I was chatting with someone recently about how Covid19 has become a defining point in time, separating that innocent naïve time BC – Before Covid – from this more anxious and bewildering AC – After Covid. At the moment of course, we’re still in the bit in between, the Lockdown Limbo bit, but its heartening to see that slowly, people are beginning to plan for AC, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the beautiful bustling business of wedding planning!
So whilst ‘Lockdown Limbo’ has certainly had a significant impact on everyone’s psyche, turning things on their heads as we are forced to reassess our priorities, the prospect of going back to the blind manic sprint through life, without taking the time to at least stop and wash our hands, is hard to imagine.
We may even look back with nostalgia at the BC era and ask ourselves do we really want to return to it? (erm… YES we hear you scream, I want my life back!) but ask yourself this… weren’t there some things in the BC era that we just put up with because we didn’t have the time, or the headspace, to address them? And maybe, just maybe, this Lockdown Limbo will result in many of us accepting, relishing even, the simpler things in life.
So anyway…. weddings….
But I digress! So! Weddings. If you are planning your wedding for the AC era then we at Hybrid would love to know: have your plans changed? Are you still planning the same style of wedding as BC? Have you spent lockdown on Pinterest creating amazing boards full of things you never knew existed? Have you reassessed the vibe and feel of your fantasy wedding? Does it still include hundreds of guests and traditional ideas of pomp and ceremony?
We are willing to bet that whilst some are planning the biggest matrimonial party the world has ever seen, many couples have shifted their ideas and are focusing on alternative ‘fresher’ values. All those guests you would have invited before BC (work colleagues, school friends you haven’t seen in 10 years, your mum’s neighbour from when she was 6) may not seem so VIP anymore. It may seem more important to celebrate in the real world, with the people you really care for.
During lockdown, we have been meeting (via Zoom) with couples who are planning their weddings in the future and we have learnt many things (not least that Zoom wedding consultations are awesome! Why on earth did we not do these before?) and just for you, we have listed our findings below.
The five things we have learnt about love (and wedding planning) in the time of Covid….
1. Keeping a sense of flow and airiness
It would appear that “socially distancing” is here to stay, for the foreseeable future anyway, and so providing guests with a sense space is something they will appreciate. This feeling of airiness appears too in the popularity of ethereal style wedding dresses and informal wedding attire, not to mention eclectic wedding styling, relaxed wedding breakfast menus and of course, wild and rambling florals. This sense of ‘flow’ suits outdoor weddings perfectly, or larger venues which can space people further apart, and will generate a more relaxed atmosphere in which guests can experience different zones or areas.
2. Keep it small… but go big on detail
We have discovered that couples are choosing to invite fewer guests than BC. Currently UK weddings are limited to gatherings of 30 guests and what we have noticed is that by keeping the wedding party smaller, people can spend more on memorable experiences.
Couples are wanting to give guests a unique experience made up of memorable moments that celebrate their lives and each other. More than one photographer is being used to ensure all the precious, candid moments are captured, the food served is more bespoke, entertainment is more interactive to maximise the fun, mixologists are creating cocktails personal to the happy couple. Oh, and of course, florists are creating the most amazing floral installations to impress, inspire and provide the perfect photo and video opportunities. (No pressure there then!)
3. Keep it Hybrid (no, not us!… the other type)
Virtual events are now – like it or not – a ‘thing,’ but the future is ‘hybrid’ – a mixture of virtual and real (we knew calling ourselves Hybrid was a good move!).
A hybrid event is something which works well for weddings with the ‘Go Big on Detail’ part from number 2 above, really coming into play. For example, beautiful floral displays look amazing on the screen, just take a look at Instagram if you don’t believe us, and the personalized cocktail and menu recipes can be used by people watching virtually so they feel included and part of the celebration. This way, family and friends from all around the world can say they were there.
4. Keep it personal
Weddings are, and always should be, about the couple getting married. This might be the only one time when a couple focuses on sharing with others what is important to them. If a couple has had to reschedule their wedding, then even more reason to make that day, when it eventually comes, personal to them.
Whilst in ‘Lockdown Limbo’ there has been more time to remember what is important to us. As florists, we have been asked to include flowers that represent a couple’s background and interests. One groom, who has recently taken up pottery, has made beautiful glazed pots which we will include in the table-scape design and which will be given away to guests as a keepsake for the day. Origami and paper craft is also popular as a personalised gift, or sent to guests attending the wedding “virtually.”
5. Keeping it local and seasonal
Do you remember the daffodils and magnolia of March, the tulips and bluebells and stunning blossom of April? The iris and peonies of May and roses and foxgloves of June? And what about those stunning hydrangeas and sweet peas of July, closely followed by the sunflowers and dahlia?
As you can imagine, we have seen and admired literally thousands flowers throughout our career; attending markets every day for 16 years, you get to see a lot! But we have never, ever, quite appreciated, or dare we admit, noticed, the beauty of each season’s flowers as we have done, during lockdown.
We’ve found this renewed appreciation of nature echoed in the fact couples are opting for a more natural garden style look at their wedding, rather than extravagant tropical designs. We have been encouraging followers on Instagram to peek into other’s gardens for wedding inspiration. And with so much to choose from at each stage in the year, the beauty of nature transcends even the dreadfulness of lockdown limbo.
There are some amazing independent retailers out there who’ve kept us going throughout this time, stocking locally grown flowers so that any wedding held between the months of February to October could be filled with British grown, seasonal flowers and foliage to really celebrate the time of year.
At the very beginning of this year, Evolve Events asked us to share our thoughts on floral trends for 2020. Kind of bittersweet to read it back now. We wrote:
“2020 is our time! Ever since we formed Hybrid Flowers back in 2004 we have been mad on mixing and blending different flowers, colours, foliages to create floral designs… We are celebrating and admiring flowers for their individual beauty (not their old-fashioned connotations) and treating them all equally for what they can bring to an amazing floral design. We are also cherishing flowers and greenery which is grown on our doorstep and as, for our clients, the provenance of floral elements is equally as important as the wow factor. This year therefore isn’t about one particular colour scheme nor is it about mixing up every colour under the sun; it is about the ‘impact’ our designs make in both sense of the word!”
Safe to say that 2020 didn’t quite turn out as expected! But we were right in our predictions for what will be important in floral designs. And our wedding clients seem to agree that future weddings won’t be about tradition and expectations so much as quietly celebrating a more cautious, humble way of life.
Featured Image and images where stated are by the supremely talented Two by Two Photography