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Weddings in the new normal

22 October 2020 / Celebrations /

Although your guest list may be smaller, it doesn’t mean your wedding day should be any less special. We caught up with our events team at The Grove, who shared how they are adjusting to the new normal when it comes to wedding planning, as well as offering some top tips to those who have recently got engaged.

Wedding at The Grove

Image – Stephanie & Nicole

Are you still holding weddings at The Grove and how are they going?

Of course! We are hosting a number of weddings here at The Grove in our many unique event spaces, where social distancing measures are possible to achieve. With a civil license, we are able to help couples create intimate weddings on-site, which can be just as wonderful as some of the lavish celebrations we’ve hosted in the past. As we draw into autumn, many of our brides and grooms have found that having everything in one venue has actually been better!

Other than social distancing affecting the size of weddings, how else do you think weddings have been affected by the pandemic?

Weddings will naturally become more personal and intimate due to reduced guest lists, but this may enable couples to increase their budget on the finer details of their special day. From premium wedding favours to the very best Champagne, on-site accommodation for all guests to additional menu courses, it has been incredible to work with couples to add these touches that they hadn’t previously considered. On the other hand, we have also worked with many brides and grooms who are planning to have a larger celebration in the future, so just want a pared back ceremony for the time being. Obviously honeymoons have also been affected, so we are hosting lots of mini-moons.

Wedding at The Grove

Image – McKinley Rodgers

What wedding trends do you see emerging in ‘the new normal’?

Personalised face masks are already a popular choice!

How do you recommend creating a seating plan for a wedding both for the ceremony and dinner with social distancing and social bubbles in mind?

We are able to accommodate a variety of set ups for wedding breakfasts. As a venue, we can guide you with what seating configurations work best to suit your event space, all we ask is that you let us know how many different households will be attending. Once your tables are set up with flowers, candles and all the other detail that makes a wedding so special, you will be pleasantly surprised, so do speak to your wedding planner to make the most of your table and room layout.

Wedding at The Grove

Image – McKinley Rodgers

Naturally, outdoor weddings have been popular, how can wedding parties make use of The Grove’s outdoor space?

Whilst the option for outdoor weddings may be limited in colder months, our Formal Gardens promise the perfect backdrop for photographs.

What changes have you made to how you work?

We understand that during this time emotions are running high, which is why having a well-established venue and team to guide you through your wedding plans really does count. We give our couples the assurance that they are in very safe and capable hands. Although we do have specific wedding packages, we’ve found that couples’ requirements are very different at this time so we are mainly crafting bespoke packages.

What are your top tips for how to make a small wedding special?

No two weddings are ever the same and that’s what makes them so memorable. Fill your day with things that are unique to you; look at colours, mementos, music, personalised favours, photos – anything that makes the day even more personal. For loved ones that are unable to attend, take lots of photos and put together a beautiful albumn to share with them.

Wedding details

Image – Natalie J Watts

Do you have any advice for couples who recently got engaged?

Firstly – congratulations!

Secondly – do not despair! Enjoy your engagement bubble and when you are ready, start building a wedding inspiration board. Discuss what Plan A and what Plan B looks like for you both. Have a look at venues and speak to the wedding planners on-site, something they say may spark an idea for you that you hadn’t considered before. Despite the current situation, venues are still getting booked up, so it’s worth planning ahead, even if that means multiple plans!

Do you have any advice for couples who have had to reschedule or cancel their wedding?

Yes! Stay calm and focus on flexibility. It is all about being flexible in these difficult times. We have been helping couples postpone their weddings and for others, plan where another venue has had to unfortunately cancel. Our suggestion would be to have a small, intimate ceremony now and hold your first anniversary date for a much larger party.

Wedding at The Grove

Image – Natalie J Watts

If you’re looking to plan a wedding, civil ceremony or anniversary party, call our events team on 01923 296059 to discuss your options.