2020 has without a doubt been a tumultuous year and despite everything, realising how to navigate through a crisis can be genuinely formative.

One thing that is certain - we know that adjusting to change can be challenging. Be it planned or unplanned, gradual or sudden, change is inevitable and very much part of being human.

Even during uncertainty, we are certain that LOVE remains definite. Over the past few months, we’ve experienced an unprecedented shift in our daily life. Pre-pandemic, who would’ve thought that toilet paper could become as precious as gold, and a weekly grocery trip seemed like an adventure of its own! Before we knew it, we (reluctantly) let go of our old normal, and are now settling into what seems to be our new “normal”.

The "“"new normal" has affected just about every area of our lives — large events especially. It is thus no surprise that it’s also changing one of life’s biggest traditions - weddings.

Bona Dea Estate has looked more closely at some of the new, more creative approaches that the pandemic has brought to our Wedding culture:

1. Creative Sanitizing Top of Mind for Couples and Vendors

While sanitizing products have not always served as staple wedding décor, health and safety measures will be incorporated into wedding day protocol in creative ways. Couples can come up with unique ways to distribute highly coveted hand-sanitizing solutions to guests, which can include personalised bottles in welcome bags or as pre-wedding favours. Additionally, couples may offer masks to guests, in colours or patterns that coordinate with their overall wedding day décor and style.

2. The Age Of Micro Weddings And Minimonies

A micro wedding is a smaller, more intimate approach to the typical extravagant ceremony. The guest list doesn't normally climb over 50, and the budgets are usually less severe although some couples do choose to go all-out with their spending, only for fewer people.

On the other hand, a minimony has 2 parts: a commitment ceremony with a guest list of about 10 people and then a sequel wedding that takes place further down the line. Minimonies are becoming a more popular option amongst couples during COVID-19 because it allows the couple to keep their original date with fewer guests as well as plan a bigger celebration in the future when safety restrictions are lifted.

3. Open-Air Add-Ons Rise in Popularity

Couples are encouraged to work with their wedding venue in staging socially distant, yet creative, ceremony and reception groupings for guests, as large, dense crowds will still likely raise concerns. Couples may consider incorporating open-air or outdoor elements to their celebrations to eliminate guests feeling confined.

4. Why You Should (Seriously) Consider a Weekday Wedding

Turns out there are plenty of pros to weekday nuptials. From saving money to having your pick of the best suppliers, we reckon skipping a weekend celebration might just be a seriously good idea. There will be even more nuptials taking place in the next year than average. And with late 2020 and early 2021 couples holding the Saturday spots, thus couples may find themselves having to compromise on dates.

It’s not all bad news, though. Opting for a weekday wedding could mean that your venue and suppliers are more likely to be available, allowing you to keep every element of your dream day. Choosing a less popular (but no less awesome) date increases the likelihood of all of your loved ones being able to party with you.

5. Your Wedding Planner on Speed Dial

For couples planning weddings for 2021 and beyond, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, wedding planning is still very much able to happen right now and can easily be done in the comfort of your own home. Many vendors are conducting virtual appointments and offering venue virtual tours whilst getting to know couples and their style just as easily as they would in person. Your coordinator brings with them a wealth of knowledge, and now more than ever, it has become crucial to communicate with and confide in your wedding planner. What we do know is that couples, venues and wedding pros are all working together to assure that weddings can go on safely, while still maintaining the fun and beautiful environment couples have always dreamed of.

6. Local is lekker!

Lastly, destination weddings should expect a dramatically reduced guest list. However, so far we have witnessed in our bridal community that local South African weddings are not being cancelled. Guest lists may slightly shorten for folk who are travelling from abroad. This may be a blessing on your budget, but does hurt the heart that certain folk living abroad who wished could be a part of your wedding day are bound by travel restrictions. Our couples are realising that local really is lekker and even incorporating local is lekker décor elements and wedding themes.