2020: WEDDINGS DURING A PANDEMIC

Untitled photo

The creative ceremonies and celebrations we were able to capture in 2020 were nothing short of amazing. These couples faced constant changes to guidelines and restrictions during the most crucial months of planning for their big day! 


Now that we are returning to somewhat normal operations, we are taking a look back on the trends we see hope to see stick around for years to come and the ones we are happy to see go! 


ABBREVIATED CELEBRATIONS

Because of the short notice change in plans during the pandemic, some of our 2020 Couples  planned abbreviated celebrations. In some cases this was due to a change of venue, in other cases is was due to a change in officiant. 

Ceremonies were cut down to the key points of a short readings and vow exchanges. Reception Celebrations were planned to include a short intimate social hour or a table served meal. 


THE COUPLES THOUGHTS:

All of our 2020 Couples who did choose to abbreviate their celebrations have said they were able to save a great deal of money, but they 100% regret it. The most common reason was due the fact that they felt rushed, they missed out on traditions they had looked forward to and they did not get to say hello to all of their guests. During this time about half of these Couples had planned to reschedule their originally planned celebrations. Those who did not have plans to reschedule have now decided to plan vow renewals or anniversary parties that more closely fit their original vision. 


CRR THOUGHTS: 

Though this did allow our couples to save money, this is one of the most important days of their lives and should not be rushed or cut short for any reason. Watching couples pick and choose which events to included throughout their day was painful and each of them deserves to enjoy the full experience of this moment. For this reason we strongly recommend using CRR's Wedding Planning Guide to determine just how much time you should allow for each step of your day. Weddings do not need to be an all day event but they should allow enough time to take it all in. 


KEEP IT OR LEAVE IT: LEAVE IT!


PRIVATE VOW CEREMONIES

Untitled photo

Many of our couples chose to hold Private Vow Ceremonies to adhere to the capacity limits at their selected venues. Whether these couples were joined by immediate family or celebrating this ceremony with just the two of them, these vow exchanges were intimate and heart warming.  


THE COUPLES THOUGHTS: 

Speaking with our Wedding Couples in the months following their ceremony this is one trend they recommend future couples do consider!

Brides and Grooms both mentioned feeling less stress than they thought they would from a larger guest list. 

Brides and Grooms both agreed that their vows were the most important and intimate part of their day and were very happy to have shared that with their closest family and friends. 


CRR THOUGHTS: 

LOVE! Private vow ceremonies create such a special moment for couples we definitely hope to see more of them in the future. 

When looking back on the private ceremonies versus larger ceremonies we've covered in the past, the difference in our couples comfort and stress level are undeniable. Brides and Grooms have much less to worry about and feel much more confident reciting their vows in front of the smaller audience and intimate settings. 

Private Vow ceremonies also allow our Photo Team to work in a less restricted area to capture multiple angles with far less obstructions. 


KEEP IT OR LEAVE IT: KEEP IT


NON-TRADITIONAL FIRST LOOK

Untitled photo

This one is not new but each and every one of our 2020 Couples did choose to create a special moment for their first look rather than waiting until walking down the aisle.

In recent years we have seen more and more intimate first looks planned by our couples. Some couples choose to have their first look take place at a place with special meaning to them, some choose to create a private area at their ceremony location and some take place right in the bridal prep area. 

Most couples chose to keep this moment private between the two of them and some invited their parents and bridal party to join. After capturing the first look our Photo Team clears out everyone besides the couple to allow for a moment alone before the ceremony. 


THE COUPLES THOUGHTS: 

Most of our couples had previously planned a private first look on their Wedding Day. Those who hadn't did agree that this was a special moment they are glad they took the time to work in prior to the ceremony. 


CRR THOUGHTS: 

Private first looks are extremely special and planning this moment before the ceremony allows us to capture this images in the perfect location with a staged area. We find that our coverage of these moments is much more in depth and highlighted in the final image gallery. If the first look is on your must haves shot list, we recommend planning it prior to ceremony. 


KEEP IT OR LEAVE IT: KEEP IT


TABLE SERVICE DINNERS

Untitled photo

Due to the guidelines that were put in place for establishments service food and beverage a lot of our couples were required to hire table service staff. All guests were served a pre-plated meal and their beverage of choice at their table. 

Couples whos venue did allow buffet styled meals were required to have all guests sanitize hands and wear plastic gloves prior to approaching the buffet. 


THE COUPLES THOUGHTS: 

Speaking with our couples in the months following their big day, this was one of the top complaints. The additional fees required for table service was a big factor in not recommending this for future couples.


CRR THOUGHTS: 

Unless table service is required by your venue or is complimentary to your theme, this is not recommended. Guests enjoy moving around the reception venue and visiting with friends and family. A Buffet style dinner allows guests to dish up only on the items they want and in the quantities they would like. Though our 2020 Couples were dealing with a limited number of guests, Table Service is a time consuming process that can come with many hiccups. 


KEEP IT OR LEAVE IT: LEAVE IT


WEDDING DAY WEBSITES

Untitled photo

Introduced in 2019 CRR Wedding Webpages were originally created to give couples a central location to share engagement photos, wedding day details, links important info and to share wedding day images with their friends and family. We had no idea how big of a role this new service would play for our couples in 2020. 

One of the biggest challenges our 2020 Couples faced was printing and mailing Save The Date announcements and Formal Invitations. Details were continuously changing due to state wide restrictions throughout the pandemic. Our couples were able to include a link to their wedding day webpage on all mailed information to give guests a place to be notified of any pandemic related changes. 

With the pandemic slowly coming to an end, the Brides and Grooms on our calendars have seen the value in this service and the modern edge it gives them for their special day. 

Wedding Day Websites Include: 

Engagement Gallery or Slideshow

Wedding Day Schedule

Maps and Directions

Links to Lodging

Links to area Transportation 

Links to Gift Registry 

RSVP Information 

and will be used to share all Wedding Day Images

Guests are also able to download and share images of themselves and their families from the reception. 


THE COUPLES THOUGHTS: 

Past and Present CRR Couples continue to mention how helpful this tool is in their planning. From schedules, to maps, to lodging links, sending out a quick link or posting it to your social media accounts will allow couples to spend less time answering questions via text and phone calls by directing all guests to one central place. Some couples opted to save on printing and mailing costs by sending Save The Date announcements and webpage links via social media or email and only mailing formal invitations. 


CRR THOUGHTS: 

When we started testing this service for our 2019 Couples it looked like a fun, new option to add to our packages. We now see exactly how much this feature benefits our Clients by giving them a compiled list of all Wedding Day details and allowing them to save on cost by going digital. 


KEEP IT OR LEAVE IT: We're partial on this one but... WE'RE KEEPING IT


Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In