“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
~ William Arthur Ward ~
With Covid-19 still spreading across South East Asia, here in Singapore restrictions on large gatherings are still in place. Weddings are limited to a maximum of 50 people and social distancing measures must be observed at all times, including the wearing of face masks, only to be removed whilst in the action of eating or drinking. It therefore comes as no surprise that many couples continue to postpone or even cancel their special day.
I live in a region that is not only a destination to get married, but where wedding culture is fundamentally built around large celebrations of more than 200 guests, where the celebration isn't just a one day event, and an engagement photoshoot is replaced with a pre-wedding shoot. Wedding vendors such as caterers, planners, musicians, florists, photographers and dressmakers all exist in an ecosystem that has evolved over many years to cater for huge events, and many do not have the experience of delivering these services in such small capacities.
But what does this mean for aspiring newlyweds and their families, what are the expectations versus the reality, and where will the line be drawn between choosing a small wedding now, or waiting for an unknown time when normal services can resume? Well, this is where western culture could come into play with their experience in also catering for far fewer guests at wedding celebrations. Can we learn from that? It is possible to adapt to having more intimate celebrations, with only our nearest and dearest at our side? The answer is YES... of course it’s possible, and why shouldn't it be?
I have met couples over the past few months that have completely shifted their thoughts on the matter, opting for a smaller event over waiting until they can stage a grand celebration, some have even found it to be relatively liberating. Many couples can find themselves in a situation of holding a huge wedding where half of the guests are people they have never met, all whilst simultaneously buying a new home and furnishings to move into once the knot has been tied.
Like couples, wedding vendors have also been finding themselves in a catch-22 situation, having to completely shift their focus and business strategies to accommodate for much smaller celebrations, taking a knock not only financially by not catering for the totals they did in the past, but also by having to advertise more and cut costs in order to compete with others and level up on what the industry now needs.
The fact of the matter is that bigger doesn’t necessarily always mean better, and whilst nobody can deny how incredible a huge grand wedding celebration can be, smaller celebrations can be just as special. A smaller celebration could mean that you get to share more of your special day with your guests, the photographer can spend more time capturing those intimate moments that can sometimes get lost in a huge celebration, and caterers can provide more complex and exquisite yet budget friendly dishes.