A Stanwell Tops wedding venue that was at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak in March is about to have its doors reopened to couples tying the knot.
There were 35 confirmed COVID-19 cases from a wedding party at Tumbling Waters Retreat, however no staff contracted the infection.
Due to restrictions, the luxury venue has been closed and many weddings have been postponed to later this year or 2021.
"There was nothing we could do about those guest from the US having the infection," she said. "We did a deep clean of the venue and no staff at the venue tested positive.
"There have been outbreaks in schools and suburbs. Most people will know it was not the venue's fault.
"It has been frustrating times, and was devastating for us but thank goodness that is behind us.
"It could have happened to any business. The outbreak was not a nice experience to go through."
Ms Keller said couples had been very understanding about having to postpone their weddings or reduce guest numbers.
The outbreak was not a nice experience to go through.Sonja Keller
"It is an ever evolving situation," she said. "We had to close because there was not enough demand for people to have weddings at our venue for only 10 guests.
"Some couples had to cancel because they live overseas.
"But we have a busy wedding schedule ahead. Some couples even have back up dates in case rules change again."
From July 1, the maximum number of people who may attend a wedding is the maximum number of people allowed on the premises, which is one person per 4 square metres.
Centro CBD function centre co-owner Robert Specogna said he was starting to get more wedding inquiries.
"People are now looking at having smaller weddings," he said. "There is still a lot of uncertainty about what the rules will be for couples at their weddings.
"The employment rate and uncertainty about jobs is also probably affecting couples' decision to not spend as much money or have a smaller wedding.
"Couple are still stressed as they are not sure how many people they will be allowed to include or whether they can dance.
"Nearly every week the rules change."
Mr Specogna said there was still availability for couples wanting to get married this year and he was looking forward to getting back to "as normal business as possible" as it had not been viable to hold functions at the venue since March given the cost to employ wait staff and chefs.
Wollongong's Villa D'Oro owner Claude Guido said he had to adapt his business to serve takeaway Italian meals to customers since there had been no functions at the venue.
"There is no work until October when we have two weddings scheduled," he said. "Those couple hope the allowable numbers of guests will increase and they are allowed to dance."
Mr Guido said many of the functions or events for 2020 had already been cancelled for the year and would not be returning until next year.
He does not expect business to return to normal until 2022 as he has had no new inquiries, only brides rescheduling their 2020 plans to 2021.
"At this stage, we will be fairly busy in the first half of next year but with the current economy and lack of clarity, I suspect many couples are waiting to book anywhere," Mr Guido said.
"At the end of the day, lots of function venues in Wollongong had to close but I was able to start takeaway meals.
"That put a smile on my face and has kept our loyal customers. We are the lucky ones as I have still been able to keep on staff."
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