THE NEW WEDDING NORMAL IS ACTUALLY QUITE LOVELY!
To offer some insight (with a touch of humour and realness that is always appreciated in times of uncertainty) DreamGroup planner, Olivia Woolwich, has put together some sage advice and thoughts with regards to hosting the perfect micro or intimate wedding at this time.
Living through a pandemic is stressful enough, but when your wedding falls right in the middle of it, everything can seem a little overwhelming. Here is some things to think about when considering hosting a COVID wedding.
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Benefits of a Small Wedding: Intimate weddings have always been my favourite. Celebrating with your closest friends and family creates such a warm atmosphere. When guests are invited to a wedding of less than 50 people they automatically feel special knowing they made the cut and that they are important to you (it’s also an easy way to cut people from the guest list that you were inviting out of obligation, no one can argue when you blame COVID!
A smaller guest list also gives you the opportunity to go all out when it comes to floral and décor. For a guest list of 150 you might not have had the budget to rent a luxurious table linen or the perfect chair but when this cost goes from $2,100 to $350 it becomes a possibility and you can have the “Pinterest wedding” you’ve always wanted.
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Seating & Spacing: With ceremony seating, tables etc. having to be six feet apart, the easiest way to make an event still feel cozy and intimate is to create “bubbles” of guests. The maximum number of guests allowed to sit together is six. We suggest assigning ceremony seating in the same groups — rather than having two seats together for a couple, six foot apart from the next couple — this way you are able to maintain a safe environment while creating a more inclusive and welcoming experience.
Current provincial health orders prevent “mingling” during cocktail receptions, but this doesn’t mean you need to skip it all together. Have a seated cocktail reception in a different area to the dinner reception. Moving from the ceremony to cocktail reception and then into dinner gives the occasion a nice flow and prevents it from feeling stagnant.
Another great way to positively influence the mood and space is through music. Ask your DJ to change up the music style for each “portion” of the evening. Or if you are using an iPhone to provide background music create a couple different playlists, one for “cocktail reception” and one for “dinner” — changing the tone of the music changes the feel for each space.
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Lean into It: So maybe a small, socially distanced wedding isn’t what you had originally planned, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with it! There’s no avoiding what is happening right now so instead of fighting it, try incorporating the situation into the wedding in fun ways. After all, how many people can say they got married during a pandemic?!
Shari + Mike Photography
Hand sanitizing stations are required at all events, so instead of trying to hide them, why not highlight them? Create a beautiful floral arrangement to place with them. Include humorous signs like “Love is contagious, but unfortunately so is COVID” or simply a reminder like “Let’s Celebrate Safely”.
A lot of guests are hesitant to have passed canapes and worry about how safe this is. Instead of doing traditional passed canapes, many caterers have started to offer canape plates for each guest individually and we love it! No more eyeing the kitchen for the server to come out with more food! Now each guest gets their own plate with a selection of canapes to enjoy all to themselves. It minimizes the risk of cross contamination while making guests feel spoiled and satiated.
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But what about the PARTY?!: Still want to celebrate with all your family and friends, but hesitant to wait another year? Do both! Have an intimate ceremony now with your immediate family and closest friends and host a bigger reception once things have returned to normal. Who doesn’t wish they could wear their wedding dress twice?! You might also consider hiring a videographer to film the ceremony with the intention to play it for ALL your guests when the time comes. Ceremony only videography packages can be very affordable and this is a great way to share the moment with guests who are unable to attend.
There are also ways to live stream your Intimate Wedding so that more guests can be included in the occasion without actually being there. There are many ways to make this new (albeit temporary) normal one you are excited to experience! It’s all in the approach. Make it great and it will be!
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So how do you have a wedding during this strange time in our history? It can be difficult to know where to start or how to do it the right way amidst all the rules and stipulations in effect as set forth by the Provincial Health Office. It can also be overwhelming to try and figure out what venues and vendors are comfortable with taking on weddings at this time and which ones are offering the level of service you want. With a desire to continue helping couples tie the knot in style and as safely as possible, DreamGroup has pivoted to offer a planning support service customized to each couple’s unique circumstances.
Next step is to pick up the phone and give us a call or drop us a note so we can have a chat and discuss how we might help bring your perfect intimate wedding to life. We can’t wait to help you turn lemons into lemonade! We offer complimentary Zoom/Phone consultations to learn more about what you imagine for your wedding. We will then customize a planning support quote for you based on the logistics surrounding your personal wedding plan. For more information and pricing on our Intimate Wedding Planning Services click here.
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