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88 Counties: Hocking County reimagining scenic weddings during the pandemic

With caves, rock walls and waterfalls, the natural beauty of Crockett's Run has led to smaller outdoor gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

HOCKING COUNTY, Ohio — Just like many events during the pandemic, weddings across the globe have had to be rescheduled.

For Lily and Kevin, they were supposed to celebrate their elopement with more than 100 guests on a rooftop downtown. But once the pandemic hit, plans changed.

"I have a lot of sympathy for anybody who has had their wedding plans disrupted," Lily said.

Instead of their sophisticated cocktail party, Lily and Kevin took advantage of Hocking County's natural beauty, including caves and rock walls by Crockett's Run for a more intimate gathering.

"Everything was so beautiful. The scenery was amazing. I mean, we got married right in front of a waterfall," Lily said.

Lily and Kevin's wedding was a needed welcome for Crockett's Run event coordinator Reagan Canaday, who said 70% of the planned weddings in 2020 were rescheduled.

"The situation with COVID overall is certainly impacting a lot of businesses because their numbers are so down," Canaday said. "We were originally booked every single weekend."

Lily and Kevin's ceremony worked out, and the couple is quite pleased with their decision to move forward.

"There are a lot of reasons a wedding could be canceled. You know, a relationship doesn't work out something along those lines. That was not the scenario for us," Lily said. "The scenario was safety, and had we not gone through with the elopement, we would probably be very upset still sitting here today."