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Phase 4 Policies + Protocols for Chicago Wedding Venues

Chicago Loft Venues is keeping things transparent when it comes to Phase 4 protocols that will keep you safe while celebrating in style.

By Elise Hofer Shaw

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Love isn’t cancelled. True, but the limitations are still pretty strict when it comes to Chicago weddings in Phase 4. As it has been laid out by the office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, only 50 people are allowed for events. No dance floors are permitted, and masks are required. Furthermore, no more than 10 people are allowed at each table for sit-down dining—and social distancing should be enforced.

Just the same, a lot of Chicago couples are willing to make it work—with help from skilled venues teams who are pivoting fast as policies change. “Some couples have had to postpone their weddings several times already,” says Kevin Benson, marketing director at Chicago Loft Venues. “Despite the restrictions, they just don’t want to put it off anymore. They want to get married, whatever that looks like, and start their lives together.”

Brides, grooms and their families are welcoming the looser guidelines. And although it’s a challenging time for Chicago’s events industry, they’re up for the challenge. “Sure, it’s frustrating to see that the rules in place for hotels and other large Chicago wedding venues are tighter than those for restaurants and gyms, for example, which are now open for indoor use with restrictions based on capacity and not subject to the hard-50 limit. But we’re working with what we’ve been given.”

And couples need to be prepared for things to change on a dime. “The reality is that if there is a regression in COVID-19 cases in Illinois, the state could go back a phase,” warns Benson. “But for now, weddings are still happening in Illinois in Phase 4—and, at Chicago Loft Venues, we’re doing everything in our power to ensure strict protocols are in place and being adhered to, so our couples can focus on having fun.”

Here are the Phase 4 policies + precautions being taken by Chicago Loft Venues for weddings and events…

50 people max

Social distancing in place

6-foot spacing of tables + chairs

Temp checks for employees

Increased cleaning schedule

High-traffic areas cleaned throughout the event (every 30 minutes)

PPEs worn by all staff + attendees

Increased frequency of staff hand washing

Hand sanitizer + disposable masks stations

Visual signage to explain policies

No more than 6 guests per table

No self-serve food + beverage stations

Regular cleaning of ventilation + ductwork

Any additional guidelines put forth by local, state, or federal agencies as they develop

“Our policy at CLV is to be totally transparent with our Phase 4 couples,” adds Benson. “At the end of the day, there are a lot of traditional wedding elements that we just can’t incorporate right now, like a jam-packed dance floor or buffet-style, self-serve dining. But if a Phase 4 wedding is something that you can get excited about, then go for it!”

That said, Benson can’t emphasize enough the importance of selecting the right venue for your Phase 4 affair. “Selecting a venue that provides ample space for social distancing goes without saying,” says Benson. “But it’s also important to consider that working with less vendors means less people coming in and out of the space. At Chicago Loft Venues, all of our event spaces—The Zephyr on Motor Row and, opening this August, The Stockhouse in Pilsen and The Wildman in Garfield Park—are amenities-rich venues. We have couples’ lounges, programmable LED lighting, digital photo booths with customizable hashtags, parking options, vintage-inspired lounge furniture, custom-built tables and chairs, and more. All-inclusive wedding venues that cut out the multi-vendor chaos is what we do.”

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