As we enter into the eighth month of month of pandemic life, the one thing we know for certain looking to the foreseeable future is that uncertainty will continue. We also know people will get married and continue to plan weddings—two facts that have been incredibly inspiring bright spot of 2020.
For those of you currently in wedding planning mode and wondering how exactly to navigate these rough waters, we thought some industry insider intel would help guide your through. We spoke to Edmonton-based wedding planner Jennifer Bergman, president of Jennifer Bergman Weddings, for her expert advice in how to move forward at this time.
What is wedding planning looking like for 2021 and beyond?
“It is looking quite busy! With so many 2020 postponements we have essentially doubled our typical number of weddings for next season, and our team has expanded capacity as a result. That said, there is still much uncertainty surrounding restrictions for gatherings and whether they will be lifted, remain the same or become more severe. This adds an extra layer of complexity for anyone planning an event next year and in the future.”
How are you working with couples to try to plan ahead?
“We are having conversations with all our couples to discuss the very realistic possibility we will still be under some level of restrictions next wedding season. We’re planning multiple scenarios in terms of guest count, including various floor plans with and without social distancing in place. Prior to signing new contracts, we’re having open and transparent conversations with all vendors and venues, ensuring all parties are clear on any terms and conditions in relation to the pandemic. We are also encouraging all our clients to be flexible. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that life as we know it can change on a dime. Being nimble and having a positive outlook will go a long way in saving your sanity if you are planning a wedding or event during the pandemic.”
For a couple who is just engaged, where do they start with their planning?
“First, discuss the when. Is it important to you to get married in 2021? If so, plan for a smaller celebration and if you’re able to expand your guest list closer to the date it will be a nice bonus. Regardless of whether you’re looking at 2021 or 2022, securing a date, venue(s) and key vendors such as a wedding planner, photographer and videographer are important to do sooner rather than later as the next couple of years are likely to be busier than usual accommodating a backlog of postponed events.”
Intimate will be the way for some time, why is this a wonderful wedding style?
“Intimate or “micro weddings” offer a unique opportunity to have the wedding of your dreams on a smaller scale. A lower guest count means your budget will stretch further—you may be able to hire that photographer you’ve been following on Instagram for years or have that floral centrepiece that you’ve pinned countless times. Your options for venues are expanded. There are many unique spaces such as cafés, restaurants, galleries or private properties that may not have been possible with a larger guest list. A more intimate guest list means you’ll be able to spend quality time with those who matter most, rather than feel pulled in many directions all day trying to ensure you say a quick hello to your third cousin. For those who still want the big party with all their friends and family, consider having an intimate ceremony and dinner to mark the occasion, and save the celebration for post-COVID. What’s better than having two wedding dates to look forward to!?