As we tentatively head out of lockdown, what are future weddings likely to look like for the next couple of years? What’s gone for now, or here to stay? Let’s take a look at what’s probably out and what’s maybe going to be in…
Photo by Agung Pandit Wiguna, Pexels
Out – large indoor weddings
Bigger gatherings indoors could be out for a long time to come yet. Even if the Government lets us gather in groups of more than ten, trying to spread out 100-200 people even in a large room would be nigh on impossible with social distancing. Similarly, venues may struggle to accommodate large numbers of people on a dance floor, especially with smaller venues. Bigger venues might be able to provide space for more than one dance floor to enable a better spread of guests.
Travel restrictions will make it difficult to involve guests from overseas, or to travel abroad to get married.
Photo by Asad Photo Maldives, Pexels
In – weekday weddings, intimate ceremonies & outdoor venues
I think it’s a given that we’ll see a massive rise in small intimate weddings with only close family and friends in attendance. Slightly larger weddings might be accommodated at outdoor venues, where the fresh air and more room to spread out means it would be easier to keep to the social distancing rules.
Summer outdoor weddings might see pretty overhead sails or tree canopy to shade from the sun (or keep out the British Summer rain!) and gift flip flops for guests, while in Spring and Autumn, couples may brave cooler temperatures with personalised blankets and hot water bottles for guests to keep once unpacked from individual packets. Seating will of course be socially distanced, or guests will be grouped into “bubbles”, with each group sticking together throughout the ceremony, wedding breakfast and reception.
Photo by Scott Webb, Pexels
I can foresee that all the little touches, such as confetti, tissues for happy tears and orders of service will come carefully and individually tucked into neat little personalised packages on the chairs for each guest to reduce the amount of contact as they are passed round.
For the next year or two, there will likely be a big rise in weekday weddings, as venues and suppliers juggle both this year’s postponed weddings and next year’s couples.
Out – grazing tables, buffets, dessert tables & bars
The likelihood that we’ll be able to share food by way of a buffet or grazing table for the foreseeable future is now done. Whilst there seems to be no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread by ingestion, just having people grouped together around the sharing or buffet table will confound social distancing rules, and different people touching serving spoons or passing cutlery around could be a cause for concern. How would venues deal with queues at a bar – especially smaller venues, and how many people will forget about social distancing after a few drinks?
Photo by Kaboompics.com, Pexels
In – individually wrapped or covered pre-plated food
Couples might have to opt for more hands-off style meals for their guests, traditional meals direct from the kitchen with everything already on a covered plate including the vegetables – no more passing a tray of veggies around the table. Tables will have to be more spread out, with less guests per table, and guests kept in groups with reduced contact to other bubbles. Cutlery is likely to be wrapped to keep it sterile, and perhaps individual sachets will replace seasonings and condiments. Rather than buffets, I wonder if there will be a rise in pre-wrapped food as suppliers seek to find a way to keep serving their clients in difficult circumstances.
Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography, Pexels
In – bigger budget per head? Live streaming?
With the inevitable drop in guest numbers, might we see couples taking the opportunity to spend more per head? This is maybe the best opportunity to go beautifully luxe on the wedding of their dreams, just with a far more intimate congregation of closest family and friends.
Photo from Pixabay
Live streaming and filming weddings will become a very commonplace feature, for those who can’t attend due to shielding, distance or simply number of guests being exceeded.
Photo by Bruno Cervera, Pexels
Out – stag & hen do’s
For the foreseeable, large rowdy stag and hen nights will be off the cards. With restrictions still rife on businesses such as bars and clubs, it’s not looking good for the traditional boozy pre-nuptial knees-up for a while. In place, we might see a rise in home-grown entertainment, such as summer barbeques and socially distanced small parties with just very close friends in attendance, or as outdoor entertainment venues are gradually lifted out of lockdown later this month in the UK, visits to funfairs or zoos might become inviting. As campsites begin to re-open possibly next month, perhaps a UK beach trip, a getting-back-to-nature staycation or even a spot of wild camping will take over from weekends in Europe.
Photo by Helena Lopez, Pexels
In – sanitiser stations, personalised gloves & face coverings
Sanitiser stations will definitely become a feature of weddings, and might be absorbed into the planning of the wedding, with luxury sanitisers and handmade soaps to be made available in the bathrooms, perhaps even personalised paper towels. It might not be long before we see personalised face coverings and gloves to match the wedding theme!
Photo by Burst, Pexels
Out – big wedding cakes
In – small wedding cakes
Alas, I think we may have seen the last of big fabulous four or five tier wedding cakes for the moment, certainly for the remainder of this year, and potentially into next year too. In their place, we might see smaller miniature versions of the traditional wedding cakes, or cupcakes might reign once more as easily packaged, individual portions.
I do think these precautions will be temporary, for this year and maybe spilling into next year a little, but I also think people will be wary for a while of situations which might push the boundaries of social distancing. I’m certain there will be an influx of these mini-weddings later this year, where couples will be able to take advantage of lower overall costs due to restrictions, and will be able to really flex their creative muscles with imaginative ideas on how to make their down-sized wedding really pop!
Finally, a short word to all you couples whose weddings have been disrupted, moved, cancelled or rebooked…when you finally get your day, absolutely smash it! Grab it with both hands and make it so special, and so “yours” that people will talk about it for years! For now, it’s not about your guests, it really is ALL about YOU.
Photo by Soulseeker, Pexels
Any ideas of your own about how weddings might look over the next few years, or inventive ways of making things safe when weddings do eventually restart? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your ideas!