Living through coronavirus: Butler County couple’s wedding shrinks and moves home

Latrecia Simmons said she will have “one heck of a story to tell” when people ask about her wedding.

Simmons and her fiance, Joshua Reese were supposed to get married and have their wedding reception April 11 at a Butler County banquet facility.

But like about everything else, the coronavirus pandemic has changed those plans.

They will get married April 11, but instead of 130 people attending at Receptions Event Center in Fairfield, only their parents and preacher will be present for the wedding in their Trenton home.

“Have to keep it under 10 people,” Simmons said, referring to the referendum from Gov. Mike DeWine.

They have rescheduled their wedding reception for late August at Receptions because they were “afraid to go earlier.” They hope by then DeWine has lifted his ban on large groups gathering.

Simmons, a project manager for CDK Global, said several out-of-town guests were scheduled to attend the wedding/reception. They all have cancelled their travel plans.

“It’s a little crazy,” she said. “It’s definitely a frustrating situation, but we can’t take it out of the companies that are following the rules. It could have been a lot worse.”

Dan Goebel, chairman of Receptions Event Centers & Monastery Event Center, certainly agrees. He owns four Receptions with locations in Fairfield, Loveland, Western Hills and Erlanger, Ky. Last week, he postponed 60 events until at least April 12. He said that date is “a moving target that may change daily.”

He said 90 percent of the events have been rescheduled, and once the coronavirus restrictions are lifted, he knows additional staff will be needed. He has posted a sign on the door looking for employees.

“Long term I feel pretty good about things,” said Goebel, in business for 28 years. “Once we reopen, we will be slammed.”

He has about 160 part- and full-time employees and he’s assisting them in completing their unemployment paperwork.

“Doing all we can,” he said.

Simmons, 37, and Reese, 34, who works in production at Sun Chemical, started dating four years ago. As the wedding day neared, then the plans changed, Simmons said she has learned “not to get stressed out over things you can’t control. Why get high blood pressure? What’s that going to do? We are taking it in stride and trying to enjoy the moment.”


We’re looking to profile people throughout our coverage area about how the coronavirus is impacting your daily life. If you’re interested in sharing your story about how you’re affected or adapting to the situation, call Journal-News reporter Rick McCrabb at 513-483-5216 or email

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