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The "New Normal" for Weddings

COVID has changed the world and had a significant impact on weddings and the wedding industry, and there’s a strong possibility that this weirdness will last, that weddings as we know them—grand, festive events, with extended family and friends in attendance—won’t be the norm again for a long time.

Social-distancing measures are likely to make big wedding celebrations essentially impossible for the foreseeable future. The World Health Organization continues to advise against large gatherings and venues are imposing capacity limits as well as social distancing guidelines.

As a result, scores of weddings that were supposed to take place in 2020 have been moved to 2021, and they land on the calendar on top of the weddings that were already planned for 2021 before the coronavirus arrived.

There’s no way to predict, of course, whether “wedding season” as we know it will even be a possibility by this time next year. Strict disease-prevention measures will likely still be in place making it difficult for vendors and venues to commit to big weddings. Small, low-key ceremonies might seem especially appealing now because they can be adapted to whatever restrictions might be in place in a year. But even without constraints on their guest list, couples starting to plan a wedding right around now might well find that the venues they want are booked through the end of 2021. This by itself would be enough to push some couples toward a simpler, more scaled-back, easier-to-plan wedding day.

For those who still want to go all out, the number of guests who attend might be somewhat out of their hands. Many venues will have to start booking weddings on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays to keep up with demand. A weekday or work-night wedding is almost inevitably a smaller and more intimate affair than a Saturday wedding: Not everyone can or is willing to take the extra time off, especially if they have to travel.

A very unfortunate eventuality of the economic hardship is that some small venues and vendors may have to close or dramatically reduce their services between now and next summer. Some closures are inevitable, meaning some couples will have to essentially start over on their wedding planning. Some might just give up and elope—which might mean having a tiny low-key ceremony, getting married at home, in a restaurant or a park.

Moreover, wedding trends are—for lack of a less cringey term—contagious; many couples plan their wedding day by borrowing elements of what they’ve seen and liked at other weddings. In the months and years ahead, couples who might have otherwise opted for the whole enchilada might model their own wedding day after friends’ or relatives’ small ceremonies and elopements. Small wedding ceremonies could, in other words, become more common not just for health reasons, but because coziness and intimacy might organically become trendy.

A quick search on social media will show countless posts from couples who have held a scaled back, intimate ceremony this year and said that it was the best thing ever. The feedback about a scaled-back wedding is almost unanimously and overwhelmingly positive.

Some couples might not have a choice about whether to throw a big party at all. The pandemic has already been financially devastating for people all over the country; big, lavish weddings might start to seem like even more of an unnecessary extravagance than they did before Especially when many couples are financially struggling, the requirement to hold smaller, simpler, cheaper weddings could come as a relief.

Inevitably, the big wedding celebrations lost to the coronavirus will be disappointing for families and would-be guests, and heartbreaking for marrying couples. On the other hand, the purpose of a wedding is to be a public declaration of commitment and love.


(excerpts from; https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/05/coronavirus-could-change-weddings-years-come/611716/)


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