Countless couples across the country are dealing with a common dilemma: Their wedding is planned, invitations are out, vendors have may even been paid, but alas, COVID. The risks of putting on large events are stressful for the happy couple and the guests who RSVP. Many don’t know what the right actions are to take when navigating an ever-evolving scenario.
Recently, about 35 to 40 women – staggered over five hours – showed up at a reservation-only “Creative Weddings During COVID” event aimed at offering hope for brides whose plans were undone or otherwise put on pause because of the pandemic. It answered questions for women who sought answers and vendors sold products that supported women-owned local businesses with all proceeds benefitting Women Against Abuse.
Starting at Location 215, guests began on a walking tour that stopped at several vignettes including The Viaduct, Love City Brewing Co., and other expos and exhibits.
The concept was created by Jen Blauvelt, owner of Location 215, and Michelle Mazer, vice president of Eventsful Inc., a New-York based company that organizes events in Philadelphia.
Blauvelt said that when Location 215 opened just last year, she hosted about a dozen weddings inside her venue. After Covid-19 hit, she’s put on three “micro-weddings.” She said the pandemic has affected her business “hugely.”
“Essentially, every single wedding or event was canceled for 2020 and even the beginning of 2021. So, we’re just trying to push everything back and into 2022 and rearranging schedules and poor brides [are] trying to make sure all their vendors are available on the same day,” she told dosage MAGAZINE.
Location 215 is also a commercial photography space, so Blauvelt’s been able to allow other goings-on while weddings are put off. Yet, all the cancellations and postponements have been a “huge blow” to her business, she said, since it is only a year old.
“It’s tough, but we’re ready to just keep doing different things – keep trying to come up with creative ways to keep people coming into the studio.
“A lot of these brides have already planned their dream wedding and it kind of fell apart. Some have chosen to elope or do a micro-wedding. And some are even keeping their date for a reception next year.”
Blauvelt described a “micro-wedding” as a condensed version of a traditional wedding – one with roughly 25 people or fewer. Consider it a plated dinner with close friends and family in four hours rather than eight. One at Location 215 also offers plenty of beautiful photo ops, she said.
Mazer from Eventsful said this is a “really sad time,” but also shed light on what the event had to offer:
“We wanted to bring together really talented women – small businesses – so we could help them raise their profile and also just bring some happiness and celebratory feeling back into weddings and the get the couples excited about what’s possible.”
Some of the “micro-wedding” exhibits showcased included:
- Jen Carroll from Bravo’s Top Chef and Carroll Cuisine collaborated with Vine & Oak Events to transform the West Studio at Location 215 into a micro-wedding experience for the senses.
- Resting Gift Face held a socially-distanced 90’s dance party and photoshoot courtesy of event architects Lucky Dog Studio.
- Guests built their own bouquets with Forget Me Knot Flowers in a socially distanced themed experience designed by Events by Rainstein Design featuring a display of invitations from the archives of Chick by Chicks Invitation to be donated to frontline workers at Jefferson University Hospital.
- Women were able to have their social-distanced Instagram moment at any photo exhibit created by Slay Displays and featuring music by DJ Jane Elizabeth, owner of Stylus DJ Entertainment, an all-women DJ company.
- Inside the Secret Garden Exhibit, guests were welcomed into the Viaduct, a secret garden created by Cohere Co. and shopped bridal fashion courtesy of Retro Rewind Vintage and Thrift.
- There was also a beer and dessert pairing exhibit, where ladies tasted sweets from Velvet Sky Bakery, a savory sampling of wedding cakes to remind them of what’s to come.