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We Will Overcome & Survive

Images by Bonnie & Jonathan Burton • Burton Photography • NCphotographer.com

Dear, Covid-19

We don’t love you, but we shall rise above you!

As the sun peaks each day on our breathtaking lush green mountains, it is hard for most of us to focus on the beautiful tree buds blooming or to notice the daffodils dancing in the wind. Spring has come at the perfect time for a reawakening. Stop to listen to the sounds of the birds with every cheerful chirp, as better days will come. The COVID-19 virus has led not just some of us but all of us to make adjustments in our lives. One of the hardest hit areas is the tourism and special event industry. For now, we are forced to reflect and practice patience, as it is a virtue. When you sit and reflect on the day’s events of what is going on within our world today, it is extremely hard not to be distracted by the negativity on the news or in the media. 

 As a local business owner and a native to Banner Elk, I am in the same seat right there with all of the rest of you. I personally have taken the time to reflect on myself and the time has been strange but precious in an odd undesirable kind of way. In the fast paced world we live, we all need to take a step back. This unfortunate situation has forced all of us to do just that. Ninety percent of what I do as an event planner is problem solving. This however, is an unexpected beast that I am unable to tackle. 

My involvement in the event industry has given my own perspective and point of view of the extreme impact this situation has caused. Many are fearful of losing their jobs, unable to care for their families, and others are freaked out with a negative fearful mindset.  But yet, we are no different than anyone else. Our entire community is struggling to survive this battle both mentally and emotionally. 

From one person and business owner to another, I urge you to respectfully take into account those around you that you might be putting at risk. Our entire professional network is struggling through these trying times. But on the upside, we have amazing vendors in our area who are outstanding and will give their all. I can guarantee you, whether you’re planning a birthday party, a small gathering, wedding, fundraiser and or private event etc..or event…..it can wait. 

To put this into greater perspective, please review the following directly from The Register of Deeds office. Marriage Licenses will be issued only by appointment.  It is best to call the office at 828-265-8052 to get instructions and to make an appointment. This could change without notice should an order come from local, state or federal government closing down our operations. In cooperation with the CDC, NC DHHS, and our local Health Director, we are discouraging applicants from coming at this time if they are coming from out of state or county to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus. We are still issuing marriage licenses by appointment only and when they call we will give them instructions on what they need to do.  We are discouraging out of country, out of state, and out of county couples from coming per the Governor’s order to stay at home or in county/state of residence and limit travel from one area to another; as well as suggestions of our local health director. Couples getting married in NC can apply for a license in any county, so we encourage them to get it where they live. Stay healthy!! ~Amy Shook

There are many factors of infrastructure that have been affected majorly beyond just the obvious in the event and wedding industry. For example, the local tourism numbers are down, cabin rentals and locations as such have made it mandatory that cancellations take place. So regardless of whether you are coming here for a family vacation or you are coming for any form of special event here in the High Country, we urge you to postpone your plans. We live in a generation with many conveniences of technology. Please use this to your advantage. Many efforts are being made to accommodate online meetings with software such as zoom or facetime. This limits the personal interaction as well as contact with your client and or staff while still keeping your services or business alive.  

There’s something quite special that we have here in our area that cannot be found anywhere else. As we strive to continue to maintain all these challenges ahead of us, remain positive and remember that the best in this life is yet to come!

As I started putting forth my effort on this article and the more I spoke with members of the community, I realized how much all of our stories are the same. So the time has come for us to draw together as one. The responses have not only been uplifting, but also funny and inspiring! With that said, I will release a follow-up article with stories, quotes and positive notes for us all to reflect on. I welcome your input as an individual or as a business owner. Tell us your story. Give insight and encouraging words to share with your fellow vendors and community. Please send your story by emailing: Elizabethsevents@gmail.com

As much as we love all of you, your support, and your business, we must all fight this one together! 

From the NC mountains with love~ Letter from Elizabeth Hempfling


Wedding and Event Planner/Owner of Events by Elizabeth Ashley & Elizabeth Ashley Designs #Everymomentisanevent #Stayhealthy 

Images by Bonnie & Jonathan Burton • Burton Photography • NCphotographer.com