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In late May 2020, Historic New England began offering micro-weddings at eleven of our historic landscapes. Two months later we had a conversation with wedding planner Nicole Skarbek about the impact COVID-19 has had on the industry.
How has COVID-19 effected the wedding venue business? What are you recommending to couples?
COVID-19 has essentially caused 98 percent of our clients to postpone their wedding to 2021. I have recommended postponing to a later date, at no additional cost, because the number one priority is marrying the love of your life. Even though postponing can be an incredibly difficult decision to make, it also helps to ensure that everyone is healthy and safe. I also encourage couples to celebrate with a micro-ceremony on their original date this year, and then have a reception with all their guests on the same date next year.
Historic New England’s $495 micro-ceremony special is a great deal for couples. It is a way of offering a sensational landscape for a small ceremony with wedding photography at an affordable price. Do you think more couples will be trending toward micro- or reduced weddings in the future?
Right now, we are getting a lot of micro-ceremony inquiries. We have some bookings for the Lyman Estate and more than a dozen bookings at other properties where our landscapes can be used for a micro-wedding. Many potential clients are contacting us because they lost their venue due to COVID-19 and are looking for alternative locations. I’m still unsure if micro-ceremonies are here to stay, but I do know there is a niche elopement market. It really all depends on the client and their needs.
It is a tough time for couples planning their big celebration, but humor can make stressful situations better. Any tips to help brighten couples’ plans?
I tell my couples to get bedazzled wedding masks for their photo op. It will commemorate the year COVID-19 tried to destroy love, but failed to do so.
Do you have a favorite micro-ceremony celebration you have planned?
I have a micro-ceremony planned for November 6, 2020. The couple moved their full reception to next year, on the same date, to keep their anniversary the same. That was really nice and provides two opportunities to celebrate.
Anything else to add?
Despite the current state of chaos, it is really important for clients to remember that although the wedding date can change, the love will not. The date is not what’s most important, marrying the person you love is.
Nicole has been the Wedding and Events Coordinator at the Lyman Estate in Waltham, Mass., for more than five years.
Contact our Functions Office or call 617-994-6671 for further details about our micro-weddings and availability at the property of your choice.