Around 63% of engaged couples have postponed their 2020 weddings because of the pandemic, according to LendingTree. This decision and the ongoing health crisis have had a significant impact on hotels and hospitality property operators. With couples now aiming to move forward with their nuptials, it is worth noting how hotels are adapting to the upcoming restricted wedding season. So what are they doing?
Offering micro weddings
The average pre-pandemic wedding often had at least 150 guests and a budget of $33,000, according to Kim Horn of Arizona Bridal Source. Now, couples are adapting their plans for a micro wedding with an average guest size of 15 to 50. This is something that hotels have caught on to, so they have started offering micro wedding packages that come with a menu, a cake, a bar, and a service for a small number of people. Doing this provides couples that want to get married more flexibility in their venue choices, and allows hotels to stay in the game during challenging times.
Recommending hybrid weddings
Just because couples now prefer smaller and more intimate weddings, it does not mean that they do not want as many of their loved ones to witness their big day as possible. This is where technology has stepped in to create hybrid weddings. A hybrid wedding combines an intimate in-person gathering and virtual elements like a Zoom live stream. Around 27% of wedding guests say that the virtual component of a hybrid wedding is a good alternative to in-person attendance, according to PromoLeaf. Hotels have adapted to this trend by ensuring that their venues are well-equipped with strong Wi-Fi, proper audio equipment, and stands to facilitate a live stream of a couple’s wedding. Some hotels are truly getting to know which angles of their venues present a more picturesque vision of the happy couple, so their virtual guests may still feel the magic of the moment.
More plated meals and better ventilation
A common feature of pre-pandemic weddings was enclosed halls and buffets. With safety being the main concern, hotels are placing emphasis on their individually plated meals instead of buffets. Sit-down plated meals help lessen the risk of cross-contamination between attendees. Hotels with open-air venues are keen to advertise their natural ventilation, as the risk for indoor events is 18 times higher than those held in open spaces. Hotels that do not have open-air spaces have upgraded their ventilation systems to accommodate couples that prefer an indoor venue for their wedding. The main goal that hotels share is to emphasize that they take the safety of their clients very seriously, and extra attention is paid for special occasions like weddings.
The hotel industry is a business, and it is the very nature of the business to have trends and shifts — the pandemic is no exception. As couples are embracing trimmed-down weddings, hotels are suitably adapting to meet the demands of the market and keep themselves alive. The coming months will be a good study on which offerings will entice engaged couples successfully so other hotels may be able to follow suit.