By Rachael Russell
Interactive culinary experiences, unique table layouts, and sustainable “green” weddings were among the 2020 wedding trends predicted by The Knot at the turn of the year. But as the chaos and uncertainty of this year has unfolded, these trends are far from the focus of couples navigating physical distancing, attendance limits and the threat of cancellation.
Couples scheduled to be married this year have been hit with a lot of restrictions and guidelines, but these roadblocks have not stopped couples from tying the knot; instead, they have allowed for some new, unpredictable wedding trends to emerge. Here’s some of my favorites:
Small ceremonies – Although they’re not a novel practice, small ceremonies have gained some favorable attention this year. Ceremonies in front of 20-30 invited guests allow for close friends and relatives to witness the nuptials while respecting physical distancing requirements and attendance limitations. These ceremonies are sometimes followed by a small reception, but some people elect to host a large reception at a later date.
Sequel weddings – Just like your favorite franchise movie, the sequel wedding comes months or even a year after a smaller ceremony and reception. This is not a new concept, but the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly given couples across varying cultures and religions a reason to consider it. And who says the sequel can’t be better than the original?
Live streaming/virtual weddings – Couples may have to trim their guest lists to accommodate state or county event guidelines, but live streaming allows them to include family and friends who didn’t make the cut. Many venues, including The Lincoln Center, are investing in live streaming equipment to adapt to increased demand for virtual event attendance. Our live streaming equipment can deliver clear, real-time footage of your event directly to the homes of your family and friends so they don’t miss a minute of your special day!
Boxed meals – In the interest of health and safety at events, many caterers and wedding couples have opted for individually boxed meals and desserts for wedding guests. While not the most sustainable option because of the increased waste that it generates, it is an efficient method of decreasing touchpoints during food service. Lunchables, anyone?
PPE Wedding Favors – Party bags filled with masks, wet wipes, bottles of hand sanitizer and more can be found at many COVID-19 weddings to keep all party-goers safe. I’ve even had a couple provide customized masks for all their wedding guests.
It’s hard to say which of these unexpected trends will outlast this pandemic, but there’s a couple that I predict will stick around:
Small ceremonies tend to be less stressful, more budget-friendly, and allow for a more personal and intimate experience for everyone involved. Because of this, I believe they will continue to be an attractive option for couples.
Secondly, it’s likely that live streaming will become more ubiquitous in the upcoming years. Relatives or friends who are sick, elderly, or live out of state have always been a consideration for couples when planning their weddings, even before the pandemic limited event attendance. Now that the infrastructure is in place in many venues, couples can take advantage of that option for years to come.
At The Lincoln Center, we are committed to helping couples navigate the confusing and challenging task of planning a wedding during a pandemic. We are prepared to accommodate small ceremonies and receptions with live streaming available in all indoor event spaces. We pledge to help you reimagine and create your safe and intimate dream wedding incorporating all the latest trends and more!
Whether or not these trends stick around, I am sure the stories of weddings that endured through a global pandemic will be carried on for generations. We truly are witnessing history!
Rachael Russell | The Lincoln Center, Conference Services Coordinator | firstname.lastname@example.org