Words Ms. RITA NERI | Featured photo Paolo Nierves for Metrophoto
And so it continues, this very vague situation we have found ourselves enduring while on “temporary” lockdown during this pandemic. It has so dramatically changed the way we communicate, work, travel, dine and celebrate life’s precious moments.
Saying “I do” must now adhere to public safety guidelines and healthcare restrictions. The coronavirus pandemic has hit the wedding industry hard and mercilessly. Stay at home orders, travel ban and social distancing has changed many wedding plans and preparations.
From it’s early onset, everyone has had to make the necessary adjustments. Postponements, cancellations and restructuring have been made to accommodate and accept previous situations. But now that almost to a year with this kind of “ life “, what can we understand as being the new normal for the weddings taking place or is set to take place.
Here are just some trends that soon to weds must understand:
- As of now, forget large guestlists. Small intimate gatherings of 30 to 70 people is the norm. Number of guests is solely dictated by safety guidelines and all wedding venues must adhere to this or face being closed down and penalized. Adding to the problem is that guidelines differ depending on where the wedding will be held so couples must always check the restrictions imposed on their chosen venue. Also one must be aware of curfews and noise level restrictions imposed on the venue. Couples must be conscious and avoid having a super spreader event at all costs.
- Livestreams and virtual weddings are now options to be considered. Due to the limited guest list and the desire to have more guests be part of their celebration, going virtual is one recourse to consider.
- Dancing and drinking (bars) will definitely look different. Packed dance floors and serving alcohol from one large bottle is not advisable. When you have a free for all dancing plus adding alcohol to the mix, the risk goes up exponentially.
- Buffets may be a thing of the past. It has not really been proven that the virus can spread through food but buffets make social distancing very hard. This also goes for any passed around cocktail food, grazing tables and family style meals. Sit-down food service will be the way to go.
- Booking several date options will now have to be incorporated into all suppliers contracts. Due to the uncertainty of the lockdown & continuing possible spread of the virus, wedding suppliers must be understanding and flexible in their terms and conditions regarding postponements and cancellations.
- Outdoor weddings will definitely be more in demand. Closed spaces where the virus can spread more easily versus airy, spacious places is a no-brainer decision to make.
- Two celebrations instead of one. Some couples are opting to get married legally (by a judge or by a priest) first and then when the situation gets better, have the wedding they had planned. This may not be ideal for all but it does work for those who want to be together already and start their married life.
It is still very unclear when, or if, the coronavirus will be a thing of the past. What is sure is that people will still be getting married. Weddings during this uncertain time will definitely look different, at least different from how they planned it. But what is sure is that even during a pandemic, love will find a way.
About the columnist
Two decades after she founded Rita Neri Event Planners, one of the most prestigious companies in the wedding industry, Rita Neri has seen just about everything there is in trade and worked with a considerable number of high-profile couples for their events.
From small requests to major concerns, Neri has seen them all and dealt with each one with a calm approach and a steady hand. As the author of two bestselling books, “The Essential Wedding Workbook for the Filipina Bride,” volumes I and II, Neri has much in the way of firsthand knowledge when it comes to celebrations. In her column with Wedding Essentials Magazine, she talks about anything about weddings.