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How to have a wedding during a pandemic. Tips from the pros

By Darcel Rockett, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Planning a wedding was labor intensive before coronavirus became a common phrase. Now in the throes of a pandemic, couples may feel like they're spending even more time making sure they have a memorable day that they enjoy.

According to the Knot, 93% of couples with wedding dates planned during the spring and summer months have not rescheduled their big day or opted not to make any changes yet. But that's not to say that the wedding landscape, which has often been referred to as recession-proof, hasn't changed given that the COVID-19 situation evolves daily.

Kristen Maxwell Cooper, editor in chief of The Knot, said that could mean couples holding mini ceremonies or marrying now to keep their original wedding date and having the big wedding later. Bridal salons hosting virtual consultations are already taking place. Bridget Rogers, managing coordinator with local boutique wedding and event planning firm Shannon Gail, said she's seen a lot of vendors taking on more than one wedding a weekend during the prime season in 2021 to accommodate every couple.

"Time will tell, but the wedding industry has some of the most creative people working and bringing these things to life and they are adapting and pivoting and finding ways to still throw weddings for people because ultimately couples still want to celebrate their love and they want to do so surrounded by friends and family." said Cooper,

We talked with Cooper and Rogers, and Susan Cordogan, founder of Chicago event planning company Big City Bride, about ways to do a wedding during a pandemic for those "to-be-weds." The interviews have been condensed and edited.

On how COVID-19 will change traditional wedding days:

 

Rogers: This has forced people to move away from the traditional Saturday celebration and get creative with restructuring their wedding weekends. Hosting a wedding on a Thursday or Friday can be a simple and more cost-effective way to celebrate in your preferred venue of choice with more options for vendors as well. Couples can make the most out of the following days as well, such as continuing the celebration the day after the wedding on a Friday or Saturday with a fun Farewell Brunch, or a laid-back outdoor picnic.

Cooper: I think we'll also see the wedding season starting to expand a little bit. It was very much between May and October, but I think we'll start to see couples who are exploring some of those other months, whether it's January or December just to get married.

Cordogan: Even the most eager couples are pushing their celebrations to 2021 due to restrictions on gathering. Obviously, weekend dates are limited so those wishing to marry on a 2021 weekend may find themselves having to wait until 2022 for a Saturday.

On having to change your wedding attire because you had to move your date:

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