It's no secret that the wedding industry has been impacted by the affects of Covid19. This global pandemic has brought on a whirlwind of illness, fear, and inconvenience to all of us. It's hard not to think about what the past couple of years would have looked like if the pandemic hadn't hit us out of the blue like the bus hit Regina George in Mean Girls (iykyk).
Despite the tragedies this virus has inflicted on us all, I'm one to look for the silver lining in negative situations, and, whilst the past few years have not gone the way I expected, there have been so many blessings in disguise. Covid has allowed most of us to spend more time with our loved ones at home, play more with our pets (aka the true winners in this situation), and forced us all to slow down for a while (before going FULL SPEED AHEAD as the world opened up again slowly).
But how has the global pandemic impacted engaged couples, the weddings they're planning, and the wedding industry as whole?
For starters, let's state the obvious: when the pandemic broke out in 2020, the whole world shut down, and, along with it, weddings were being rescheduled and cancelled to abide by the ever-changing regulations. Most people decided to work with their venue and vendors to postpone their weddings until the virus died down a bit due to vaccinations and booster shots. Others, however, couldn't wait, so decided to elope, and then do the dang thing still in 2020. Wedding planning that year, it seemed, was like being thrown into the Wild West - a lawless land with rules being made and broken as you go. Everyone was doing what they thought was best at the time.
Now, in 2022, the world has opened up quite a bit again, some people saying that everything feels like it's back to normal. Others still wear masks inside places out of caution and protection of others. One thing that has made an incredible difference is venues being opened up again, and not having as many caps on attendees at weddings, meaning that wedding receptions and dance floors have opened up to celebrate your love with your favorite people again.
Although the wedding world is looking relatively "normal" again, I've definitely noticed some trends in the wedding industry that I think are here to stay. For those who may not be aware, I'm an elopement + intimate wedding photographer based in New Hampshire, but travels throughout New England documenting bold, unique, and FUN weddings. These trends I've noticed were born from the impacts of Covid, but, I believe, are here to stay for a while out of the goodness and love of weddings.
So, let's dive into the 5 Wedding Trends Influenced by Covid19.
Here's a sneak peek at what I'll be covering:
Elopements + Intimate Weddings
Getting Creative + Unique
Booking Vendors Earlier
Back Up Plans
Having Two Weddings
1. Elopements and Intimate Weddings
While elopements and intimate weddings were happening before the pandemic, they definitely gained popularity over the past couple of years, and it makes sense! In 2020 and 2021, many restrictions were still in place that limited the amount of guests you were allowed to have attend your wedding. This lead to many people deciding to downsize their wedding entirely to suit a more Intimate Wedding vibe. In other cases, some decided to ditch the bigger wedding all together and decided to elope instead, with either just them as the couple, or with a very few family members.
Through this downsizing movement, many couples began to see the beauty in having a smaller, less stressful wedding where the focus truly felt as though it was on the couple, rather than on the grandness of a large wedding. Elopements and Intimate Weddings often times feel more cozy, more meaningful, and allow the couple to invest in pieces that become a true representation of them, rather than needing to invest in more chairs to sit more guests at the ceremony and reception.
Smaller weddings also mean that interacting with all the guests that were intentionally chosen became a breeze rather than a hassle. Many couples enjoyed inviting only their closest friends and family members who they genuinely enjoy spending time with; the obligation to invite everyone and their mother lost its pressure, and allowed the couples to breath in the ease and enjoyment of spending time with their specially chosen guests. A wedding day is, after all, a celebration of YOUR love, so you should have the people who love you the most and who help support you and make you feel like your best self - there's simply no room for alternatives.
2. Creative and Unique Wedding Planning
Deciding to downsize a wedding often times leaves the couple with a bit more wiggle room in their budget, which can be invested into aspects that genuinely excites you! Thinking about who you are as individuals, as well as together as a couple, and incorporating pieces of those characteristics into your wedding day can never go wrong. It's personalizing the experience for you both, but also helps tell your story to your guests and in your wedding photos.
Over the past couple of years, I've really seen great strides from couples with personalized, meaningful, FUN decor at their weddings, and I am 100% here for it. Now, the little details aren't necessarily what everyone will always remember, as their focus will be on you two and celebrating your love, but personable, creative, and unique details do go a long way in making a wedding a true experience for all to enjoy. And hey, if you're throwing a party anyway, you might as well make it one to remember!
3. Booking Wedding Vendors Earlier
In 2020, so many weddings were postponed to later dates, which meant that 2020 was quite a quiet year for wedding vendors. It did, however, also mean that 2021 and the years to follow would be absolutely packed with weddings. With so many weddings in the books, it made availability much slimmer, which resulted in a lot of couples having to revisit the drawing boards of who they would want to help make their wedding dreams a reality.
This did, innately, cause a bit of a panic around booking wedding vendors. It felt like you needed to book your dream vendors before you were even engaged if you wanted a chance to have them at your wedding! But here's the thing - this sense of urgency and rushing couples to pick their vendors and to stress if their number one vendor wasn't available became quite toxic. I still see this rhetoric from so many wedding vendors, and, whilst I do understand their sentiment, I think this needs to stop now.
Once you get engaged, yes, I do think it's important for you to get in touch with your top vendors to see if they're available so that you can book them. However, if your dream wedding vendor is already booked on your date, it doesn't mean that your music will suck, that your food will taste horrible, and that your photos will come out poorly. There are SO MANY amazingly talented wedding vendors out there, some whom you haven't even heard of yet, who would be THRILLED to chat with you about your day. So while it will feel disappointing if your top wedding vendor isn't available for your day, please know that your wedding or elopement is still going to be SO amazing and SO beautiful, and you will definitely find perfect vendors for you two and your day without a doubt. And hey, starting early on the search for vendors does mean that you have a more relaxed timeline to find the perfect ones! So try not to stress too much about this, and enjoy the process.
4. Back Up Plans For Your Wedding
If you don't know, I actually studied Outdoor Leadership + Management in college, and one huge takeaway from my studies was to always have backups in place, and sometimes even have a backup for your backup. Being prepared for the worst will help make your experience so much more relaxed in the moment should anything go wrong on your day. Here in New England, the weather is always unpredictable, so it's especially important to have backup plans for any outdoor segments of your day, should the weather take a turn for the worst.
I think it's also worth preparing yourself with first aid kits, stain removers, and anything else that will help you feel comforted on the day-of, should anything go astray from the plans. It's better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it.
5. Having Two Weddings!
One beautiful thing that came out of Covid was that people got to have two weddings! Yes, I totally understand that perhaps some of those couples did not want two weddings and that it completely changed the way they had always imagined their day, and that does suck. Nobody wants to be forced to change things about their big day. Sometimes though, even before the pandemic hit, shit happened and plans were forced to change. Change is obviously never easy, but it's truly the one aspect of life that you can always count on - change will happen.
When changes do occur in a plan, it's always okay to be upset about the changes, but it means so much more about how you handle them in the end. Your wedding should feel like a special, fun day for you and your partner, so it's genuinely so important for you two to make the most of whatever's thrown your way, and to see the positives in it as much as you can. I'm not saying pretend you're always happy or to make it seem like changes are easy peasy - hell no, we all know that's not true. It's important to feel your feelings, but it's also important to move on eventually and see what kind of magic you can create from a shitty situation.
During Covid especially, many couples eloped or had a smaller wedding, and then had a larger wedding / reception later on when it was safer to do so. I can't imagine how stressful or unfortunate this must have felt to those couples who went that route, but I also can't help but imagine how wonderful it must have felt to celebrate their love and marriage twice! Think of it: you have one wedding where the focus is on you and your partner doing the dang thing because you just want to be married already, and THEN you have the opportunity to throw a wedding with less jitters and more excitement to celebrate and party with your favorite people! I feel like this is such a unique and special circumstance, and I genuinely see this as a trend moving forward from Covid, as a way for couples to appease what they truly want, and also to appease their families and friends with a wedding to share with them all.
So there you have it! Those are the 5 Wedding Trends Influenced by Covid19!
Will you be implementing any of these into your wedding plans? Are there any I missed? Or were you a couple who experienced the affects from Covid19 and actually enjoyed some of the changes? I would love to hear from you about your experience in the comments!
Thanks so much, and speak soon!
The Francis Frames
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