ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — With an uptick in the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in Orange County, medical experts are warning people to be wary at large gatherings, whether or not you’re vaccinated.

What You Need To Know

  •  The COVID-19 Delta variant is showing up more and more in Orange County

  •  Because of the variant, experts are warning people to be wary of large gatherings

  • Officials say this goes for people who are vaccinated, along with those who aren't

Susan Southerland is the President of Just Marry, a wedding planning company based the City Beautiful.

Her focus, she says, is on helping create ceremonies beautiful — but her eyes are also watching the Delta variant closely.

“I think that with the emergence of the Delta variant, more and more couples are saying, ‘Oh no, are we going to have to go through another round of cancellations?'" said Southerland. “What we’ve been doing is having them discuss it frankly with their guests, like ‘Have you been vaccinated? If you have not been vaccinated, we would appreciate you wearing a mask.’”

In most cases, it’s an honor system.

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Sajid Chaudhary says, he hopes people will honor the requests, whether or not they are vaccinated.

“Even with the vaccine, people can get infected," he said. "They may not develop the severe disease that causes them to end up in the hospital, but once they get infected they can spread it to other people.”

Southerland said that for a while, wedding mask orders stopped, but now the Delta variant is starting to bring them back.

“Some of the people whose weddings we’re doing now have rescheduled three times already," said Southerland. "It becomes a panic — should I just give up, or should I just move forward?”

To that, though, her advice to her clients simple, and in big letters on her website: ”Move forward" and “Just Marry.”

Southerland said she believes COVID-19 may be a part of regular event planning for the foreseeable future, and wedding planners like her will be focused on creating fun and safety, without panic.​