Did you not get to attend any of the wedding ceremonies of your friends, even though you were really hoping to do so during the COVID season? Or maybe you found a picture or video of your neighbor's wedding ceremony online and were left wondering why you weren't invited to the ceremony. You probably didn't offend him or her because quite a few others all over the world have had the same experience.
The number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 across the globe reached an all-time high in 2019 and 2020 and continued to rise through 2021. Everything from the way we used to do our jobs to the way we ate to the way we interacted with each other was profoundly impacted. The usual becomes abnormal. Public gatherings were cancelled, and weddings were among the events that were forced to come to a halt.
Wedding receptions in COVID-19
The presence of loved ones is a component that is shared by all wedding ceremonies, despite the fact that traditions, cultures, ethnic groups, faiths, nations, and social classes all celebrate weddings differently. Another tradition that is shared by all weddings is the reception. It is a party that is usually held after the wedding ceremony to keep people entertained.
The length of time that a wedding reception lasted before COVID-19 was introduced could range anywhere from a few hours (from noon to nightfall) to several days (depending on the wishes of the married couple). During the COVID-19 era, the couple either got married in court without a reception, which was the trend at the time, or you postponed the ceremony until 2021 or 2022. Neither option is particularly appealing.
The halt and restrictions on weddings made wedding receptions unpopular. How to maintain the safety protocols was key. Though wedding planners, in some cases, provide masks for all attendees and ensure they keep them on right after eating during the reception, the excitement could overrule the safety protocols. People would shake hands and dance together, forgetting the risks. In this era, couples walked down the aisle with nose marks, either matching the suits or gowns. Guests wore their masks until it was time to take a picture with the couple, but there was no way one could know the status of the person sitting by, so there was a need for sanctions and safety.
Many states restricted and provided COVID-19 guidance. The United Kingdom, as an example, provided, “Coronavirus (COVID-19): Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, receptions, and celebrations guidance,” which was recently withdrawn on April 1st, 2022. It was a guideline to be followed by couples planning to get married, or form a civil partnership, and venues hosting these events in England.
In some states, a restricted number of people is provided for wedding gatherings and receptions. In the Czech Republic, all sporting, cultural, religious, and other activities, either public or private, involving more than 30 people were forbidden as of March 13, 2020. Also in Ghana, President Nana Akufo-Addo issued directives that all ceremonies, including funerals, weddings, and other customary ceremonies, must not exceed two hours.
Reception became very intimate worldwide in order to make contact tracing easier. Virtual celebrations were introduced by wedding planners so loved ones could still feel a part of the ceremony wherever they were. The Backyard quickly became the most popular event location.
This was a blow to the wedding industry but has shifted attention from large outdoor weddings to small weddings. After all, couples can save some money and skip the stress of planning for a larger crowd.
Post-Covid wedding receptions
In 2022, wedding restrictions have been eased, allowing most couples to go all out for their wedding celebrations, but COVID-19 has left a mark on how weddings and receptions are held.
Priorities have become key in putting together the guest list. Who comes first? Though couples would love to have every member of their family and friends at the ceremony, safety is necessary because the world is still fighting the virus. Here, a careful decision is made about who should be on the guest list, taking into account each person’s health and availability. This has helped to avoid costs on event grounds and food. You will need the number of guests to secure event grounds, chairs and tables, and food to be delivered.
Due to the majority postponement of wedding celebrations to 2021 and 2022, most event grounds have been booked, leaving couples to opt for weekday celebrations to avoid more delays. Weekday weddings have become the norm.
Awareness of germs is heightened, thereby making every couple and wedding planner on alert. We still find “veronica buckets” (a bucket of water with a tap fixed at the bottom), sanitizers, and tissues at the event grounds. Aside from COVID-19, good hygiene is known to prevent the spread of infections.
An outdoor wedding is still in vogue and for eternity will be the best location for receptions. This location provides ventilation and puts no one at risk of getting infected. Also, one can still have a virtual setup in these locations and share the moment with others across the globe.
Lastly, people have understood not to take offense when weddings are secretly held. This has encouraged more couples to have secret weddings or travel to have a destination wedding.
Photo: Soloveva Kristina/Shutterstock
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