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Couples, venues forced to make tough decisions to postpone, cancel weddings

Many plan for months, or maybe years, for the big day but said they have to do what is right.

Couples across the nation are making the tough decision to cancel or postpone their weddings due to COVID-19. 

Many planned for months, maybe years, for the big day but said they have to do what is right.

"There's a lot of planning that goes into this, a lot of time and expense involved," said Rebekah Petroskey. She and her fiance have been waiting two years for their big day. 

"We were supposed to get married on the two year anniversary of the date of our first date," she said. That would have been April 18, 2020. 

She stayed cautiously optimistic for the past few weeks, but with family and friends travelling from out of state, she made the tough decision this week to postpone the celebration.  

"I won't lie, there were a few tears on my part too," said Petroskey. "It's better to be safe than sorry in this case. Never in a million years did I think a global pandemic would interrupt our wedding."

"I think everyone feels in limbo, which is a little frustrating for everyone," said the owner of Knoxville venues Relix and Brookside, Whitney Schuh. She said she is trying to find the positive amid postponing events at her venues through most of May. 

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"You don't realize how special it is to get everyone together like that so I'm just trying to encourage them to know it'll be a great day when it happens and really be able to appreciate it," said Schuh who's working with couples to help them find new dates. 

Petroskey lost around $5,000 for the day and cannot get refunds for certain "day-of" vendors, but she said having to cancel puts the things that are most important into perspective.

"I think it's more important to be with the person that you love," she said.

She ended up tying the knot at the Knox County Courthouse, but is looking forward to a celebration with her loved ones later this year at Relix.  

"I think it will truly be a celebration that day for a lot of different reasons," said Schuh. 

Staff at the Pavilion at Hunter Valley Farm recommend people don't "jump the gun" and try to immediately cancel their weddings if they're not going to be affected. They're encouraging everyone to pause and breathe. 

"We all need to stick together in this and do what's best for everybody," said Petroskey.

RELATED: List of cancellations, closings in Knoxville, East Tennessee due to coronavirus concerns