Wedding Wisdom Wednesday: The Pandemic’s Effect on Wedding Trends

Local wedding pros share insight and tips for planning your wedding.

John A. Brooks
Focal florals at The Fig Room

“For better or for worse.” That one simple phrase is part of virtually every wedding ceremony and has taken on new meaning for couples who have found themselves planning a wedding during the COVID-19 pandemic.   

The good news is, we are shifting from the “worse” side to “better” each and every day. As vaccination rates increase and cases go down, we are seeing easing restrictions on venues and a greater comfort level with gatherings. Not to mention, we’ve learned a lot over the past year about how to safely hold events—good lessons that will serve us well into the future.   

As we emerge on the other side, we’re seeing trends born out of necessity during the pandemic continue to shape weddings in 2021 and beyond.   

Indoor/outdoor space at Brookshire

Hybrid spaces 

It’s no longer a question of indoor or outdoor. Now, couples are looking for spaces that will allow them to have both indoor and outdoor elements, giving guests the opportunity to seamlessly move between spaces. Think: a ballroom with large open doors expanding the festivities to a spacious patio.   

Indoor/outdoor space at Brookshire
A plated meal from Gourmet Fresh

Catering style  

While people may be more comfortable gathering in groups, some guests may still hesitate to go through a buffet line. Couples are increasingly opting for plated meals that allow servers to safely serve food to guests. Another popular trend is family-style meals, where charcuterie boards and platters of food are provided for families and friends to share at their individual tables. When it comes to hors d’oeuvres, consider appetizers that are passed out by waitstaff rather than an open buffet.  

Focal florals  

In the height of the pandemic when guest lists were extremely limited, we saw couples splurge on florals and décor to achieve a cozy, intimate feel in a smaller celebration. And even as we see a return to larger guest lists, couples are still choosing to go big on these items. After COVID-19, making a big splash on décor just feels right.  

Focal florals at The Fig Room

Virtual connections  

One of the lessons from 2020 is that people want to be there, even if they can’t be there in person. And there are always people who can’t be there in person. Livestreaming and other ways to virtually include guests who aren’t physically there is something couples will want to consider. Your event venue should be able to provide you with options and recommendations to accommodate livestreaming technology.  

The biggest lesson of all from the pandemic is that there is nothing like celebrating life’s milestones. Your wedding is just the start of a life together, and it should be about bringing together all the things you love as individuals and as a couple. Cheers to love, “for better or for worse,” in 2021 and beyond.   

John A. Brooks is the managing director of BTTS Holdings, a leading event venue operator that is locally owned and operated in Central Ohio. With a mission to create and execute unforgettable events, BTTS Holdings currently operates five full-service venues in the area: BrookshireWatersEdgeThe Estate at New AlbanyThe Fig Room and Edison777. BTTS also manages an in-house catering company, Gourmet Fresh, and an in-house floral company, Fiori Florals