6 Ways Coronavirus Will Change Weddings
The impact that the Coronavirus pandemic has had on events is not only unprecedented, but also unexpected. As a professional planner, I spend my days thinking through details & ripple effects of choices. And if you had told me in December that I’d spend most of the last 3 weeks coaching and counseling couples from across the world via my COVID-19 Weddings Facebook group through impossible decisions of whether or not to postpone their wedding, when to postpone to, what they’re entitled to in terms of refunds or waived fees, how to communicate changes to guests, and rescheduling much of my own Spring & Summer wedding season, I honestly wouldn’t have believed you. Hindsight being what it is, it’s obvious now that a global pandemic would send this type of shockwave through the events industry, but no one imagined it would ever happen.
So as 2020 couples scramble to reschedule their weddings and exhaust their creative energies in effort to make the most of a down right shitty situation, I’ve been analyzing the blowback this pandemic will have on the wedding industry into 2021 and beyond. Here are the 6 ways I think weddings will change because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Financial investment comfort zones will shrink. Besides the economic impact this pandemic is already causing, engaged couples in the beginning stages of planning are watching from the sidelines as Covid couples lose thousands of dollars. Whether it’s from vendors charging rescheduling fees, losing deposits because of vendors being booked on their rescheduled date AND having to pay to replace those vendors, or deciding to call off the entire big wedding and elope, there are many couples losing a lot of money. Future couples, at least for the foreseeable future, are not going to be comfortable investing the kind of money they have in weddings over the last several years.
Guests lists will shrink. One of the biggest unknowns at this time is how long we’ll see strict regulations on the size of gatherings. As of today, our federal government is allowing gatherings no larger than 10 people to slow the spread of the virus. There’s much debate within the Wedding Industry on whether or not we’ll even see a 2020 wedding season because of extended restrictions on large gatherings. The truth is, no one knows the answer to this yet, but because of the uncertainty, couples are going to be limiting their guest counts to - my guess - under 100 guests - and even an increasing trend in micro-weddings (20 guests or less).
Wedding party sizes will shrink. With smaller guests lists, it only stands to reason that wedding party sizes will shrink as well. Additionally, with so many travel plans being impacted, wedding attendants are dropping like flies from the current line ups, so couples will likely raise their bar on who they ask to stand next to them.
Length of engagements with shrink. One of the most tragic choruses in my Facebook group is couples who have been planning their wedding for 2+ years now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel only to have to postpone. They are heartbroken and defeated. After so much time and anticipation, their wedding is now just a mirage and they have miles left to walk to their oasis. Newly engaged couples are going to see this tragedy played out in blogs and news articles and are going to shorten their engagements. And with smaller budgets and guests lists, this will be easy to accomplish
Weddings will become less complicated. After watching the hoops Covid couples have had to jump through to reschedule their weddings, future couples are going to be more selective about the choices they make when planning their weddings & go for a more minimalist approach to wedding planning. Instead of the "have and do it all" mentality, couples will only include the things that hold value and importance to their day.
Time to book will lengthen. After seeing Covid couples shocked by the policies in the contracts they signed, future couples will take longer to make decisions. There will be more couples reading their contracts thoroughly before signing and asking questions to make sure they fully understand the agreement, especially as it pertains to their protection from a future pandemic. This will require Wedding Pros to understand their own contracts thoroughly and be able to explain them & educate couples on why these policies exist, as well as know which policies they are willing to make exceptions to and which are non-negotiable.
Regardless of how long local shutdowns last, the Coronavirus pandemic has left its mark on the Wedding Industry & we'll be living in its remains for years to come.
If you're a couple trying to navigate wedding planning in the aftermath of Coronavirus, I'd love to help give you a starting point. Schedule your complimentary planning strategy call here.