May 7, 2021

Covid has required that all events are limited in size and held with social distancing guidelines. Weddings have been limited, at different times and in different places during the pandemic, to 100, or 50, or even those in a ‘bubble’. Couples with existing wedding plans have scrambled to adjust, and tales of cancelling wedding invitations sent to hundreds of guests – who are, by definition, the couples’ families and most valued friends – are the norm.

Amidst ongoing Covid restrictions, and continued uncertainty with when things will change, or if it will ever ‘go back’ to normal…it’s difficult to plan for something big!

Even before Covid, the trend was to more intimate affairs. Partly because of the sheer expense of weddings, and probably also in part to a growing social decorum amongst those who can afford anything surrounding the propriety of the kind of lavish spending that’s involved.

Wedding after wedding, couples are reporting to B&NC MAG that they’re thrilled with the smaller ceremonies and celebrations that they’ve managed to pull off during Covid. Though the fairy tail of a wedding like Princess Diana’s is deeply embedded in the nuptial psyche, the reality is that getting married is really one of the most important, personal and emotional days of life, and it may be best shared with only the best and closest of family and friends. Everyone included will feel the day was that much more special. Anyone excluded will or should understand the new normal, is probably themselves at least a little bit relieved not to have to attend, and can be better served with marital celebrations arranged to fit the association (eg. a trip to Austin to visit the group of relatives there; a tasteful dinner party for the work associates that were going to get invited to the big wedding and not really fit-in, or; a raucous weekend with all the friends from college). At least some of the people who were going to be invited to the big wedding will no longer be friends ten or twenty years later anyway. And every couple will later treasure the first home they were able to purchase sooner, the vacation house they get ahead of schedule, or going on the trip they always dreamed of, with the nest egg they save cutting things down to size.

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The smaller wedding is a positiveopportunity! René Hue, the founder and owner of Murmuration Ltd. of Brookfield, CT, calls the new ideal a ‘Jewel Box’ event,

and says, “You can have a small footprint and still be extravagantly luxurious. It’s a chance to have more intimacy and really get to spend at least a bit of time with each of the special people invited. To make it most meaningful, I think each event should include a narrative unique or special to the couple, that weaves through the entire occasion. A storyline that reflects the couple’s personality or interests makes for warm and lasting memories.” Rene has been designing, planning, and managing bespoke weddings and events for over a quarter century, and adds, “Smaller weddings allow couples to concentrate funds on sometimes overlooked parts of the wedding, such as elaborate tablescapes, luxurious furnished vignettes, decadent décor, and even diverting activities and gifts for guests… all of which, again, help tell the couple’s story.”
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As an example, Hue recently designed a Gatsby-themed micro-wedding, held at the enchanting Abbey Inn and Spa, along the Hudson River in Westchester, NY. The magnificence of the venue is the very essence of turn-of-the-century opulence, and the couple wanted to reflect the high-society charm of the roaring ‘20s. The bride wore a vintage-inspired ebony and ecru sequined gown and carried a bouquet of burgundy heart garden roses, crimson calla lilies, and pale pink peonies, offset by exotic blooms, eucalyptus, curly willow, and peacock feathers. That floral design was repeated on the sumptuous tablescape, which was laid out on top of an ivory crushed-velvet linen, smothered in a blanket of moss and farm-fresh berries, with antiquarian leather-bound copies of The Great Gatsby, and extra-long white taper candles in a vintage candelabra. The dark chocolate bride and groom’s cakes were positioned atop antique enamel clock faces, a nod to time being a precious commodity and how, with time, what’s old often becomes new once again.


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