One thing I’ve really come to appreciate over the years is just how different every single wedding is. I used to think they all followed the same formula - choose a dress, pick a venue, buy some flowers, turn up and party. Maybe that’s because I spent so much time working in the same venues that they started to feel like a bit of a conveyor belt… each day there would be a different couple, but we’d go through the same routine.
Now I see couples getting married in marquees, tipis, barns, fields, churches, warehouses, castles or stately homes. Flowers can be white, pink, orange, purple, green, dried or even paper. Sometimes the dress isn’t even a dress but a jumpsuit or two piece in silver, pink or tie dye. A wedding isn’t just an exchanging of boring vows but a celebration of the couple, their families joining together and everything they love about their life together. And I think that’s pretty epic.
I’d say I’m noticing this more and more as a result of the pandemic. I guess going through everything we have these last couple of years, in most areas of life we’re starting to say “f*ck it” and just go for the things we really want. So I’m expecting weddings to be even more epic, even more emotional and even more bloody lovely as we start to come out the other side.
So, what are the best things I'm noticing post-Covid?
Traditionally, my favourite part of the day was the bit right after the ceremony when everyone is mingling with a drink in hand and the canapes are circulating. It’s the first time the couple gets to relax as the nerves have subsided; they’ve made it down the aisle and they are together as a married couple for the first time. And your guests are bound to be happy with a glass of Pimms in hand, right?!
But, for me, that’s not the best bit any more. My favourite bit now... is the speeches!
This used to be the part of the day I hated the most. All the guests are hungry because they’re doing the speeches before the food, there's a sweepstake going to see how long the Best Man will keep talking for or whether he’ll bring up the stag night shenanigans, and I’d usually have a chef yelling in my ear asking me how long until the starters can be served because the soup is going cold. Not any more.
Firstly, with better planning most of this can be avoided! Secondly, I’m noticing a change. The speeches are no longer the thing we all have to sit through before we can dig into our food. People actually listen.
Every speech I’ve heard so far - every Best Man, Father, Groom and even Bride - has talked so honestly about how happy they are to even be getting married and to be sharing the day with their friends. And everyone in the room is so thrilled to be there with them, hearing their story, and celebrating having made it! They cheer, they sing, and quite a few tears have been shed (some by me, I won’t lie!). It’s moving and it’s memorable and it’s a really special moment. You’ve waited so long for this, and this is probably the only part of the day when you have the full attention of everyone in the room - so people really take the time to thank their guests, to say everything they want to say and soak up the feeling of everyone being there to support and celebrate with them!
Then there's the dancing. Oh, how we've missed the dancing!
Even those who used to awkwardly shuffle on the dancefloor are excited about moving their feet again! The feeling of being in a room (or a field!) with a live band or a DJ after all this time feels pretty epic. There’s going to be lots of throwing our arms around each other, a little too much singing together, and I think it’s going to create some moments that you’re never going to forget.
I also love the fact that people are opting for different styles of ceremony. There have been a whole load of elopements happening on my timeline lately; lots of people enjoying smaller, intimate weddings; I’m noticing more celebrant ceremonies; and then there are those who are waiting for the big blowout! And in terms of style I’m still seeing a lot of beautiful rustic weddings, but mixed in with loads of edgy and exciting setups. There’s glitterballs, flowers, foliage, neon, boho, modern and festival-chic. Each couple wants to tell their own story and convey their own personalities, and it is beautiful to see! There is no rule book on how it should be done, just whatever is within your own imagination - and I love it.
There’s still a lot of stuff I love as much as I did before. I love the food - whether it be fine dining or street food. I love the music - from your aisle entrance to the songs you’re still humming in the taxi home. I love the cakes and the flowers and the pretty table centrepieces. Only now there are more reasons than ever to appreciate them.
I hope we hold on to that feeling for a very long time. Always be grateful that we can be together, celebrating and having fun. And how happy we are for our loved ones as they (finally!) tie the knot.