Couples across the country have said TODAY that heading to the altar during the pandemic means changing their wedding plans. COVID-19 not only forced some couples to postpone or cancel their big days, those moving forward had to get creative. From a backyard “minimony” to a hatchback-style “micro wedding” and everything in between – including virtual weddings. And because we’ve all gotten used to video conferencing, experts say the wedding industry is changing for good.
“Many invitations are starting to say ‘yes, no or virtually attend’,” said Caroline Creidenberg, CEO of Wedfuly TODAY. His company runs live streaming wedding events, from becoming an emcee, installing multiple cameras, and making sure the ceremony goes smoothly.
She says the pandemic has normalized marriages with a virtual component. Creidenberg used an example of a bride who wanted an “intimate” wedding with a groom who always wanted a “huge rash.”
The couple decided to have only five people on site and 700 people virtually present.
“It was the perfect marriage, no pun intended, of their needs and wants,” she said.
There are some advantages to attending a wedding virtually, including the obvious money saved by not traveling. However, there are certain virtual wedding rules that guests should be aware of. To get started, make sure the sound is turned off. Do not attend the ceremony from the car, look presentable and treat it as if you are attending the event in real life. Finally, keep your camera steady as you watch the ceremony – a shaky camera distracts other guests.
Couples who opted for more virtual and reduced weddings spent more on engagement rings, experts said. Many couples also opted for more casual looks for the event; Women often opted for shorter dresses or less traditional looks and men opted for suits instead of a formal tuxedo.
“I think that will be a change coming, it’s just the permission to be able to wear whatever they want, wherever their wedding is taking place and whenever their wedding takes place”, Beth Chapman, owner of the white dress by the shore, said TODAY.
Experts also said we should prepare for bigger bridal celebrations in the coming year. The centerpiece of 2021 weddings: vaccinations.
“The vaccine rollout actually gives couples the optimism of having bigger guest lists again,” said Jeffra Trumpower, senior creative director of Wedding Wire. “We’re really going to see these weddings come back to full force starting in August.”
She added that experts were gearing up for a double wedding season, with last year’s canceled events postponed and, of course, 2021 brides.
As the show is set to continue, there will likely still be hints of COVID-19 security protocols at this year’s ceremonies.
In March, a survey on the wedding website The knot found that one in five couples said they plan to require all guests to be vaccinated before attending their nuptials.
Beyond just walking through the door, guests should also prepare to see performers instead of a dance floor, boxed appetizers instead of past appetizers, and dishes. on the plate instead of buffets.
For anyone planning a wedding this year, the experts say you need to be flexible. Consider a weekday wedding instead of a weekend, and communicate with your vendors about security protocols and cancellation fees.
They also suggested reserving your location now, as some wedding dates are already filling up for 2022.
“What we hear not only from couples, but also from guests is that they are actually so excited to return to these great environments with friends and family and be able to celebrate,” said Trumpower.
Many of the couples who spoke TODAY who have already said “yes” said there was a silver lining for a small crowd and a relaxed setting; Some have said that the money saved will go towards a bigger celebration down the line or as a down payment on a house.
Wednesday TODAY while talking about this season’s wedding trends, the show’s hosts too strongly hinted to Hoda Kotb that they would like to attend a certain wedding in the near future! Hoda and her longtime partner, Joel Schiffman, got engaged in 2019. They had planned to tie the knot in 2020, but like many other couples, have had to postpone the event due to the ongoing pandemic.
Hoda chuckled as her friends and co-hosts tried to convince her to sign up for a new date.
“I know, OK, we’ll pick our date soon,” she laughs. “Good.”