6 Ways Weddings Have Changed, Post Pandemic

6 Ways Weddings Have Changed, Post Pandemic

It’s no secret that the Covid 19 pandemic has had a profound impact on virtually every aspect of our lives, and weddings are no exception.  The fear that took hold of our nation – indeed the world – highlighted the importance of valuing things we might have taken for granted previously.  People are getting back to nature, wanting to gather and appreciate simpler ways to enjoy their lives and one another. Kristina Petrillo, wedding planner for the Bon Appétit Group in Dunedin, Florida, highlighted some of the changes she and her team have seen on Honeymoon Island and Sand Key Beach.

1. Weddings are more intimate and meaningful

While still a celebration, there’s a little less fanfare surrounding weddings right now. Family members are playing a bigger role in the ceremony, even down to having a sister, cousin or uncle performing the ceremony.  If your relative isn’t already a minister, judicial officer, or ship captain, to name a few of those eligible to perform ceremonies, he or she can become a notary public and conduct your wedding ceremony. Heads up, though, if you go this route, the notary applicant will need to plan ahead. For example, for an applicant obtaining a notary certification in Florida, he or she must submit proof that, within a year prior to the application, they have completed at least three hours of interactive or classroom instruction, including electronic notarization, and covering the duties of the notary public.

2. More personal content in the ceremony and reception

As a way to make the special day more inclusive and memorable, not only do family members sometimes perform the ceremony, others may read a poem, bible verse or sing a special song. Father/bride and mother/son dances are coming back again as choreographed or just plain fun. Memory chairs or tables, family photos on display and special messages read out from those unable to attend are other ways to mark the day as intimate and memorable.

3. You can live stream the ceremony, even on the beach

Just because you’re in a casual setting, doesn’t mean you can’t pull out all the stops. Nowadays, people are live streaming everything, so why not your wedding and reception, too? Per Kristina, “We do a lot of Facebook live and Zoom for the guests who cannot attend or have restrictions of some sort. The client will do both the ceremony and have the reception on for them too.”

4. Guests counts are increasing

Per Kristina, “everybody is so ready to be out amongst others that where once the whole guest list may not have attended, now they’re all coming to share in the celebration, so guest counts are actually going up.” So, make sure you have a contingency plan to cover not only the full guest list but others who might ask to come. It’s more relaxed on the beach and potentially easier to expand the list a little.

Honeymoon Island Bride and Groom with Family on Beach

5.  Lead times for booking are shorter

Don’t assume there will be availability, even for outdoor weddings, like the beaches. Bon Appétit Group hosts weddings on two different beaches, Honeymoon Island in Dunedin, FL and Sand Key in Clearwater, FL, as well as their waterfront restaurant with banquet space, Bon Appétit, also in Dunedin. Remember, businesses are accommodating weddings that were postponed during the pandemic, so everyone is playing catchup, including outdoor spaces. Another trend, post pandemic, is that people are making decisions faster. Where once they may have looked 1-2 years out and deliberated longer to make a selection, they’re acting quickly to secure space.

6. Planning is still important

Even though the approach is a little different, planning is still key and beach weddings are no exception. The environment is magical, and there’s no reason why your wedding shouldn’t be everything you've dreamed of. The assistance of an experienced wedding planner can help ensure your wedding and reception make the kind of memories you've always imagined. As Kristina Petrillo points out, “when planning an outdoor event, a lot of stress comes along with that. What if it rains, it’s hot, it’s cold, etc.? We are here to help guide you through all the stress and worries with our expertise and creative ideas to help ensure your event is seamless and just as you envisioned. Lean on your vendor team when you have questions; they will have the answers or suggestions you’re looking for.”

Want to find out more about a wedding on Honeymoon Island or Sand Key Beach?  Contact us now to get the conversation started.