What Weddings Might Look Like from June and Beyond
When Boris announced the roadmap out of lockdown, my phone went berserk. It was 3 pm and as I wasn’t expecting the announcement until later that evening, it took me by surprise.
After a horrendous year for the industry and engaged couples alike – what was he going to say about weddings in 2021?
As a wedding planner, from new bookings to postponements to after that important June date, I could see that there were a lot of people up for a celebration. Not just any celebration though.
We’ve had enough of hesitant hugs and face mask photos… Now people are ready to go big! The news of weddings with no restrictions, however, is a promise that might be hard to keep. New variants have disrupted plans before so without raining on the parade, here’s what I think weddings might look like from June and Beyond.
I think even with Boris’ optimism, you should still think carefully about your guest list.
For some, a big wedding with lots of hugs and dancing might be a cause of anxiety to some who have not ventured far in over a year.
One couple that I was speaking to had the great idea of keeping it to 30 close friends and family for the ceremony and meal, then inviting the full guest list for the dancing. This is perfect for two reasons: Firstly, it makes it easy if the government does suddenly decide to reduce numbers. You don’t have to rethink caterers – which is one of the biggest challenges to reschedule.
Secondly, it allows your closest friends and family to leave before lots of people arrive if that’s what would make them feel more comfortable.
If you had planned a buffet-style wedding breakfast or evening food, I would suggest a rethink.
Most people have not shared a table with others for months, let alone the food on it! The thought of sticking your hand into a breadbasket or sharing the same cheese knife might now come with the thought of needing hand gel placed on every corner.
Have food served by caterers that will have only had contact with those that have prepared it. For the last year, caterers have responded to the pandemic with increased health and hygiene measures to give the customer peace of mind – guests will value this.
Hugs and Kisses
While guest numbers and food choices might still need some thought, by June people are going to be desperate for hugs. The type that is warm, last for ages and ends in a great big kiss on the cheek (or lips if it’s your Aunt Mabel).
Come the summer, most of the population will have been vaccinated – a feat that still amazes me. This will give people the confidence to squeeze each other tightly. Allow time for reception drinks as people will need longer for catch-ups, photos and easing themselves back in social life.
As most people have spent the year in joggers and hoodies, weddings will become red carpet events. Outfits full of colour, expressing joy and happiness.
As beauty salons and hairdressers reopen I expect to see meticulously manicured nails and cool hairstyles – as people embrace the pampering and self-care that had been neglected for so long.
Whether or not heels will make it back onto our feet is another question. For those of us who have worn nothing but slippers in lockdown, I suggest a silver superga pump – they look incredible with a bright floral print. You’ll be able to keep going all day and rock some moves on the dance floor.
Every wedding day often comes with a touch of sadness… a memory of a loved one who couldn’t be there, someone special who would have loved to see this day.
Sadly, this year that might be ever more prominent. The world has been knocked by grief and so although you shouldn’t let it overshadow your day, it might be important to recognise lives lost. This can be done by hanging photos, choosing their favourite poem for a reading or having a toast with their favourite tipple.
For many, this will be the first time going ‘out out’ for a while and according to Alcohol Change UK, “A considerable number of current and former drinkers (7%) stopped drinking completely during lockdown – that would equate to over three million people across the UK.” These are the people who need to be careful not to go in hard during the welcome drinks and find themself in bed by 7 pm!
For many people though, the idea of a good time after months of solitude is a free bar, and the tequila shots might also be too hard to resist. So to avoid being ‘that guest’, alternate alcoholic drinks with water and stop drinking when you bring out the funky chicken.
Images by Lydia Stamps Photography
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