The epidemic has turned the wedding season upside down. If thousands of couples have given up on their wedding this year, some have nevertheless chosen to say yes in the coming weeks. With all the uncertainties that the epidemic casts on the party.
The season promised to be busy for Sylvie Patten, founder of the Sparkly agency which organizes weddings in the Bordeaux region. But the coronavirus has turned his plans upside down, as have those of thousands of couples who are planning to get married this year. “I’m only going to do 50% of the weddings I signed this year,” explains the entrepreneur. Most of the couples in her care preferred to postpone their union until 2021, discouraged by the health security measures put in place on March 16 in France. The confinement resulting in the ban on public gatherings, travel on the territory and the total suspension of weddings planned during this period.
However, the deconfinement initiated by the government in France on May 11 has given a glimmer of hope to some couples wishing to maintain the event at all costs this year. In the weeks following its announcement, health restrictions were gradually relaxed. Gatherings of more than ten people are now possible and weddings again authorized in town halls and places of worship, since June 2. For Sylvie Patten, the situation has changed from “Do I have the right to get married?” to “I have the right, but do I really want to get married?”. The ball is now in the court of the engaged couples. If they can slip the ring on, the uncertainty that hangs over the event’s holding is never far away. Some do not think they are safe from a reconfinement, others have to mourn a fantasy marriage by adapting to an unprecedented situation.
The mask invites itself to the wedding
Victoria and Yannick have chosen to maintain their marriage, scheduled for July 4. “It is above all a question of logistics”, explains the young woman who wants to avoid a second wave of preparations by postponing the event to another day. But this decision is not without some changes: the couple had to review the organization by incorporating rules of health precautions. In particular at the town hall where only about twenty guests will be authorized to attend the exchange of vows. “We made a selection of people who are important to us”, regrets Victoria. The couple and their guests will be required to wear masks during the ceremony. The restaurant where the festive meal will take place has also been forced to impose tables of ten people maximum and mask it to the servers.
Despite this, optimism remains strong within the couple. “Even if there are small constraints, the goal is to take it with humor,” adds Victoria, who plans to provide customized masks for the guests. “That will not prevent having something festive and convivial”, she assures. And to the question of a possible last minute cancellation in the event of a new wave of contaminations, the young woman takes things with philosophy: “I have no apprehension at this level … if it is necessary cancel, then what must happen will happen. ”
Flexibility, the key to a successful marriage in 2020?
Couples celebrating their union this year are showing flexibility to adapt to last-minute changes. They know that they are not going to get married as they had imagined, so they play the card of flexibility. “For example, they leave the choice to their guests whether or not to come, rather than reducing the list themselves,” explains Emilie Goulier, founder of Pour un Ceremony, specializing in secular celebrations. “We also recommend that they change the rituals during the day to prevent guests from touching or taking each other’s hands,” adds the organizer.
For their part, professionals in the sector find themselves facing a roller coaster season. “I was going to start on May 9, but today out of the thirteen events that were scheduled for 2020, I only have six left,” explains Émilie Goulier. An order book reduced by half which leaves a gaping hole in the turnover of 2020. “My first part of the season has been postponed to 2021”, laments Sylvie Patten of the Sparkly agency who also finds herself with a half -season. “If I want to keep a certain level of requirement in my services, I will not be able to accept twenty-five marriages next year, whereas I usually do about fifteen.” A delay impossible to catch up for these wedding professionals who find themselves bound hand and foot in the face of the consequences of the health crisis.
Autumn, the new spring
Fall may save part of the season for providers, many of whom relaxed their deferral conditions. Some couples have chosen to postpone their marriage to this period, which is often more slack, which therefore offers more possibilities. This is the case of Laurie and Nicolas who had to take their troubles patiently. Scheduled for April 25, 2020, the symbolic date of their meeting, the event will finally take place in October. “My partner is Italian and half of his family comes from there. At the time of the cancellation, it was complicated to get reimbursed for the plane tickets, ”says the young woman. But the couple are determined to marry at all costs this year, even with a few months of delay. “In terms of organization, nothing has changed, except that we have to put certain rules in place. I want it to remain user-friendly and that people benefit from it, ”explains the future bride. Faced with the forecast of a possible rebound in the epidemic, the couple says they are ready to simply sign the official documents to promote their union, even if it means postponing the party.
Others have not moved their date, hoping that the epidemic has passed when the time comes. Thus, Max and Vanessa are still getting married on September 5, 2020. The couple did not consider a postponement. “It was our original date, since the start of the epidemic we have remained optimistic,” explains the young man. About 90 people are expected at their union. Some, however, are still hesitant to come. “It is often elderly people who are apprehensive, they wait until the summer passes to see how things will evolve,” adds Max, who hopes that the virus will not spoil the party.