Craigowan Golf Club cancels all 2021 events, including weddings

As we approach the summer wedding season, a popular venue in Woodstock has cancelled all events planned there this year, leaving some couples scrambling to make new plans.

"Weddings are supposed to be a fun and exciting time and it has not been that for us. It has been really stressful," said Kylie Nicolson.

After having an intimate backyard ceremony last year,  Nicolson and husband Chad are once again forced to change plans now that Craigowan Golf Club in Woodstock canceled their upcoming reception.

"We've had a lot of money tied up in this wedding for already a year, we want to move on at this point," she explained.

Although the couple was able to find another venue for their July wedding, booking so late in the season is costing them thousands more.

Craigowan did not return CTV Kitchener's request for comment on the cancellations, but did explain why it made that decision in an email sent to couples planning to get married there this year.

The company said in part that its decision was based on the slow pace of reopening, operational restrictions and concerns over the possibility of an outbreak. The club also operates as a golf course, restaurant and summer camp.

"Because they are primarily golf course, if that was my primary business and I knew that would have the least restrictions put on it, I would probably choose to put my focus on that as well," said Brandy King

King is the  owner of nearby wedding venue La Petite Chapelle and says Craigowan's decision is not indicative of the summer season ahead.

"Based on previous stay-at-home orders, we should be back in orange by end of May, beginning of June. So, we are hopeful that we will be able to proceed with our events," she explained.

She added that many venues are still committed to making smaller weddings happen under the restrictions. La Petite Chapelle also recently introduced entertainment stations so that upcoming events have alternatives to dancing.

"Things like lawn games, arcade games set up, live music lounges which allow you to enjoy music but don't encourage necessarily dancing."

Couples, wedding vendors and venues all hope that the next couple months will bring more clarity.

"Hopefully after this lockdown, I hope it will be the end of it and we can just move past it," said Nicolson.