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COVID Brides – How to Stay Sane and Plan a 2021 Wedding

Like many COVID brides, I’ve been hit with the harsh reality of planning a wedding in a pandemic. While I’ve been trying to juggle quarantine life in close quarters with my fiancé and figuring out how to plan a wedding in the murky future, small business owners and wedding pros have been trying to inspire and uplift with creative designs while navigating postponed and cancelled weddings that keep them afloat! Enter Bay Area Lwedding pros Ashlyn Murphy Photo, Party Crush Studio and Le Bloomerie, who have been dominating the pandemic wedding inspiration game with safe and stunning shoots that are sure to inspire any couples looking to pivot to a micro wedding!

Looking for the perfect Bridal Mask? How about white sequins

Wedding planning tips for COVID brides

When Ashlyn Murphy Photo sent me this beautiful micro-wedding shoot in July, I wrote back ‘I love the styling but my calendar is booked through October – will you be ok if the mask pictures aren’t included?’ I was so hopeful that quarantine would have done its job and we would be back to something normal. Oh, sweet summer child. Here we are in mid-October and 2020 has not stopped with the hits.

As a COVID bride myself, it’s been so hard to realistically plan a wedding without knowing what comes next. We booked our date for next April earlier in the year, before we truly knew what 2020 had in store. When quarantine started, we were cautiously optimistic – we were over a year out and surely the pandemic situation would get under control soon, then we’d be safe to celebrate and do all the other fun pre-wedding things. Here we are in October and I still have no idea what next spring will look like, but we’re in a contract with a non-refundable deposit.

It makes me look at these stunning ideas for a micro wedding with new eyes – it’s not just an exquisitely styled way to celebrate thanks to designer Party Crush Studio and florist Le Bloomerie, but an amazing guide to how to make a small celebration feel as momentous as it is, regardless of your guest count!

Elegant Neutral Wedding Stationery with Botanical Flower Illustrations

The most essential bridal accessory for a socially distanced wedding? A chic bridal mask! Party Crush Studio shifted from making sequin table linens and silk runners to making these glam bridal masks! The glittery (non-medical) mask managed to bring the same level of bridal chic as the beaded flower detailing on the wedding dress from Epiphany Bridal Boutique. The layered tulle skirt created a princess silhouette that managed to be sophisticated and fun all at once!

Need your ‘something pink’? The rose gold and morganite engagement ring surrounded an emerald cut pink gemstone with a halo of diamonds to bring the sparkle and shine!

Flowing Natural Bridal Makeup with Peach and Yellow Flowers for the Bouquet

With a white studio space as a blank canvas, Le Bloomerie had so many options to create a stunning event for a tiny guest count. Melissa knew that the ceremony backdrop is a key detail for a wedding big or small – that moment will be memorialized in photos forever! She created a free-form greenery vine installation to pop against the crisp white wall – peach, yellow. and white roses added sweet pastel color that echoed the bride’s whimsical garden bouquet.

Airy White and Pink Fine Art Wedding Flowers with Gold Mid Century Event Rentals

Lux Event Rentals and Design took the opportunity to dress up the reception table for four – seating the bride, groom, and their two witnesses. The white and gold tufted chairs added a glamorous mid-century modern touch that was the perfect focal point for the micro wedding reception.

The tabletop theme was light, airy, and utterly romantic – with milk glass vessels and compote arrangements from Oh Flora Studio Store holding the ruffled flower centerpieces dreamed up by the florist.

Can I just take a second to gush over Le Bloomerie‘s work? She has been creating magic with flowers before and during quarantine and I am so excited to work with her on our wedding flowers! See more of her work on the blog!

Stunning Airy White and Peach Flower Arrangements with Gold Table Decor
Airy White and Pink Fine Art Wedding Flowers with Gold Mid Century Event Rentals

Palette Cakes brought the same level of romance to the wedding cake! The sugar flower topper was made of exquisitely crafted roses in the same peach and pink as the real blooms in the centerpieces. Textural details looked like fine art fresco accents on the white cake, and the modern gold cake stand added the perfect finishing touch to this sweet dessert display!

Sugar Flower Cake Topper with Ruffles a Minimalist Gold Stand
Princess Dress for a Stunning Micro Wedding with a Greenery Installation

Finding wedding vendors in the middle of a pandemic has taught me that I was totally unprepared for planning this celebration – and I’ve been in the wedding world for over ten years!


Ask each vendor about their contingency plan – and make sure its in the contract –

The pandemic has had a deep impact on everyone, but the small business owners of the event industry have been hit especially hard. With postponements and cancellations hitting hard and fast, many vendors have run into a massive loss on income. It’s understandable that they need to protect their business and you want to protect your wedding.

Make sure their cancellation or postponement policy is in the contract and you are aware and comfortable with it before you sign. If you push the date back, will you lose your deposit? Will you be able to apply it to a different date? Those are the questions you should be asking.

While event insurance is a must for weddings, keep in mind that Loss of Deposit Coverage will not apply to pandemic-related postponements.

Plan for the best, but have a backup plan for the worst

As someone who started out as a wedding planner, I have back up plans on back up plans. We’re talking plan A – G usually. This has made things especially hard for planning a potential pandemic wedding because there are just so many variables – and they all have an impact on our budget.

With that in mind, I’ve been planning with the big picture in mind, and a scaled down version as a secondary option. What will our reception tables look like if we can have our full 65 guest count join us and what will they look like if we have to cut down to just a few?

We’ve chatted about that a few times and we have both a macro wedding and a micro wedding plan. The micro wedding is essentially a scaled down version of the ‘big day’ – the same dress, the same photographer and florist and venue, but with a core group of family and friends who can safely attend and socially distance. We’ll have an intimate ceremony, a safe photo session, and a wonderful dinner – normally the venue requires dancing indoors but we may have to skip that part and find a place to visit outdoors.

Once things are safe to gather in larger numbers, we’ll hold a less formal but fun event where we can bring together our full guest count and have a party! I fully plan to wear my dress again – because when else can you!

And yes – I will be wearing that sequin mask!

Appreciate what you can do –

One of the most important things for me to focus on during this entire time has been gratitude. I try to bring my blessings to mind when I get frustrated or stressed or try to figure out what Plan Q will be. I’m grateful for my health, my home, my wonderful fiancé and our families, and that trying to plan a wedding is my biggest problem. That is not the reality for many people, especially wedding vendors. I’m hoping to work with as many small, local businesses as I can to make out wedding a reality!

We’ve had a start-stop planning process that has admittedly been frustrating and stressful, but we both feel that the most important thing is being able to marry each other. We can’t wait to do that in a way that is safe for our family and friends!

Micro Wedding with a Dramatic Greenery Installation and a Masked COVID Bride

Photographer: Ashlyn Murphy Photo | Event Design, Linen Rentals, and Studio: Party Crush Studio | Florist: Le Bloomerie | Statement Roses Sponsor: Mirmy’s Garden | Wedding Cake: Palette Cakes | Wedding Dress: Epiphany Bridal Boutique | Bridal Shoes: Valentino Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Rachel Lusk | Specialty Rentals: Lux Event Rentals and Design | Tabletop Decor: Oh Flora Studio Store | Wedding Invitations and Calligraphy: The AYLA View | Gold Styling Mat: Suzy Pierce Art | Videographer: Ardent Imagery | Candles: Yummi Candles | Bride Model: Sterling Rene

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