ONE of Queensland's most popular wedding venues hosted it's last wedding last Sunday. Strict restrictions on public gatherings came into force the very next day.
Mary Gibb owner of The Courthouse Restaurant said the year had been shaping up to be the biggest year for weddings she'd seen for decades.
However, her team at the venue set in Cleveland's heritage precinct has had to adjust and adapt during tough times.
"Weddings are supposed to be the happiest, most important event of a couple's life, and are planned as far ahead as 18 months, even 2 years. By the time the global coronavirus pandemic hit Australia, many couples were in the final stages of their planning," Ms Gibb said.
Carol Balfour is the wedding stylist and manager at the venue and quickly rallied, volunteering her time and services until every wedding scheduled for The Courthouse was her top priority.
"Carol spoke with everyone but with so many couples and the situation changing by the day, I immediately created a Facebook group to communicate collectively with bridal couples as information came to hand on policies we were having to create on the fly," Ms Gibb said.
Ms Gibb said it was humbling to see how understanding and supportive the bridal couples were in this time of crisis.
The team at The Courthouse worked to find new dates for couples that needed to postpone their nuptials.
"Carol helped them coordinate all of their vendors to the new date, minimising any losses by working with vendors and in some instances having to negotiate on behalf of our couples to successfully transfer the arrangements," Ms Gibb said.
Ms Gibb admitted the venue took a "huge hit" with restaurant and function cancellations starting from the second week of March.
"But we were not alone. The hospitality industry was already so vulnerable with January and February traditionally the quietest months of the year.
"I owe it to the staff and to the community for the overwhelming support we have received to get to the other side, stronger, healthier and with a greater appreciation," Ms Gibb said.