In the past, couples who wanted to break wedding traditions get inspiration from celebrity couples for their fresh takes on style for their ceremony and reception. But because of COVID-19, the pandemic protocols have become the driving force of weddings and have changed the way weddings are celebrated.

Nonetheless, the pandemic experience has still brought about some positive effects on weddings. Some couples discovered a deeper appreciation of what is essential, especially concerning how the event is celebrated with family and friends. For many couples, the pandemic experience has given them a new and fearless spirit that energized them to do away with wedding traditions and transform the way they want to celebrate their weddings. Here are some of the ways the pandemic has redefined wedding traditions, according to some event planners. These shifts in wedding traditions are likely here to stay.

More At-Home Weddings

More couples are having weddings at home in their backyards and said goodbye to destination weddings abroad due to frustration over COVID restrictions at indoor venues and even travel restrictions. Setting up a tent for the reception with only the immediate family and close friends in attendance will be the new normal.

Lots of Tented Affairs

Tented wedding celebrations at private residences and estates became increasingly popular due to strict event guidelines and social distancing requirements at indoor spaces. Tented events provide more safety and flexibility, and offer a blank canvas for event design and layout that allow couples to bring endless style possibilities to their celebrations. Tents are perfect for celebrations of all sizes, whether you have 10 or 150 guests. The endless design and planning possibilities can allow you to have a stunning outdoor backdrop with astounding details like dreamy floral arrangements, cascading drapery, aesthetic lighting installations, and custom flooring.

A Rise in Elopements

Couples are rejecting the stigma of elopement and are embracing intimate nuptials that are personal, adventurous, and inspiring. Even when event restrictions are fully lifted soon, this trend will not come to an end because couples believe it is most important to do what feels right for them.

Plenty of Outdoor Weddings

Religious weddings will also change significantly. Outdoor ceremonies, which are safer health-wise, will replace church and temple weddings because couples want everyone to feel safer. Intimate gatherings graced by close family and friends will follow these small, private outdoor ceremonies. Many couples also hold an outdoor celebration for friends and extended family at a later date.

Modified Meals

Cocktail hour and dinner will also be modified due to safety protocols. There will no longer be grazing tables or communal eating – everything will be individual. Starters will be served on their own vessel for just one person. Cocktail hours will be shortened, followed by a seated dinner where guests maintain a social distance from each other. Cocktail-style receptions or family-style meal services are no longer encouraged.

No More Receiving Lines

The new trend also eliminates standing in a receiving line after the ceremony. Receiving lines used to be a venue for the newly-married couple and their families to greet the guests. It was already a declining trend before COVID, and it has now been completely kicked out the door.

Bespoke Guest Experience

Post pandemic weddings also highlight quality over quantity— from food and beverage to design and the guest count. Because of the shorter list of guests, couples can host their celebrations where no detail is spared, redirecting the budget toward other high-impact elements. The intimate gatherings provide hosts more flexibility to plan for more personalized and unique environments for guests, including tailored food experiences, curated cocktail menus, bespoke tablescapes, glassware, immersive elements, floral installations, and entertainment.

Unique Wedding Attires

After a year with so much gloominess and uncertainty, darkness, couples are eager to celebrate like never before. One of the best ways to match that sentiment is through statement-making fashion moments. Couples are walking away from the traditional colors and cuts and choosing fun hues, bold prints, fashionable cuts, and trendy embellishments to wear on their wedding day.

More Vibrant Color Schemes

Couples are saying goodbye to the white and blush monochromatic wedding themes. They are now going for unique color palettes, contrasting patterns, and textures, and unusual tones, from flowers to décor to wedding attire.

Hosting Multiple Celebrations

Many couples have not seen their friends or family throughout the year-long lockdown caused by the pandemic. That is why many couples choose to hold an extended wedding celebration to spoil their guests.

Utilizing Vendor Teams

In these unprecedented times, couples are relying on their vendor team’s expertise and candor more than ever. There is a surge in hiring wedding planners and designers to guide couples through the planning process responsibly, creatively, and efficiently. This includes reviewing contracts, negotiating with other vendors, and creating spectacular design plans.

These trends, albeit in stark contrast to the glamorous and fairytale-like weddings that most brides dream about, have their silver linings.

Below are the positive wedding tradition changes to come out of Covid.

Less Stress for the Couple

The pandemic can trim down your guest list from 200 to only 20. Planning such a large wedding can give you extreme anxiety and transform you into the “bride from hell”.

Pre-pandemic, many couples go through hurricanes of stress before the big day, especially because traditional weddings require making tough decisions and negotiations that involve the people closest to their hearts. Not to mention the financial toll of paying for a wedding, which can also cause anxiety. But when you stick to the essential things, the pre-marital stress will be significantly reduced.

Having an intimate wedding can also make the couple more relaxed on the day of their wedding, enjoying every moment of it.

Deeper Engagement Among Family Members

A wedding is also about the merging of families. Pre-Covid, this can be overshadowed by the excitement of a major event. But when everything is stripped down to the basics, remembering what’s more important can be easier. If any of the couple’s family members had not met before, a small wedding can provide the ideal opportunity for them to get to know each other without the distractions of extended family or friends from out of town.

The Wedding Will Feel More Personal

When you strip a wedding down to its bare necessities, you remember that it’s all about the two people getting married. When planning a big wedding, couples and their families sometimes get too occupied with the preparations that the real essence of the wedding – the two people getting married – is forgotten.

But when these things are simplified, we are reminded of the most important. With fewer guests and vendors, most of the wedding elements reflect more of what the couple wants, which could be hard to pull off when there are 300 people on the guest list.

Less Burden for the Guests

Being a wedding guest is no easy feat. Think dress codes, social niceties, and financial obligations (especially if attending destination weddings). But because of Covid, everyone’s priority is safety and experience. Being one of a select few is a whole different experience compared to being 1 among 300. If guests can’t make it in person, they can even join the wedding virtually. Weddings in this time of the pandemic have their silver linings. It reminds us of what’s essential and what needs more attention during wedding planning.

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