COVID-19 drastically changed the “typical” wedding. Three hundred people filling a ballroom and giving the bride hugs can no longer happen. The pandemic is pushing many couples to reschedule their nuptials, but for those couples that want to proceed, they are changing the entire look and feel of their event to fit the new reality.
Approximately 80% of weddings take place during “the season” from May to early October. In 2020, the timing of traditional wedding season unfortunately falls within the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing rules and the closure of most hotel ballrooms and other event locations changed the wedding landscape.
Downsizing the Event
The pandemic’s impact on weddings spawned a new term, the “minimony,” which is a smaller-scale wedding ceremony that involves 10 to 15 people. These small weddings are often combined with live virtual streaming through Zoom or another platform, and a social-distanced gathering after the event. Many minimony couples plan on hosting a larger gathering later in 2021 to celebrate with extended family and friends.
Some couples that postponed their weddings and rebooked for 2021 had to take a weekday date due to the increased demand. This will further encourage the trend towards smaller weddings, as people are less likely to travel or take time off work during the week, even if the pandemic has faded.
Smaller wedding ceremonies held in backyards or public parks lend themselves to a different kind of style aesthetic. The most popular styles during COVID-19 are the classic minimalist looks with clean lines and elegance. For example, online occasion wear boutiques such as Lady Black Tie report a spike in demand for sleek white dresses. The company’s Celine dress is an ideal two-piece lace dress ideal for a minimalist yet sophisticated wedding held in an outdoor or smaller indoor space. These types of dresses are a contrast to traditional full-length bridal gowns which are falling out of favor for the smaller-scale COVID-19 era weddings.
The virtual technology keeping people closer in touch throughout the pandemic also provide opportunities for weddings. Broadcasting a wedding on Zoom or other platform is inexpensive and allows upwards of 1,000 people to join the occasion. Brides can enlist a family member to setup a few tripods throughout the wedding area to capture different viewpoints, to give the video a more professional look. Also, the couple should consider wearing microphones or AirPods to capture their vows and the officiant’s words, which will improve the viewer’s experience.
Another option for virtual interactions after the wedding ceremony is to talk to smaller groups of people in shifts. So, a bride and groom could split up and talk to 10 people at a time in 5-minute increments, instead of navigating a Zoom or Google Hangout with 150 different voices and faces.
Video conferencing also streamlines the wedding planning process. Florists, bakers, and other vendors are moving to video consultations, so brides can select the best arrangements and minimalist cakes without worrying about leaving the house and social distancing. Venue managers and wedding planners offer virtual walkthroughs of event spaces that allow couples to remotely pick a great spot for a scaled-down 2020 wedding or a larger 2021 affair.
The “quarantined bride” cannot hold a massive splashy wedding in 2020. But they can embrace a new minimalist and authentic style. Through technology, a new look for their dress, and a smaller group of friends and family, brides can create intimate weddings that celebrate love during trying times.