Singaporebrides | Weddings 101
How COVID-19 Will Change the Way You Plan Your Wedding in 2021
COVID-19 has changed a lot over the past year–including wedding planning! Here are 6 things you should be prepared for when planning your 2021 wedding.
Wedding planning has changed a lot over the past year due to COVID-19, and we expect postponements, changing regulations, and guest health and safety concerns to continue to affect weddings in 2021. Planning the biggest event of your life is no easy feat even without the stress of so many uncertainties, so we hope to alleviate some of it with some expert advice. We connected with professional wedding planner Jessica Chew at Everitt Weddings and she offers some valuable insight and 2021 wedding predictions. Here are 6 things you can expect for 2021 wedding planning.
1. A Trend towards Intimate WeddingsImage by The Beautiful Moment Photography
“Weddings of between 100 and 200 guests will be more popular than ever,” predicts Jessica. Even before the pandemic hit, weddings in Singapore have seen a definite trend towards smaller and more meaningful weddings. Many couples have embraced the intimate wedding trend with alternative wedding venues or outdoor celebrations in recent years. With the uncertainty of whether guest count restrictions will be lifted in the near future, it makes sense for couples to plan for smaller, cosier weddings in 2021. The silver lining of guest restrictions is that intimate weddings offer many opportunities for creativity, personalisation, and meaningful connection.
2. Flexibility and Realistic ExpectationsImage by Ivan Seah Photography
From no weddings to increased guest counts of 100, wedding regulations in Singapore have changed multiple times over 2020 to reflect the decreasing threat of COVID-19 community spread. With the likelihood that they will change again before your 2021 wedding, it’s important to be realistic with your wedding plans.
For couples who have just gotten engaged and are beginning on wedding planning, Jessica has advice on the best way to get started: “First work out your best estimate of a realistic guest size for your wedding before proceeding to source for a venue that is available and suitable, keeping in mind the kind of ambiance you want for the wedding. It is important to be clear about how the venue applies the prevailing guidelines and how that would affect the minimum guaranteed attendance or minimum spend, capacity, floor plans, and the items included in the venue’s package.”
You should be flexible with your plans as well, for example, having a few possible wedding dates, and being open to changes down the road. “As there are many couples choosing to postpone their weddings, it is expected that weekends and popular dates in 2021 will be even more sought after than usual. Because the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing and there are existing restrictions, bridal couples should only commit to wedding services that they are really certain of,” says Jessica.
3. More CoordinationImage by The Beautiful Moment Photography
Couples need to be prepared for more coordination with vendors and guests alike as guidelines change and wedding plans have to change with them. From postponing their celebrations to altering the guest list to changing your wedding theme to suit a new venue, there may be a lot of work involved. If you’re postponing your wedding, Jessica advises you to do it early: “It is important to review your guest list and deduce to what extent prevailing restrictions would impact guest attendance, then make the decision on whether to postpone the wedding or not as early as possible.”
An experienced wedding planner can take over much of the stress and hassle of postponing a wedding and adhering to prevailing guidelines. “For any bridal couple who chooses to postpone their wedding, as a wedding planner, I will first communicate their intention to the relevant venue representatives and vendors, and work out new arrangements with them as existing agreements will be affected,” explains Jessica.
“With the advice of the venue, a list of new dates will be shortlisted. I will then check with confirmed vendors regarding their availability for the shortlisted dates before the couple can confirm the new wedding date. Once the new wedding date is set, the next step is to inform wedding guests. This may involve a digital ‘Change the Date’ and/or e-invitation. The programme and other plans that were previously made can be carried forward in preparation for the wedding that is scheduled on the new date. It is important to continually monitor any updates regarding measures and seek further clarification with the venue on their practices.”
4. Guest SafetyImage by The Beautiful Moment Photography
Guest safety will continue to be of utmost importance for weddings in 2021. As the “organiser” of your wedding, you’re liable for ensuring that all of your attendees observe the necessary safe management measures outlined by the government. This includes coordinating with your venue and vendors to make sure they follow the prevailing guidelines.
“Apart from understanding the latest government guidelines, bridal couples should speak to their venue managers about how the venue will be applying safety measures,” says Jessica. “Examples: designation of zones, barriers, zone-specific entrance and exit timings, safe distancing table layout, placement of registration tables, signs to direct guests, etc.”
Wedding planners such as Jessica take over much of the coordination involved in keeping up to date with prevailing safety guidelines, such as by planning the layout, signs, and décor with the venue, understanding the venue’s implementation of safety measures, and negotiating the minimum guaranteed attendance with them.
“More couples are considering having a professional wedding coordination team to oversee arrangements that were made in view of COVID-19 and make sure the measures are being followed,” Jessica shares. At Everitt Weddings, she also checks with wedding vendors on availability if there are change to the wedding date, and works with them to keep them updated of any change in plans, such as the finalised floor plans, itinerary, transportation schedule, and safety rules.
5. Thoughtful Guest ExperienceImage by The Beautiful Moment Photography
With safety measures limiting much of the popular interactive entertainment options such as DIY flower bars, photo booths, or dessert tables, couples will be putting more thought than ever into guest experience. “As mingling is not allowed and there will be no cocktail reception, bridal couples can make guests feel more welcome by giving them something special in the form of food, drinks, gifts, etc. at their respective seats,” suggests Jessica. Now is the time to get creative with thoughtful yet safe experiences for your guests, such as personalised notes, a walk-through gallery with your portraits, curated welcome gift bags, or even games you can play at the table.
6. Virtual ElementsImage by Ivan Seah Photography
Virtual elements will become an important aspect of wedding planning in 2021. You can send beautifully designed electronic postponement cards to let guests know of your change in wedding plans. “An inclusion of a virtual aspect to weddings, such as live streaming, may be more widely accepted,” predicts Jessica. You can include guests who are unable to be there physically by offering live-streaming of your ceremony, virtual calls where they can congratulate you, and even “dine” with them by delivering celebratory meals to their doorstep.
Wedding planning will continue to look very different for some time as we all deal with the global pandemic. It may require a little more effort in coordination to accommodate the shifting COVID-19 guidelines, but your guests will be sure to appreciate the thought you’re putting into ensuring they have a good—and safe—time at your wedding. If you need help staying on top of prevailing safety measures or simply want to unload the hassle of wedding planning so you can enjoy your this special season of your engagement, speak to Jessica at Everitt Weddings.
Images courtesy of Everitt Weddings. Feature image by Ivan Seah Photography.