You can have a mini-wedding at this little red barn for $295

CARNEYS POINT, N.J. -- Eager couples who have spent months or years planning their weddings are now coming short of saying, "I do," in the era of COVID-19.

Many have opted for backyard ceremonies, while others have postponed and rescheduled their long-awaited festivities.

It is a pain they share with wedding venues, who have similarly been stumped by the onset of this global pandemic. Reception halls like The Red Barn in Salem County didn't have an answer for their sudden loss of business.

With new guidelines set by NJ Governor Phil Murphy, The Red Barn is now permitted to host socially distant events with a smaller head count. They took this opportunity to make local couples an offer they can't refuse.

For just $295, The Red Barn will host your mini-wedding. The package comes with an officiant, a take-home wedding cake, ceremony music, a first dance, and a livestream broadcast to friends and family via the internet.

Couples need to bring little more than a marriage license, witnesses, and their significant other.

"They don't have to worry. We pretty much take care of everything," said Manager Chelsey Schatzan. She has been working tirelessly to transform The Red Barn, where she met her own husband while country line dancing.

Property owner Brian Dilks has a similar story. More than three decades ago, he met his wife while dancing within the walls of the adjacent property, known as the "Friendly Tavern." Many years later, the couple purchased the land and began operating this pair of wedding venues.

Unfortunately, due to economic setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Friendly Tavern is closed with "For Sale" signs decorating the front lawn.

Once the location of Saturday night country dancing, the Friendly Tavern might be lost to history after this pandemic.

"We'd rather have everybody safe," Dilks said.

In the meantime, couples can call The Red Barn or visit their Facebook page to book their mini-weddings. Sebriah Coleman and Alexander Dassey have their wedding booked there already.

'Even if it was just us two being able to go, the fact that we're able to show our love, that's all that matters," Coleman said.

The happy couple from Willingboro will tie the knot this November.

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