Last week we had our first Wedding Crashers webinar with participants of Wedding Crashers, our annual wedding fair. You can see the full hour featuring representatives from The Green Building and 501 Union; The Hoxton; Modern Rebel; Naturally Delicious and Schone Bride. The recording is available here, using password 7L#z34%F.
Each panelist shared their best advice to couples who are planning or postponing a New York City wedding during Covid-19. They also shared the innovative ways they are rising to the challenge of virtual events and planning from a distance.
Bridget Kennedy, sales director of The Green Building and 501 Union, spoke to the venue side of the equation. If you are already booked into a venue, and are on the fence about postponing, she recommended waiting 60 days until your wedding date to make the decision given how swiftly policies are changing. This timeframe has become something of an industry standard. Most venues will allow you to move your deposit to the new date and will also put soft holds on future dates if you are considering rescheduling.
The Gowanus, Brooklyn venues are now offering private virtual tours, and for the first time this week they will host a virtual open house. Given how many couples are rescheduling to 2021 on top of the normal bookings for next year, she recommends securing a venue stat if you are planning a 2021 wedding.
Amy Birnbaum, Director of Sales at The Hoxton Hotel in Williamsburg, which both hosts weddings and accommodates guests, noted the various spaces in the hotel that could accommodate a reconfigured wedding, should your guest count drop. She recommended that for any couples having an issue with rescheduling room blocks that most hotels should be open to negotiating a similar rate regardless of the season. If not, it’s worth shopping around for new accommodations.
Heather Levine, a wedding planner with Naturally Delicious catering, spoke to the many ways that caterers can continue the planning process virtually, from picking out rentals online to arranging seating. In lieu of tastings, they match current couples with past couples who had similar headcounts at their wedding to help them menu plan. And while many styles of service can be still served safely, even buffet, she noted that food stations during cocktail hour would need a rethink. Rather than grazing from a stationary table of cheese and charcuterie, for instance, guests might be served a tasting plate instead.
Amy Shack Egan, founder of Modern Rebel, addressed the new realities of wedding planning and coordination. As more couples decide to hold Zoom weddings (at least for the time being), her company has created a virtual wedding coordination package to make the process seamless and special. Her team takes all of the guesswork and distractions out of hosting a Zoom wedding, and incorporates many wedding vendors into the event so that couples can treat themselves to cake, champagne, flowers and food worthy of the occasion, while also supporting small businesses.
For those postponing their actual wedding, she recommends soft holding a few dates with a venue and circling back with the vendors you’ve already booked to determine the best date for all. And rather than constantly messaging guests with new date announcements, she suggests sending a simple “Change the Date” digital card first until you are certain of the new date (keeping in mind that friends and family flying in will need more advance notice than those who are in town).
And finally, Jaclyn Jordan, manager of Schone Bride, spoke to the virtual fittings she is able to have with brides. Schone can be mail up to four gowns for a fee that can be applied to purchase. Once they arrive, the Schone team will arrange a Zoom fitting, and using the clips mailed along with the gowns, brides can clip the dress from home in the places it needs taking in, then mail back it back for adjustments. For brides who are now getting married in a different season than planned, Jordan reassured them that by and large wedding gowns are seasonless and will fit the occasion no matter when you reschedule your wedding.
Amy Birnbaum closed the discussion on an uplifting note. While most corporate events have been canceled, she said, couples are still planning and finding new dates for their celebration.
It’s a reassuring reminder that weddings aren’t canceled—they just require a little more flexibility and virtual planning than normal.
If you were a part of our first webinar, thank you again for attending (again you can watch it here, using password 7L#z34%F).
Please join us for the rest of our webinar series, every Friday at noon through May 22. The schedule is below.
May 8: Wedding Wellness: Caring for your mind and body during Covid-19
On Friday, May 8 at noon, join Wedding Crashers and 4 wedding wellness experts from Aisle Talk, DNA Skin, Orangetheory Fitness Brooklyn-Midwood and personality type expert Doris Fullgrabe, for a webinar on the best ways to support your emotional and physical well being as you plan your wedding. REGISTER HERE
May 15: The new normal of planning a Hudson Valley wedding
On Friday, May 15 at noon, join Wedding Crashers and 5 wedding professionals from Basilica Hudson, Hudson Valley Ceremonies, Hutton Brickyards, Sprig & Social, Turnquist Collective and Hasbrouck House who will share their advice for couples in the midst of planning or postponing a 2020 or 2021 wedding upstate. REGISTER HERE
May 22: Gifts Worth Giving Now: Charitable donations, DIY favors and welcome gifts for your wedding
On Friday, May 22 at noon, join Wedding Crashers and wedding professionals from The Giftwell, Greater Good Events, Coopers Daughter Spirits and Botanical Beauty Kitchen who will share their advice on planning or making meaningful welcome gifts and favors as well as coordinating charitable donations for your 2020 or 2021 wedding. REGISTER HERE