What will happen with weddings?

How people marry will evolve, and many of the adjustments that we have seen over the last few months are here to stay—sanitiser stations, more room for standing and several smaller celebrations instead of one big bash, for instance

By Abby Ellin
Published: Jun 27, 2020

weddings outlook 1_bgLess is more for 2021 weddings. Extravagant nuptials are taking a back seat to intimate, personalized celebrations. (Ceci Bowman/The New York Times)

The coronavirus or not, one thing is certain: People will find each other, they will fall in love, and, somehow, they will say their vows.

“Love is going to survive this,” said Kate Edmonds, a wedding and event planner in New York. “I don’t think it’s emotionally sound to keep postponing weddings. There needs to be something to celebrate.”

And celebrate they will. It just may take some finessing and extra planning.

According to a May survey by The Knot, 66% of 6,253 respondents across eight countries were rescheduling to a later date. Of these, 40% were postponing to later in 2020, 52% to 2021 and 8% were not sure of their new date. (The study was conducted among users of the Knot’s brands, including WeddingWire, Bodas and Hitched.)

But how people marry will evolve, and many of the adjustments that we have seen over the last few months are here to stay. Kristen Maxwell, The Knot’s editor-in-chief, expects 2021 to have a greater focus on health and safety. Masks and gloves will become de rigueur, as will hand-sanitizing stations (and sanitizers as party favors), numerous dance areas and bars, several smaller celebrations, and the rise of the “minimony,” or microceremony. There will be more room for standing, socially distanced seating and a “gesture” line rather than a receiving line, where guests wave or nod instead of hug or kiss.

“With a longing to connect more with friends and family following months of separation, we anticipate couples looking for more ways to involve their closest friends and family members into their weddings,” Maxwell said. “Whether inviting guests to join in on the ceremony vows or sharing favorite memories of each guest in a unique seating arrangement display, we won’t be surprised to see guest interaction and the honoring of loved ones increase in the near future at weddings.”

There probably will not be many celebrations rivaling the Metropolitan Museum Costume Gala for the foreseeable future. No dance floors packed with guests jamming to “Rock Lobster.” No three-day destination weddings with endless booze and a luau. Instead, social distancing will be the two most popular words (besides “I do.”)

What else can you expect from wedding celebrations next year? Here are some expert predictions.

weddings outlook 2_bg

Less is more for 2021 weddings. Extravagant nuptials are taking a back seat to intimate, personalized celebrations. (Ceci Bowman/The New York Times)

Virtual ‘I Dos’
Livestreaming is here to stay, whether it is via Zoom, Facebook Live or FaceTime. And why not? It is cheaper and more accessible to a worldwide audience.

Depending on where you live, the ceremony itself might be done virtually, which is legal in certain states. In New York, for example, some officiants can legally perform a binding ceremony via video. (Hawaii, on the other hand, does not recognize marriages conducted by video between a couple and an officiant.) But couples might choose to go with a video ceremony that is not legally binding and then do the official service at a later date.

“This is the way to go for couples who chose a specific date that had a lot of significance to them — an anniversary, for example — or those who may not have been planning something elaborate to start with and didn’t feel compelled to postpone their nuptials in favor of an in-person wedding,” said Lindsay Landman, a wedding planner in New York.

Keep in mind, these will not be homemade videos. Rather, videographers and photographers will expand their repertoire to include livestreaming services.

“While some couples have tried to FaceTime or use their mobile phone apps, these are not 100% reliable,” said Tori Rogers, owner of Hawaii Weddings by Tori Rogers. “In addition, they tend to pick up the ambient sound and not the officiant or couple speaking. When professionally done, the couple and the officiant are miced up so that they can be heard over the waves, wind, birds and other people.”

Amy Shey Jacobs, founder and creative director of Chandelier Events in New York, recently started a new division of her company called Don’t Let the Day Go By, which merges virtual events with real-life experiences. “You can now drop ship beautiful flowers from the nation’s best florists right to your living room, have virtual photo booths, send wedding cake to all of your guests, and dance your first dance with live musicians,” she said. “It is certainly not one that will replace the dream weddings we are planning for our couples. But for the couple who wants to say, “I do” now and celebrate later — this can be a truly special way to do it.”

Small is the new big
Intimate and cozy is how wedding experts are describing upcoming events. This, too, has an upside. With a smaller event, couples will not feel bad about splurging on a more expensive meal, top-shelf liquor or entertainment.

The guest list will also be meticulously curated. “Quarantine made a lot of people realize how much they want to be around certain people in their lives and how much they appreciate time away from home,” Rogers said. “I see an increase in destination weddings and many activities planned together. I still think the details are going to matter to a lot of people. It may not be a big dance party, but there will be a reception and something happening.”

Bye Bye Buffets
Edmonds is bidding farewell to the buffet dinner and focusing on plated meals. She also expects to eliminate hors d’oeuvres, or at least change the kinds she serves. “Maybe individual plates with a few hors d’oeuvres, maybe a couple of bite-size hors d’oeuvres mixed with prosciutto, tomatoes and basil and a cocktail fork so you’re not dipping,” she said. She’s also adding hand-sanitizing stations with a timed 20-second jingle.

Multiple celebrations
Taking a cue from Justin and Hailey Bieber, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner, and Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra, many couples will have multipart or sequel weddings, where they make appearances at several smaller events, either “in different hometowns or even elaborate dinner parties with different sets of friends and family,” said Sara Fried, owner of Fête Nashville Luxury Weddings.

Another iteration is the so-called shift wedding, in which guests show up at staggered times. This gives the venue time to sanitize the space between groups and also lets the couple spend more time with guests.

Costume changes
Smaller gatherings do not mean that people will arrive in a T-shirt and jeans.

“Without the grand event, the dress, and the bridal party’s looks, will be the primary means of self-expression,” said Neil Brown, chief executive of Amsale, a luxury bridal house. “Brides will focus even more on styles that are a true representation of their tastes and personality and lean toward looks that accentuate their natural beauty.”

To that end, Brown believes that bridal dress shopping will evolve, too. “Social distancing requirements will mean retailers can offer fewer appointments and, with safety in mind, prospective brides will likely minimize the number of stores they visit,” he said. “Virtual shopping appointments will become more prominent, either to help brides prepare for their in-person appointment and narrow the choice or retailers, or to include the friends and relatives unable to attend because of travel or social distancing restrictions.”

Big bashes will be back

The big, boozy, party-’til-the-cows-come-home will return — eventually. And when it does, it will be grander than ever.

“Eventually we will get back to business when crowds of up to 100 are allowed, but we will still have to be extremely inventive about seating, crowd control, food and beverage service and which staff is absolutely essential to the event,” Fried said.

Brown sees a return to big celebrations after the pandemic has ended. “While some couples may eschew conspicuous celebration out of respect for the suffering caused by the pandemic, others may go bigger than before,” he said. “As we saw after the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, there may be another Roaring ’20s era. Either way, weddings will have a strong focus on family and valued friendships; the lockdown has truly elevated the meaning of connections to those we love most.”

But the party may be separate from the actual wedding.

“There will absolutely still be a big boozy party, but it will be separate from the wedding,” said Caroline Creidenburg, chief executive of Wedfuly, a Denver-based online wedding planning company. “It’ll remove the wedding pressure from the fun party. Maybe it’ll be an anniversary party when the time is right or maybe it’ll be a post-wedding party. Whatever it is, it will be a fun dance-filled evening with the pressure of getting married removed from it.”

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©2019 New York Times News Service

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  • kushal kumar

    Why Testing For Covid-19 appears a Must, Both In Symptomatic And Asymptomatic Situations? The world learnt about a new danger to health coming when W.H.O. brought to global notice on 14 January , 2020 that novel Coronavirus has taken birth in Wuhan , China and that it has potential to spread to other parts of the world. The novel Coronavirus was officially designated as Covid-19. Looking back , the virus began noticeable spread after about mid-March , 2020 , taking the world through a major worrisome storm in about a month or so after. As the month of June , 2020 comes to a close , Covid-19 has already brought the world to a stage as if it were gasping for a breath. It is not to say that the world has not taken recourse to every precaution within its reach. But in the absence of an effective cure by way of vaccine or drug , the precautions within human reach seem to have had no capacity to overawe spread-fury of Covid-19. Such precautions were and continue to be - social distancing , lockdown , quarantine , covering mouth and nose portion with a mask , washing hands a number of times with soap in a required manner and the like. There are two types of Covid-19 cases - those showing symptoms and others not showing symptoms. In both the cases , testing for Covid-19 can be more meaningful for more than one reason. The results of testing , if negative , can reassure those going in for sex with their partner or otherwise , that they are safe from the angle of Covid-19. This Vedic astrology writer chanced upon reading a news report - “Research says 30 percent of Americans broke quarantine for booty call” - published on 24 June 2020 at Canoe.com. The news report refers to the survey of two thousand Americans , engineered by OnePoll on behalf of MysteryVibe , which found that three in ten have broken quarantine to have sex. Other important points revealed in the said news report of 24 June 2020 read like this :- “ The survey found that 58 percent of those surveyed were in quarantine at home with their partners. It said a whopping 76 percent of respondents said they have used lockdown as an opportunity to spice up their sex lives with their partners and 78 percent said they were having more sex during the lockdown. Interestingly , 65 percent of respondents said they are having sex just because they are bored , 60 percent said they are experiencing sexual burnout.” A closer reading of the news report suggests that it cannot be said to be representing overall picture of America as a much larger survey could have contributed to inspiring confidence on a firmer footing. Still , it has certain useful pointers - recourse to sex in the absence of clear knowledge through Covid-19 test could be fraught with danger. Another news report in June 2020 said that 40 percent of Covid-19 infection was revealed in age group 20 to 39 among young adults in America. In this context , it may be relevant to share with readers the predictive alerts of this Vedic astrology writer for more care and appropriate strategy in article -“ Potential of stars for Italy in soon coming year 2020” - published at www.astralis.it/Kumar02.htm on 15 December , 2019. The text of the predictive alert in the article covering a period of three and a half months from mid-March to June 2020, reads like this :- “ 4. Some health hazards or health concerns involving digestive system , venereal or sex related disorders in the body could cause worry , calling for more care and appropriate strategy. 7. Last about two months of November and December 2020 , look to be raking up hidden issues……………………….This scenario can also mean worrisome ailments involving respiratory system in the body or venereal disease or increase in ailments relating to nerves”. The predictive alert bringing forth need for more care and appropriate strategy involving digestive system , nerves , sex in relation to health during mid-March to June 2020 was also brought out in another predictive article - “ Planetary indications for Ireland in 2020” - brought to public domain widely on 12 January , 2020. The related text from the article is reproduced here :- “But a period of three and a half months from mid-March to June in 2020 has potential or likelihood to introduce unexpected worrisome concerns relating to ………………... War or war-like conditions across the globe may impact Ireland as well. Serious health concerns can make presence during this period , covering stomach , nerves , sex and the like.” In conclusion , it can be observed that the findings in the survey report in relation to America brought out on 24 June 2020 , enable drawing the inference that during unemployment , lockdown or quarantine , sex may have probably contributed something to increase Covid-19 infection during mid-March to June 2020. But that finding goes to make this writer’s predictive alert on 15 December 2019 or on 12 January 2020 meaningful ---- that there was likelihood of health hazards or serious health worries on account of digestive system , nerves and sex during the mid-March to June 2020. That being so , full-fledged Covid-19 testing could have proved helpful in containing the infection.

    on Jun 29, 2020
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