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Wedding business hit hard by new restrictions

What was slated to be a record-setting year for a local business has been completely wiped out by the governor's new restrictions.

ASHLEY, Pa. — Ashlee and Scot Martinelli own and operate The Grand Bank, a wedding and event space on Main Street in Ashley and run Every Little Thing, a wedding planning business.

The couple said since Governor Wolf restricted indoor gatherings to 25 people, their phones have been ringing off the hook with couples calling to cancel their weddings for the fall.

"We still had some weddings for September and October and they were planning for an event at 50 percent occupancy, which was the previous thing that had been released and now we're at 25 people total. And that includes your vendors, your catering staff, so it's really 25 of your friends and family," said Ashlee.

"For people to cancel that quickly after this modification and guidelines really tells you that people are on edge with everything going on," added Scot.

The couple says they were just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel of the COVID-19 crisis when they were slammed again with set-back.

"[It's] just really difficult. You plan for something and then it changes and then you re-plan for something new and then it just changes so quickly, it's really a hard thing right now," explained Ashlee.

"We're in a situation where business is affecting our life and our futures in a way we never thought and it's important to make sure that we both understand the risks we're in," said Scot.

Ashlee said she has tried to put together creative options to keep the business moving, but sometimes creativity isn't enough.

"Elopement packages and micro-weddings on a smaller scale but not what every couple wants to do. They don't want to compromise what they've been planning for a year or two at this point," explained Ashlee.

The couple is trying to get creative with different events at the venue. 

To find out more you can visit The Grand Bank's website or Facebook page.

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