Might be Rethinking your Wedding because of Coronavirus

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With the recent pandemic continuing to alter each section of our economy and forcing many people around the world to change their daily lives, many are also making new decisions about upcoming big events, including weddings. The Horton Hotel had just unveiled their brand new Micro-Wedding and Elopement offerings just weeks prior to the hit of Coronavirus. The timing for the release of these new packages is interestingly appropriate. Many are rethinking their big days, down-sizing their original plans, and being more budget-conscious. Some are even considering new venues for their ceremonies to take place. The Horton Hotel is now welcoming couples to envision intimate celebrations on their rooftop with all of downtown Boone as their backdrop.

Coronavirus leads to so many cancelled weddings…

Let’s face it, the task of replanning your wedding day with such short notice is not ideal. The grief and stress these couples are dealing with isn’t fair. I virtually met with my own cousin and his soon to be bride, Evan & Abby of California, to chat about their experience, as they are in the midst of rescheduling and replanning their big day due to the virus. Set to have their wedding on March 26th, they only had a couple of weeks to determine how to proceed. The vendors were paid up and the venue was ready and not quite mandated to cancel gatherings. Flights were still cautiously taking place, and Evan and Abby were surrounded by a lot of uncertainty. Abby said, “you know you just get attached to your date.” She began to tell me about the decision process the two of them embarked on.

Being the list-makers and rational-thinking people they are, they deliberated and exhausted all options. Imagine being at home with your fiancé, getting inundated with calls from family, and watching news banners scroll across the screen. Now, imagine having to take on the burden of re-doing all the organizing you thought you completed. They were legitimately nervous about the legal position they were contractually in with their wedding vendors. What a mess! Though, I have to say, these two handled it like pros. Finally realizing what is most important to them is having the people they love present, being able to hug everyone, and not letting coronavirus be the “theme of their wedding day.” Those key reasons helped them to choose a future date.

They sent out an email to their loved ones telling them updates were to follow. Truth be told, they broke their “wedding diets” that night. Evan and Abby cried over some delicious comfort food and then they dried their eyes…

Silver linings exist…even when faced with rescheduling your wedding!

Next, they went to work. The venue gave them dates to choose from. Before telling guests about new dates they had to juggle six or seven vendors and ensure that all paid parties could reconvene on a new available date in August. Sure there are some downsides to this new date like, “it’s going to be hotter,” and how were they going to deal with the wooden signing board that had their original date carved into it already!

Choosing to look at the bright side, they agreed, “there will be grapes on the vines in August,” at their venue, and now they have months to work on perfecting their wedding decorations. Maybe its that state of bliss that engaged couples seem to be in, but they ultimately found they had been, “gifted with more time to fine tune.” How sweet it is to see such consideration, even despite paying a little extra for a new high-season wedding date. Abby said she may even plant some flowers in their garden to incorporate into her decorations now that she has the time.

After making their peace with moving the date, doing the work to reset everything, and writing the email formally reinventing their guests, they then hit the next phase of grief. They sort of had to mourn their original wedding date. The day came…and they chose to have a picnic. Evan advised any couple going through this to, “try and still make it special.” They got fancy takeout, popped a bottle of Champagne, and had themselves a little outing on their original wedding day. They said they will continue this new tradition as they move forward together; each year they’ll do a little celebrating on March 26th.

Ever thought about eloping?

It’s important to point out Evan and Abby did consider eloping at their courthouse because with extra time at home, “it’s an ideal time to sort out the legal stuff, like name changes.” However, the courthouse already suspended licensing when they considered that path. Pair that fact along with their desire to authentically say I do in front of their family and friends and see that a courthouse ceremony just isn’t the path for them. Though if your local courthouse is still offering licenses, eloping might be a viable option for you to consider.

It’s your wedding ceremony after all…Decide what matters to you and your partner?

One of the biggest takeaways from my conversation with Evan and Abby is they ultimately didn’t feel alone. Again, that common theme I keep hearing during this pandemic, we are in this together, is resurfacing. They remembered seniors were missing graduations, families were out of work, businesses were closing, and many people were being affected. These two found silver linings. They found ways to honor what works best for them. Newly engaged couples ought to adopt this mentality. I am hoping and planning to attend my cousin’s August wedding and looking forward to witnessing their resiliency payoff.

I believe a new wave of micro, mini, little weddings is upon us. Post pandemic planning could place more importance on close-knit ceremonies and less importance on grand receptions. Couples might be entertaining the idea of having weddings more centered around adventure and experience rather than formality and tradition. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to offer couples a destination for intimate ceremonies in the heart of Boone. We’ve developed two packages that take the stress of planning a wedding away and put more emphasis on the experience. Our new packages offer more of an all inclusive approach, giving the couple a wedding getaway versus a wedding day. We will have more information on our Elopement & Micro-Wedding Packages on our website soon. For now, email us at info@thehorton.com for more info about our wedding possibilities.

Rethink what your wedding could be…

Think outside of the box. You can take a hike through the Blue Ridge Mountains with a small group of friends following your wedding ceremony. Whatever works best for you and your wants is possible. Make a pros and cons list to find out what’s most important to you and your partner. Don’t hesitate to see how your wedding day could be in a new light. One lesson this Coronavirus may teach us all is to notice what truly matters. Check out High South Event Professionals if you are considering a wedding in the NC mountains.

Written by Andrea Morton, Director of Operations for The Horton Hotel. Special thanks to Evan & Abby for the interview. Best wishes to them and all of the couples that are trying to reschedule and re-do their weddings this year! Take care!

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