What Will Weddings be Like in 2021
Local professionals weigh in on how weddings will evolve this year.
In 2020. Everything changed and the wedding industry was no exception. From couples postponing their big days, eloping, or having micro weddings, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way weddings look. As 2021 kicks off with the COVID-19 vaccine being distributed, what can couples expect for their wedding this year?
Expect More Weddings in General
Alexis Allen, principal planner at Shayla Hawkins Events (SHE), says in a typical year she works on about 15 weddings; however, in 2020 she only worked on three. By now, some couples have already postponed their weddings one or two times, and have committed to a 2021 wedding date.
“I think we’re going to start to see people realizing that if we just continue to postpone for the perfect scenario — what life looked like before COVID-19 — we could potentially be waiting for a long time,” says Allen. “People are just going into it a lot more conservative and saying I don’t want to postpone again because I don’t know when this is ever going to get ‘better.’”
Not only are we going to see the postponed weddings happen this year, but also the weddings of those who got engaged in 2020. So, keep your calendars open because this year is expected to have more weddings than ever before.
Small, but Mighty
Last year, we saw the rise of the micro wedding and even backyard weddings to accommodate event restrictions set in place because of the pandemic. This year we can expect to see smaller, more intimate gatherings continue, according to Victoria Deardorff, owner and editor of Burgh Brides.
“I think we’ll continue to see an uptick in the amount of small weddings and intimate celebrations. People are just embracing that small is the new big, and not only that, but they are making them much more upscale,” says Deardorff. “Even though folks might only have 20, 30, 40 people at their wedding they are elevating the experience for those 20, 30 or 40 people.”
There are ways to make a small guest list feel special such as adding luxury rentals or an extravagant food and beverage experience to your budget.
It’s no surprise that the wedding industry was negatively impacted by the pandemic, but because of this couples are having to pay the price. Additionally, because 2021 is expected to be a busy year for the industry, vendors may have to add staff to fulfill their needs.
Couples can expect to see the biggest price increase in florals and catering, according to Deardorff. However, there’s no need to stress about the price influx just yet.
“The good news is that when you’re throwing a party for a few dozen people versus a few 100 people overall, it’s less expensive,” says Deardorff.
Safety is Still a Priority
Even with a vaccine on the way, the pandemic is still raging on. Therefore, couples will still have to take health and safety precautions for their 2021 weddings. For example, buffet-style catering and self-service food stations are a thing of the past; we can expect to see staff handling all food and beverages for the remainder of the year.
While widespread vaccination is planned for 2021, some guests may still feel uneasy about large gatherings. In this case, couples can make their guests feel safer by serving individual meals or adding hand sanitizer stations around the venue. And for those guests who may be too elderly to travel or have other concerns, a livestream of the ceremony is also an option. Once restrictions are eased and the pandemic ends, these are all trends that could continue, Deardorff says.
“What this whole pandemic has taught us is that there are lots of things that, perhaps, we were not thinking about that we can be thinking about now,” she says.
For couples who maybe don’t want to cut their guest list, there are still some ways to safely have a celebration.
“We have seen one-offs [of] people having multi-day celebrations so that they can accommodate their full guest list. They’re either doing something on Friday [then] something on Saturday. It’s not ideal, but we’re getting creative in order to celebrate and still see everybody,” says Allen.