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Celebrity couples who wanted new looks for their ceremony and reception used to be the driving force behind modern couples breaking wedding traditions. However, in the last year, the reality of COVID-19 has influenced weddings by postponing them, changing protocols, and altering the way weddings are celebrated. Nonetheless, COVID's experience has resulted in some positive outcomes. Couples say they have a better understanding of what is important, particularly in terms of how they celebrate with family and friends.

  • Andrea Correale is the founder and president of Elegant Affairs, a full-service off-premise catering and event planning company. Based in New York City and the Hamptons, Elegant Affairs has worked with celebrities like Billie Eilish, Mariah Carey, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

  • Kate Murtaugh is the principal and creative director at Kate Murtaugh Events & Design, an award-winning luxury wedding and event planning and design studio based in Boston and Watch Hill, Rhode Island.

Here are 11 ways COVID-19 has influenced weddings—and why we think they'll be around for a long time.

01.More At-Home Weddings

"Couples are saying goodbye to destination weddings abroad and having outdoor weddings at home," says Correale. "Many couples are having outdoor weddings at their homes because they are frustrated by COVID restrictions at indoor venues." The new normal will be a tented reception with immediate family and close friends.”

02.Lots of Tented Affairs

Due to strict event guidelines and social distancing requirements for indoor spaces, there has been an increase in tented wedding celebrations at private residences and estates. Murtaugh claims, "A tented affair not only provides more flexibility and safety, but it also allows couples to bring unlimited style possibilities to their celebrations, providing a blank canvas for event design and layout.

03.A Rise in Elopements

Couples are abandoning the old stigma of elopement in favor of intimate nuptials that are adventurous, inspiring, and personal. “We do not see the elopement and micro-wedding trend ending anytime soon,” Murtaugh says, “but not just because of event restrictions; clients find it is most important to do what feels right for them.”

04.Plenty of Outdoor Weddings

There have been significant changes in religious weddings. "Outdoor weddings are taking the place of church and temple weddings. Couples want everything to be outside so that everyone feels safe. Following small outdoor ceremonies at home or in front of a Justice of Peace, an intimate gathering of close family members takes place. Many people will also plan a later outdoor celebration for friends and extended family"

05.Meals Have Been Modified

Cocktail hour and dinner have been changed due to new safety protocols. "Everything for the cocktail hour is individual," Correale explains. There will be no grazing tables or communal eating. This means that each hors d'oeuvre is served in a separate vessel for only one person." However, as a result of COVID, this trend has faded and been replaced by the seated dinner".

06.No More Receiving Lines

We have good news for those who don't want to stand in a receiving line after the ceremony: "The new trend is none at all," says Correale. "A complete omission. Receiving lines were once used to greet guests by the couple and their families. Before Covid, the trend was declining, but now it's been kicked out the door and is no longer an option."

07.Couples Are Wearing Unique Attire

After such a dark year, brides and grooms are ready to celebrate like never before, and what better way to do so than with fashion moments that match the sentiment? "Couples are breaking with tradition and opting for fun colors, bold prints, fashionable cuts, and trendy embellishments for their wedding day fashion," Murtaugh says.

08.More Vibrant Color Schemes

Gone are the days of monochromatic wedding designs in white and blush. Couples are celebrating with color, from flowers to wedding attire to décor. “Couples want to prioritize color, texture, and tone with their wedding designs and aesthetic,” Murtaugh says. Consider bold color palettes, contrasting patterns and textures, and a focus on unusual florals.”

09.Hosting Multiple Celebrations

For many couples, it has been over a year since they have seen their friends or family. As a result, they decide to make their wedding a weekend-long affair (or perhaps a few weekdays). “With more time, they can spoil their guests with a two-day party or a longer celebration. Given the restrictions on headcounts, some couples are even breaking up their guest lists into groups on multiple days to celebrate with even more people."

10.Utilizing Vendor Teams

“Given the extent of COVID-19 restrictions and changes to the wedding industry, couples are relying on their vendor team's expertise and candor like never before,”.More couples are hiring wedding planners and designers to help them navigate the planning process responsibly, creatively, and efficiently, from contracts and negotiations to creating spectacular design plans and focusing on top-notch client service.”

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