The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in widespread changes including, wedding cancellations and postponements. In fact, a study revealed that 96% of couples were not willing to cancel their weddings in 2020, but rather move them to a later date in 2021. Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group Hotels and Resorts, says that as a result of 2020 postponements, 2021 will most likely become the year of the wedding boom.
“The truth is, weddings have changed, and we are unlikely to see a 100+ guest wedding for many more months to come. Planning a wedding under normal circumstances is tough, so I truly sympathise with couples who are navigating the uncertainties that have come with having to plan a wedding during a pandemic.”
Lamont adds that while we must all ensure that we’re doing our part to limit the spread of COVID-19, couples shouldn’t rule out their fairytale wedding altogether just yet.
“As the numbers start to lesson, the lockdown measures will loosen, and a dream wedding with the opportunity to make lasting, magical memories will be back on the cards,” he says.
He also offers four tips to couples looking to plan the perfect pandemic wedding:
1. Follow the health and safety protocols: Masks, sanitiser, and social distancing are now a daily feature in our lives, and your wedding should be no different. Not only must you ensure that your guests follow the health and safety protocols, you need to ensure that your selected venue is compliant with COVID-19 regulations too! First Group for example has transformed every resort and hotel into a COVID-safe zone that boasts disinfectant tunnels to sanitise the whole body at the entrance.
2. Keep your numbers small and embrace tech: Social gatherings are prohibited at the moment, but once the lockdown eases, it’s likely that the number of guests will still be limited to 50% of the venue’s capacity or 50 people indoors. The plus side is that you will not only save on cost, you will also have the opportunity to share your special day with those closest to you (yes, that means no distant cousins or dodgy uncles!) And, if you embrace technology and get a hot-shot videographer the rest of your invited guests can still join your special day online ensuring that no one misses out (not even Uncle Kenneth and Cousin Zethu)!
3. Reduce touchpoints: Limiting the spread of COVID-19 means, you must reduce the number of touchpoints on your wedding day and this includes décor. Less is more when it comes to pandemic wedding décor, so instead of spending a fortune on table centerpieces and draping, rather choose a venue with breath-taking views to provide a beautiful, natural backdrop for your day. A great example is First Group’s exclusive, celebrity-style wedding venue, Swallow Cliff Hall, which offers unobstructed 360-degree views of unmatched natural beauty.
4. Turn your wedding day to wedding weekend: Less people at your wedding means that you are likely to save on cost. Use the extra cash to make a wedding weekend away with those you love the most. You can spend quality time with those who mean the world to you making magical, lasting memories, not just for a couple of hours but for an entire weekend!
“Life has changed, but that doesn’t mean we stop living or stop loving or stop planning. It simply means that we adapt accordingly.” Lamont concludes.