Among many years of capturing wedding celebrations throughout the Adirondacks (and around the world), the 2020 season has been unlike any other. The pandemic has caused change of plans and required flexibility of couples as guidance has updated on a seemingly all-too-frequent basis. As a wedding photographer, I’ve helped couples navigate these changes. The trend in this past year is toward smaller, more intimate ceremonies and receptions. Here are my recommendations for planning your wedding or event in this time of a “new normal“:
Seems obvious to say “plan ahead,” yet with changing rules on the maximum number of people at an event and other constraints, having a back up plan will help you pivot quickly no matter what changes may be made on a national or regional level. For example, some couples have chosen to live-stream their vows and ceremony, while others have chosen to downsize to a simple elopement while opting to share pictures and stories in the days following with their extended family and friends. I strongly suggest having a simple, yet agreeable back up plan to take stress away from the unknowns of this pandemic era.
Time and again I have seen couples benefit from collaborating with their photographer on a must-have portrait list to make a simple but effective schedule for their wedding day. The best example of this is when it comes time to take family portraits, by having a pre-decided list of shot groupings, everyone can move efficiently and cheerfully on to the waiting reception and meal. These precious moments as a family are focused on the relationships rather than deciding who is or is it not in a certain photograph. My suggestion is to choose the top three things you want for your wedding day or special event and then stick to those as your priority. Often the greatest joys are found in focusing on a few things, rather than trying to chase down many of the trends floating around on social media.
We are entering the second year of the pandemic and all that means in the wedding and event industry. Many vendors have evolved with new policies and adaptive techniques to help families and groups have the most successful event that they can. My encouragement is that you are willing to have an extra phone call or a Zoom meeting with your key vendors (venue, wedding planner, photographer) to talk through a back up plan and options you may have in the event of a last-minute change. Every business has certain constraints inside of which they operate. Even with these realities, with persistence you can find vendors who are willing to be flexible and change two the realities of the 2021 season.
While there are many things that cannot be predicted in the coming months, there are things you can do to remove stress and set the stage for a wonderfully special day. The people and businesses in this wedding guide can help you get your plan together, make a list, and have flexibility to meet the realities of this year. May I present a toast to you and your successful wedding or special event!
Jordan Craig, photographer