The team at Love me Do Weddings has weathered many storms over its 40 year history and has traded through the most difficult of times. As many couples are facing the COVID-19 pandemic globally, this environment is like nothing we have ever seen. The way we work, live, socialise and entertain will be forever changed.
As most industries are coming to terms with the implications of the shutdown of borders and international flights, the wedding industry is no stranger to change and has been hit hard and suffered major losses to business. Weddings across the globe have been cancelled and or postponed till 2021/2022, however small groups of weddings have still been going ahead with the closure of the registry office temporarily suspending weddings. One of the biggest changes to come for our industry, is to the size of weddings, we are seeing a change to less numbers, more intimate weddings and clients wanting the one stop solution and that being Complete Wedding Packages, this will be the new trend. How guests are accommodated, served and entertained will have to change and the focus now for couples, is how to have the best celebration at their wedding given the new landscape, and it’s with our experience we can help you.
Whilst there are many aspects and elements to planning a wedding, the success of any event at the reception, is the Food, the Service and the Entertainment. Get all 3 right and you’re guaranteed the best night ever!
We have tried to briefly cover a few topics to try and help your through the maze and to address some of the common questions we’re receiving from clients.
Changes with Venues and Cartering
Businesses are now evaluating how to rework their spaces not to maximise capacity, and to ensure the safety and health of all guests with COVID compliance top of mind. “An elevated awareness of health and safety will likely have a lasting effect after COVID, how tables are arranged, how seats are spaced out and venues will space guests out by the households in which they arrived. One of the most heavily-impacted sectors will be catering and the distribution of menu options. For chefs, couples, guests and servers, the manner in which dishes and drinks are prepared and served will ensure utmost safety precautions.
Safety of guests is paramount and we are expecting to see drastic changes in the way functions are catered for across the board. Buffets, Roaming Canapés, Cocktail Style food for larger gatherings could be a thing of the past we are being told. Plated food for couples and families are being considered by caterers to ensure food is prepared, served with hygiene and safety in mind. Weddings post COVID will be accompanied by a new set of rules and serving etiquette that venues will need to abide by. Drinks on the other hand are more likely to be self serving.
A Focus on Guests Experience
Weddings after COVID will see couples wanting to provide a better experience for their guests. With more budget for couples to possibly allocate to premium expenses for guests, family and friends attending weddings through 2021 will likely be treated to the best cuisine and entertainment, providing a better guest experience. We are seeing couples allocate more of their budget to entertainment and special effects such as mirror photo booths, indoor sparklers, dry ice and up lighting to enhance the visual aspect of their reception. They have put off honeymoons due to travel restrictions and spending that little more on guest experience.
CONVID App, Security and Sanitation
Its our view venues will be making significant changes to the way in which they operate to ensure they are covered against any penalties as new rules and regulations come into place. Security will now be a standard requirement with one security guard for every 100 guests to ensure guests are complying with COVID changes. This could be an additional cost you will need to factor into your budget if its not already included in the room hire fee.
Weddings are a celebration for family and friends and as guests move between rooms, pull out seats, lift glasses, and possibly hug and shake hands, we will all need to be more conscious to ensure we comply with the venues new COVID policy. We will see accessible sanitisers and wipes everywhere in venues for guests to maintain hygiene and to take precautions. Additional Microphones will be used for speeches with sanitised microphone filters, so guests can be assured all precautions are being taken prevent any spread of infection.
Venues are now making it a preference that contractors and guests download the COVID app to ensure they minimise risk and cluster breakouts. This is only a preference and not mandatory as legation states it’s not compulsory.
Midweek Weddings and Complete Wedding Packages the new Trend
With the postponement and cancellation of weddings dates in 2020, 2021/2022 are filling fast, so although you may not get an available Saturday free at your venue, ask the venue for midweek options and consider a Thursday, Friday or Sunday. Weekday weddings were always increasing in popularity and venues are open to offering discounts and savings away from peak dates, so we see this as a great opportunity for couples to save substantially on the overall cost of their wedding. Talk to your wedding coordinator and venue. Complete wedding packages now are the new trend as you can save thousands of dollars for the wedding of your dreams without all the stress.
‘Ask the DJ’ Software for online requesting of songs
At Middleton Events, we respectfully acknowledge close contact with guests and taking requests is no longer an option. Direct song requests and messaging has been integrated within the licensed software that our DJs use. With ‘Ask The DJ’, your DJ can receive requests and comments from your Guests. Guests will simply be given a link or hashtag for twitter by the DJ and guests can engage the DJ through their device from their tables. www.middletonevents.com
Is Dancing Still an Option
There is no doubt the dance floor will lock totally different after COVID. For those that want to party, they will always dance. Satellite dance floors are being discussed with the possibility of multiple entertainment areas with different music and or entertainment. Karaoke from tables watching the big screen with radio microphones at each table is also an option. It’s our view the ‘festival style’ atmosphere will be most popular and the engagment of seat dancing with popular sing alongs at tables will also continue to be a hit. Middleton Events has a host of ideas for ‘table versus table’ entertaining ideas that will liven up the party! More than ever before its important to select the right supplier with experience who can not just play music (live jukebox), but can be a MC and entertain your guests.
Mirror Photo Booths are still Popular
A lot has been said about photo booths at events and for many years we assumed they were going to be a fad….. and WOW were we wrong. Middleton Events has seen them at thousands of events and they are now a standard inclusion, whilst providing guests an option to be entertained apart from dancing, and are an integral addition in the success of any event and provide another dimension of entertainment.
We’ve seen events with and without photo booths and one thing we can say is that they’re here to stay and are interactive, entertaining, engaging and capture life long memories that will be treasured for years to come. Guests generally are more engaged when a booth is booked and stay at events longer, as it’s an exciting option and is a break from dancing and drinking.
The only change we will see post COVID, is more sanitation of the mirror and virtual props included in our software instead of a props table. This means guests can select their virtual props from the screen and add, adjust the size and place the prop over their photo wherever they see fit.
Wedding Insurance is a Given
One of the most underrated aspects of any event, is insurance. We have insurance for so many things in our lives such as cars, health, home and life insurance. Wedding insurance is an ‘event’ insurance that protects you from losses or unexpected occurrences throughout or leading up to the wedding day. Wedding Insurance will not cover you for a further breakout of a disease or pandemic. Weddings can be very expensive and when you think about the total you commit to your day, you want to ensure that all bases are covered in the unlikely event it will not go ahead. There are many reasons why you should take out cover and we suggest you talk to the experts at Dream Wedding Insurance.
In conclusion, our Wedding and Event Planners are continuously working with couples to create the best possible guest experience given the changes post COVID to come and no doubt many new laws and trends will emerge. As always do your due diligence, select the right suppliers and take no chances with your special day!
One things for certain…..“More than ever before, people won’t take one second of celebrating for granted.”