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  • Writer's pictureRaynecia Hebert

Is This The End of "Traditional" Weddings as We Know It?

Updated: Jul 2, 2022

Just when we thought that #COVID-19 quarantine was coming to a gradual close, states like Oregon, Mississippi & Nevada are pausing their progress. Other states such as California, Arizona, Florida and Texas have moved to close certain sectors statewide or in certain counties after seeing a surge in cases. With wineries, restaurants, malls and museums just hardly re-launching, most business owners are fearful of what another shutdown could mean for their businesses and livelihood. 2020 was highly anticipated - like a fucking winning lottery ticket. Many of us as looked forward to putting the stressful and turbulent year of 2019 behind us. At this point it doesn't matter if you agree with state-sanctioned extended lockdowns or remain slightly skeptical. We can all agree that its lingering uncertainty leaves even the most solidly engaged couples weary about their future nuptial arrangements.

Whether you've imagined your wedding day since childhood or not, one would be fibbing if they claimed that they didn't look forward to some type of matrimonial bliss. Hell, most couples have already been planning their fairy-tale day for the past few years only to consequently be blindsided by the shelter-in-place policies / pandemic. Other couples have just said forget it, like Tad and Sarah from Huntsville, Alabama. Due to the uncertainty of the virus impact, this eager couple decided to tie the knot just two days after getting engaged! You can read how they went about it here:

"We didn't care much about the wedding. "We cared more about our marriage."- Sarah

My husband Tyler and I were married on March 23, 2018. Had we planned it two years later we would have been one of the unfortunate couples struggling to predict when we could gather all of our friends and family together under one roof (unmasked). Between all of the deposits with the venue, vendors, hotels, transportation, honeymoon, entertainment, etc., I could only imagine having to fantasize about what could come of such an already stressful occasion. To try and get a refund from a business that may be closing down would be a possible disaster. Negotiating a new date and then attempting to gather all of your other venders on board also doesn't sound appealing to me one bit.

Now if you were someone who dished out the funds to hire a #wedding planner then perhaps you were relieved of most if not all of those duties listed above. Tyler and I actually planned almost every last detail together. We had some assistance from our wedding #venue, Emerald at QueensRidge. The venue itself included a day-of wedding coordinator so it was nice to not have to worry about things running on time. By some amazing power of God / the universe we were fortunate enough to have 70 degree weather. It was indeed one of the most perfect days of my life.

According to an article from #CNBC written by Alex Sherman:

  • Couples around the country are considering options around canceling or #postponing weddings because of coronavirus quarantines.

  • The postponements and cancellations have rocked the wedding industry, causing layoffs and a backlogged 2021 season.

  • Some couples still want to plan celebrations on their wedding date and have turned to Zoom to celebrate with friends.

The United Kingdom is taking many precautions currently, including directives like these from the #BBC:

  • No food or drink should be consumed unless it is essential for the ceremony

  • Group singing and playing of instruments should be avoided

  • A maximum of 30 people should attend ceremonies, and only where there is space to socially distance. This includes all guests, the officiant and any staff not employed by the venue, like a photographer

  • Social distancing of at least one meter between different households should be practiced at all times

  • It is ''strongly advised'' that receptions do not take place afterwards, with only small celebrations of six people outside or two households inside taking place

  • The venue should keep a temporary record of visitors for 21 days, in case they need to be traced

If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of couples in the United States whose wedding is being impacted by COVID-19, you’re understandably going through a difficult time. One thing that definitely crossed my mind was whether we were going to need wedding insurance or not. Tyler is a Finance major and FP&A professional so his immediate answer was no (not the biggest fan of extra fees). At the end of the day we truly didn't need it and he was right... at that time! Although occasionally, I'll come across a bride-to-be kicking themselves for not investing into such insurance. You can still purchase wedding insurance; however, you're not going to be able to find any coronavirus protection available to purchase. With that being said the potential for a pandemic is not the only reason to purchase wedding insurance.

Jamie Chang, owner and destination wedding planner at Mango Muse Events in Los Altos, California said that there are two different types to keep in mind: liability and cancellation. “Liability insurance is mainly meant for the venue and covers you if damage was done to the venue or if someone gets hurt because of the wedding (e.g. scratches on walls, intoxicated guest(s), etc...). Cancellation insurance covers your investment if you had to postpone or cancel your wedding. For example if something is lost (like your dress) or say a vendor goes out of business (and takes your money).”

It's going to be interesting to see how the wedding industry transforms over the next five years. Will couples be able to host medium to large-sized receptions? Or will potential future brides be disappointed to know that some venues and backyard weddings may be required to re-establish a new max occupancy level? Perhaps larger venues will have the ability to get away with a the new occupancy spacing requirements and that could open up the possibility for these businesses to capitalize. For states like Ohio, weddings have continued to be permitted without restriction on the number of guests at the ceremonies. Because weddings are often religious ceremonies, they are protected by First Amendment Rights. Interestingly enough, while you can still get married, a few U.S states have placed a cap on how many guests are allowed to witness a ceremony in person. Dan Tierney, a spokesman in Gov. Mike DeWine’s office stated that if you are attending or hosting your own reception outside or in a backyard, the state’s mass gathering ban would cap it at 10 people.

Financially, I'm sure the average bride and groom will be thrilled to save a couple of racks on a reception and dip out on a Insta-envi honeymoon. If you're someone who has imagined going all out on the wedding and #reception then you may wonder what that could possibly mean for your future vows… Now more than ever location, strategy, creativity and a shit ton of optimism is what's going to help those aspiring couples to have a day full of unforgettable memories shared with their closest loved ones, a fantasized reality. If you're attempting to plan a wedding in the midst of COVID-19, you're not alone! You can find a whole mess of advice and tips here:

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