Wedding venue plans free, socially distant ceremonies for couples in need

RUSTBURG, Va. – The COVID-19 crisis has dealt a devastating blow to upcoming weddings, but Teresa Clayton is planning a way for couples to still tie the knot in style.

“We are just brokenhearted for all of these couples that have had to adjust their plans," Clayton said.

Clayton owns Glencliff Manor, a well-known wedding venue in Campbell County. She decided to organize a series of small, socially distant weddings for couples, at no charge to them.

“It’s horrible. You plan for this for a year, a year and a half," Clayton said. "It’s their dream, and to see that dream dashed is a nightmare.”

The weddings will take place outdoors and will only last for an hour, with a half-hour of space between each ceremony. Per Gov. Ralph Northam’s social distancing guidelines, less than ten people will be allowed in the ceremony at all times.

Clayton originally planned to just have one day filled with mini-weddings, but that plan quickly changed.

“The original May 2 date, that was gone in 20 minutes," Clayton said. "We then offered up May 1st, and that was gone by the rest of that night.”

Glencliff Manor will now host these mini-weddings during May weekends.

Clayton says it is difficult to organize a special occasion with social distancing guidelines in places, but she’s willing to do what it takes to start these marriages off the right way.

“These folks are going to come in, say their vows, and take some beautiful pictures," Clayton said. "This is supposed to be a time where you’re having fun.”

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