Love in the time of COVID
Small weddings, micro weddings, bijou weddings, whatever they’re called they’re presently very much part of the current conversation. How do we hold a wedding in Covid times? There are new challenges we must face – decisions to make when considering your wedding in this new and unconquered territory. As I type this guide weddings have since been reduced further from 30 down to 15 causing more thought and spam to bombard the brain. Fear not, here, I can help you find those solutions and hopefully cover some questions which are being raised.
CHOOSING A VENUE
How can I choose a venue suited to 15 when most cater for large scale?
Over the years, and in particular in my 25 years experience of weddings, I’ve seen size fluctuations considerably. Many moons ago it wasn’t uncommon to host a wedding for 10 or 20, the exuberance in numbers seems to be a pretty recent thing and I find myself in conversations with couples looking to host a party for 180+ guests.
As a venue during this time, we personally have literally gone right back to 1995 when hosting a small gathering was what we did with complete ease. It’s a case of refection and what worked best at the time and how more recent trends can be included. The main plus points with such a number is, you have flexibility for all weathers. Have beautiful sunshine and a dining area can be created outside. Should it be unsettled an equally unique experience can happen inside. You can make the day like a dinner party and choose to host everything yourself, serve your own drinks with a smile. Remember a large crowd doesn’t always make a party!
Concerned about availability? Now the pandemic has completely blown us over and thrown turmoil in our paths, all is not lost. Those of you who are watching and waiting patiently to start making some real plans for your dream day really can! Yes there are new hurdles but one which is obvious is the possibility of congestion for 2021/22. All those couples planning to wed during 2020 have moved their dates but there is still availability out there. Not all venues will pack their couples in like sheep. Most venues will stick strongly to their ethos of a perfectly placed venue offering time and patience.
Do we need to socially distance? It’s highly important that we follow the rules and keep everyone safe, thats a given. Ceremonies and receptions must take place within approved venues who are able to comply with the government guidelines and work with third party vendors who are similarly able to comply. Find a venue with space enough for everyone, even for those vulnerable persons within your group who just simply wish to be present but also to watch and enjoy. Even though some places have lots of space doesn’t mean it’s overwhelming – try and find a venue where you can customise a peace of space within the grounds for your ‘after gathering’, make it yours and close the rest away – A place with a walled garden is a perfect wedding experience.
TO MARQUEE OR NOT?
Is a marquee out of the question for such a small number? The answer here is most certainly not! Depending on budget a marquee couldn’t be more perfect at this time. A beautiful canvas in the open garden, offering a little shelter but a huge amount of ventilation. Think of how gorgeous it can look elegantly decorated to make your guests feel really special.
Do current restrictions vary from venue to venue? Yes they do. Each venue would’ve been asked to comply with a risk assessment by their county to determine what number of guests it can hold with the licensed ceremony rooms, in a socially distant and covid-19 safe way. Yes we can have 15 guests currently in attendance, but not all venues will be able to hold that number safely. My advice is to make sure you communicate directly with your venue you have your eyes set on to see if they have managed to change the way they usually operate to accommodate the new rule.
What if we plan for a small wedding and restrictions are lifted completely? This is something I’ve been asked about recently and is a very valid point. I’m really proud that I can work individually with each couple. I’m also proud of the kind of vendors I work with as well. The answer is simple….You can have exactly what you want. We can expand the number should this be allowed to make the day exactly what you wish for. I know the vendors are also flexible enough to turn around a wedding of your dreams…large or small!
IN THE FUTURE
I’m forever hopeful we will party without restrictions and limitations once more but without question the pandemic has had a huge impact on our thoughts and objectives. As humans we are embracing what is available and making the most of the choices we have. I work with the best in the wedding industry, UK wide and I know each large and small business out there wants to make everyones dream come true – You’re in safe hands.
Thank you to Lara Lacey who is the owner and venue manager at Thurning Hall who has written this guest blog for us. Thurning Hall has been licensed for civil ceremonies for 25 years this year. They’ve hosted so many weddings from early morning elopement weddings to full scale events. As a dry hire venue this is a time when this offering from a venue couldn’t be more integral – you literally can make a show stopping wedding creation with just about any supplier out there using the finest Georgian backdrop in Norfolk. Thurning Hall is a big house in the country with an even bigger garden….yours for a day.