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Couple requiring COVID-19 vaccines for guests at upcoming wedding

A couple planning a Seattle wedding will require vendors and their 32 guests to be fully vaccinated before the big day. They call it a hybrid COVID-normal wedding.

SEATTLE — No vaccine, no cake. That is the message one couple planning a Seattle wedding is telling their guests ahead of saying "I do" in August.

Seattle native Keri Barnett-Howell and her fiancé Will Grosswendt are taking no chances when it comes to COVID-19. They are requiring all friends, family, and vendors attending their wedding to be fully vaccinated against the virus.

"We had it in our save the dates and it's on our wedding website that we are requiring vaccines," said Barnett-Howell, who met Grosswendt on a dating app after they both moved to San Francisco for work in 2014.

After six years together, Grosswendt made it official and proposed on New Year's Eve in 2020.

The couple, who wanted to share their big day with family and friends, already had a 2022 date in mind.

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"But when Biden came into office and said vaccines would be available to everyone by end of June, we thought maybe we can get married this year," explained Barnett-Howell, who grew up in Seattle's Mount Baker neighborhood.

"My family is in Hawaii, so they can't just drive or road trip over," explained Grosswendt.

With safety being their top priority, the couple, along with their families, decided to not just require COVID-19 vaccines but also asked for proof.

"[Asking for proof] feels weird, but it's to make everyone comfortable in coming to our wedding,” said Grosswendt. “I might be able to trust my friends but are friends of Keri's going to trust my friends? They don't know them.”

The couple told KING 5 that so far, guests are on board with sharing their vaccination cards. However, some vendors have not been.

The couple’s first choice of photographer said he was not comfortable with the vaccines, which Barnett-Howell said she was OK with, but they did move onto another photographer who was able to show proof of vaccination.

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