How the coronavirus pandemic impacted the wedding industry

And for Robinson, it is not lost on her that for many of her guests, the wedding will be their first celebration in over a year. It’s all the more special as her loved ones, many of whom live in her home state of Connecticut, will be able to attend because they are vaccinated.

“It makes us feel better because now we can have something that’s a lot like the wedding we’ve always wanted, and it was just having our friends and family to celebrate with us,” she said. declared. “And especially for me, because my family is not from Philadelphia, everyone has to travel, it wouldn’t have been possible if people hadn’t been able to get vaccinated.”

In her role as a wedding planner, Fisher also helped couples assess the risks of their event and determine the types of precautions to take to keep their guests safe. Many of them were innovative for the industry.

Jaclyn Fisher planned the wedding of Kristin and Jamie, who had their immediate family in Kristin’s parents’ garden in September 2020. They are having a big party in 2022. (Asya Photography)

“For example, seating guests per household, moving tables away, having sanitation stations with masks and disinfectant, and even having wristbands so guests can communicate their comfort level,” Fisher said. “So green [bracelets] which means hugs are OK, yellow only means punches and red means please keep your distance.

For Kate Conaway, Director of Sales and Event Planning for New Hope-based Jamie Hollander Catering & Events, it was about being transparent and flexible with their clients who were going through similar stress to hers and uncertain about their future. financial future.

The company, which operates three wedding venues in the Philadelphia area, has decided to do things like relax their deposit process, where instead of a couple depositing 30% before the event, they deposit 10% or offer to reimburse customers for guests who end up not showing up.

“The point was not to make it punitive for people,” Conaway said. “You want to keep people engaged. You want to keep them involved and feel good about your business. You want them to stay attached to the sites.

While Philly is expected to drop most of its capacity restrictions on June 2, Fisher said it was a “relief” for her couples who had been planning weddings in the city later in the summer and were stressing out about it. About the number of guests.

She found planning difficult because the surrounding suburban counties had different – often less strict – guidelines than those in Philadelphia.

“It’s just a waiting game and one of the hardest parts is not knowing,” Fisher said. “It’s really difficult [to plan] when we don’t have answers and don’t really know what to expect.

Regarding the overall impact on the industry, Fisher said many people might notice on their timelines that the rest of 2021 and 2022 is filled with weddings.

“We haven’t heard from 2023 yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see couples planning so far in advance just because of the availability of vendors and venues,” she said. declared.

Also, expect to see more weddings on Fridays, as well as outdoor and home ceremonies and receptions in the years to come.

“There is something really special about the bride getting ready at home and walking down her steps to see her father for the first time and have all the family portraits in the yard,” Fisher said. “There is something really special about it and I love it.”

Celebrate a return to normal?

Elliott and Even ended up getting married at their local courthouse last May, as it became clearer their big celebration would be postponed indefinitely.

As cheesy as it sounds, Even says, she and her husband were tired of not being married and were ready to move on in their life despite COVID-19.

And that’s what they did. Their wedding won’t be exactly as they imagined it before the pandemic, as there was one addition to the wedding: their 2-month-old son Chase.

Both said celebrating their wedding was also like commemorating a return to normalcy.

“It’s our wedding, but it’s also the first time people will meet our son,” Even said. “It’s not the end, it’s not over, but there is certainly a lot to look forward to. It’s about us, but it’s also about celebrating the fact that we are all capable of Find us. “

As well as learning about themselves as a couple – that their partnership can endure being stuck in an apartment together for months on their own, having a baby, and rescheduling a wedding three times – they’ve also learned a lot. on themselves individually.

“I’ve learned that it really doesn’t matter if things don’t go exactly as planned,” Even said. “Since that’s not what we imagined, having our wedding a year after we were legally married to our 2 month old son there. None of it is what we imagined. But it is. our story and it’s strangely wonderful.

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