan B for our wedding. We decided to reach out to the Dream Team to get their input – especially Barrington’s White House and our church, which were both already closed to gatherings of any size.”
“But we never got the chance to contact any of them. Each of one of our Dream Team-ers reached out to us first. They wanted to check on our wellbeing and offer any assistance possible – whether we decided to keep our original date, reschedule or even cancel the wedding. They each said, ‘How can we help you? Don’t worry about our contract. These are unusual times and we will do the right thing by you.’ We knew our Dream Team – and all our wedding partners – would work with us. But hearing those words from each of them in their own way was a great comfort and I think partially helped spur us to action on a decision.”
“When Jennifer at Barrington’s White House called and suggested we start looking at alternate dates, we knew it was the right thing to do. Jennifer is not a reactionary person. She’s very even-keeled and has had our best interests at heart from the day we first talked about having our wedding reception at the House. But her call on that Thursday afternoon set the wheels in motion for us.”
“We talked with her about possible dates – and then went to our church and the rest of our Dream Team to check if those dates worked for them. Again, their response was no surprise: ‘We’ll be there. We’re so sorry the virus is forcing you to reschedule, but we will be available for you. Is there anything else we can do to help?’ More than words, it’s been their follow-up with a quick text or a funny email letting us know they are thinking of us. Letting us know they appreciate what an emotional time this is and how disappointed Al and I must be to have to postpone our wedding day. Letting us know they care about us as more than just a contract, more than just a financial transaction. They are invested in us and our relationship, just as we have become so invested in them.”
Calm During a High-Anxiety Time
“Rescheduling your wedding for any reason is far from ideal. You spend months planning every detail. It never occurs to you that a global pandemic could throw all those plans into question. But honestly, the uncertainty about whether the stay-at-home mandate would keep us from hosting our wedding was far worse than the actual decision to reschedule.”
“Spending a week running through various scenarios – Would our church and Barrington’s White House be open to public gatherings in time? Would we have to cut our guest list down to less than 50 people – or even more difficult, less than 10? Would out-of-town family and friends be able to travel here for the wedding? It was overwhelming. Once we finally made the decision to postpone, we felt relief. Sure, we were disappointed. And now there was a whole new checklist of things that come with rescheduling a wedding. But we can handle that – those are tangible “to do’s.” Much better than the seemingly endless “what if” scenarios we’d been running through in our minds.”
“In the end, we still have each other. We still plan to be married in front of our family and friends in our charming, whitewashed church. We still plan to have a beautiful, romantic – and fun! – reception at Barrington’s White House. We know we will look back at our engagement and wedding as one of the most wonderful times of our life together. Now we’ll just have an even more interesting wedding story to tell.”
About the Bride and Groom
Kelley O. is a marketing professional living in the northwest suburbs along with her fiancée, Al. They both come from large families who love to eat, drink, dance and laugh together. And they’ll all do just that in an intimate, romantic wedding celebration now taking place in early Fall 2020. After their big day, Kelley and Al look forward to hosting a post-wedding celebration with their Wedding Dream Team, whom they truly do consider family.
Barrington’s White House is a unique, historic venue located in the heart of downtown Barrington at 145 West Main Street. This meticulously restored 1898 mansion hosts cultural and community events, and is also available for rental for weddings, corporate meetings, non-profit fundraisers and family celebrations. Visit the web site or call 224-512-4292 for your private tour.