Unique local business offers COVID-safe wedding option

Posted at 6:56 AM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 08:56:02-04

A local business called Idaho Bell Tents is working to give those planning a wedding a COVID-19 safe option to celebrate.

"You can set up in backyards, in parks. Wherever we have a flat surface we can set it up," explained business owner Dakotah Henderson.

According to data from The Knot, COVID's impact on weddings was so significant that 90% of all couples set to wed were affected by the pandemic. Since March 2020, 96% of to-be-weds have either moved forward with modified wedding plans, or they've altogether postponed their receptions into 2021.

"I'm seeing a lot of elopements, people keeping it smaller," Henderson said. "Weddings had changed completely. Weddings can get huge--so many people--and having to change things and really scale it down."

When Idaho News 6 first caught up with Henderson, she had just hit the 6-month mark for her business. Like many of us, 2020 was a year of change for Henderson. Not only did she start up Idaho Bell Tents, she and her family also moved away from their hometown.

"In the middle of this pandemic, we sold our home in Council and were living in our camp trailer until we could find a place to rent," Henderson told Idaho News 6 in our interview back in November.

Now, about a year later, business is booming.

"We have been getting steady bookings, I only have one date available for this month--dates are filling up fast so it's really taken off," Henderson said.

The business started as a COVID-19 safe activity for her to enjoy with her husband and two daughters, but she quickly realized she could help others--especially couples struggling to celebrate their big day because of the pandemic.

"It's just something that we can do at home that still feels safe," Henderson said. "One of my favorite things about doing this is the joy I get from other people's joy. they're so excited, and I've had people who have cried because it's meant so much to them."

Henderson says the pandemic has given us a chance to step back and focus on what really matters: love.

"This is about the unity of two people coming together and you know it really allows you to focus more on that and enjoy the day more," she said.

Henderson also does indoor picnics, sleepover setups, and everything in between--plus she offers no contact services to protect her customers.

"We drop everything off, we don't have any contact with you if you want--or we can come and set it up for you if you'd like," she explained. "We do a lot of boho but you can make them so elegant as well just by changing the furnishing. So really any style you want we can cater to it."

Through the challenges and change, building the business was a chance for the Henderson family to grow even closer together.

"(I) have the support of my husband and my daughters and my family behind me--I just want them to look up to me and be like 'Oh, I can do something like that, too,'" Henderson said.