Industry data shows weddings are back on the menu but wedding organisers say there are some significant changes to how weddings will be planned now and into our ‘new normal’ future. We chatted with wedding planner Kerstyn Walsh to discuss planning a post lockdown wedding and what you need to know!
The Spike Begins...
Since lockdowns and restrictions have been lifted (or partially lifted), there has been a big spike in vendor demands from celebrants to florists, makeup artists to photographers. It's safe to say that wedding planning is officially back on! “Since 6 April when lockdown began and 1 June when restrictions were eased, we have seen a whopping 1,800 percent increase in job posts for wedding hair stylists, a 280 percent increase in requests for photographers and an 80 percent increase in demand for celebrants. The data also showed a 530 percent increase in requests for caterers and a 600 percent increase in party and event planning jobs." shared Billy Tucker, CEO of Oneflare. So, what does this mean for future weddings?
It's A Busy Time...
Wedding planner Kerstyn Walsh from Hire a Bridesmaid said that she has been inundated with enquiries since the wedding ruling changed recently. “The phone has been ringing hot from new brides keen to get going with their wedding plans. Many had just got engaged before the pandemic started and so they had held off. Others had postponed their wedding and are now getting back on track with a new date.”
It has been said that weddings may never quite go back to how they were pre-pandemic. This is very possibly true, but the industry has worked hard to adapt, coming up with new procedures, social distancing measures, and health and safety procedures to keep everyone as safe as possible. “People are going to be more aware of social distancing – they might not automatically hug the bride and groom. Traditional sit-down meals with individual plates may replace buffets and grazing tables, weddings may reduce in numbers and ‘health and safety’ procedures issued with the invitation may become the norm. Destination weddings will also decrease due to travel restrictions.”
Love Is Still All Around...
While this may sound a little scary, there have been so many wonderful stories during this time where couples have adapted and still been able to say 'I do'. For example, Britt Nabarro from Sydney was due to get married at the Grounds of Alexandria on 26 March. “I had 200 guests organised, my dress and shoes and seven bridesmaids ready and waiting. Then they canceled international flights and it meant my two brothers, one living in New York and the other in New Zealand, couldn’t come. My fiancé’s sister had just landed from New York but she just turned around and went back home again not wanting to get stranded here.” In the end, Britt and her fiancé (now husband) Josh got married at home in their unit with both sets of parents on hand so they didn’t break the ‘rule of five’. They then went out for a modest dinner to celebrate. “It was a cold night but we sat outside because everybody was pretty nervous about being together inside,” she said. Britt has since rescheduled the wedding to 16 December but says she will hold out for longer if necessary because of the ‘no dancing over 20 guests’ rule.
For any bride-to-be wondering how to plan their wedding post lockdown, Kerstyn Walsh offers the following tips:
- Guest Guidelines – be really clear what you are comfortable/not comfortable with regards to meeting/greeting and congratulating. Be sure to brief your MC to make it clear for guests on the day. For example, ‘The couple is more than happy for you to greet them with a congratulatory cuddle but please keep in mind some guests may prefer to keep their distance.”
- Budget-Wise – don’t be afraid to negotiate with suppliers to get the best deals. If they want your business, they will often show some flexibility. The worst they can say is ‘no’ and you’re free to then find another supplier within your budget. Make sure you do your research though, as, in all business, you get what you pay for so be mindful of just going for the ‘cheapest option’. Be sure you set out your budget from day one of planning your wedding and include absolutely everything (ring, dress, honeymoon, etc.) so you can keep an eye on where your dollars are going.
- Tech-Up – if you have to reduce numbers because of budget or social distancing then check with the venue as you can opt to live-stream your video for non-attendees. This is particularly useful for overseas guests who are unable to attend or those you have had to ‘uninvite’ because of the requirement to reduce numbers.
- Politely Uninvite – don’t panic about asking people not to come – people understand that venues can’t accommodate the same number of guests anymore.
- Plan Ahead – add an additional line to your invitation that says, ‘There will be no hard feelings if you become unwell before the wedding and we kindly request your non-attendance for the health and safety of others.”
The Most Important Tip...
And finally, remember that even though your wedding may be different than you planned, we will always celebrate love. Hosting a wedding is a beautiful way to bring some light and hope to your family and friends who may now want something to look forward to. And of course, be safe, healthy and remember that the well-being of you and your loved ones is the most important thing.
Need a bit of help planning your wedding during Covid-19? Check out our tips here!