WASHINGTON — It is wedding season, and a lot of couples have had to make tough decisions because of the coronavirus pandemic. While some have not let the impact stop them from saying their "I dos," many have postponed their big day.
A D.C. event planner is getting creative with the microwedding concept to lift the burden of timing and finances for couples.
It has been quite the journey for couples who had big plans for marriage this year, including the Sylvesters, who quickly organized a wedding with less than 10 people the night before D.C.'s stay-at-home order took effect April 1.
Their special night was complete with family and friends driving by with signs and well wishes for the newlyweds. We saw a similar celebration in Alexandria, Va. in April. Gift bags of champagne were handed out.
The seemingly new normal mirrors a concept Andrew Roby is using for his own event planning business in D.C., which has also felt the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
"There's ups. There's downs. I try my best to be on the ups," said Roby, smiling from ear-to-ear in the comfort of his decorative living space. "It’s tough, but it’s also promising. I think, it’s allowed us to be very creative."
As Roby waits to see when venues reopen and the type of social distancing guidelines in place, he is exploring the idea of microweddings. He said there has been some interest.
"It's a happy place between an elopement and actually having a regular wedding, so it’s a combination of both," said Roby about the microwedding concept. "The biggest difference you'll probably see with a microwedding vs. a regular wedding is the guest count."
He's not kidding. Microweddings can include anywhere from five to 50 guests. So, how do you keep the number low? Roby said invite the people you are close to.
"I always say stick to your most immediate friends," Roby said. "If you think to yourself, 'If I call this person, would they bail me out, or even know my last name?' If the answer is, 'No,' consider putting them on your B list instead of your A list."
So, here’s how the session works. Roby and his team create an eight-hour block at one venue. Each couple is allotted an hour time frame for their wedding. He said the first 15 minutes would be the ceremony. The remaining 45 minutes would include the cake cutting, photographs, a champagne toast and more.
The package, which the couples would have to agree on, comes with a livestream as well. After the hour, Roby and his team take another hour to sanitize everything for the next couple and their guests. There would be four couples that day.
Couples could pay as little as $2,250 for their wedding experience by sharing a package with others, Roby explained.
"This is a way to help couples in the midst of a pandemic," Roby said. "There's over 10 million people who've lost their jobs, so being able to financially aid in having their wedding and still having a luxurious décor is helpful."
If you would like to learn more, visit Roby’s website or send an email to email@example.com