Culture Weekly

Love is in the air

May 19 - May 25, 2021
Gulf Weekly Love is in the air
Gulf Weekly Love is in the air
Gulf Weekly Love is in the air
Gulf Weekly Love is in the air
Gulf Weekly Love is in the air

Gulf Weekly Mai Al Khatib-Camille
By Mai Al Khatib-Camille

Although the wedding industry took a major hit last year, bells are ringing once again with brides and grooms finding memorable yet safe ways to say ‘I do’.

Wedding and event planner Sara Alsalman, who has been in the business for seven years making couples dreams come true, is delighted to see the market starting to open up again and has a few tips and tricks up her sleeve.

“Covid affected most industries and a lot of events had to be cancelled, postponed and minimised to fewer guest lists,” said the 23-year-old designer and founder of Royal Weddings by Sara J who is currently living between Bahrain and Dubai.

“Initially there was a pause on weddings around March 2020 and a demand on weddings in early 2021, which slowed down globally due to the different health guidelines introduced.

“However, we are seeing a high demand in functions once again, starting from Eid.”

Due to the pandemic, couples are choosing outdoor weddings as venues of choice for safety reasons.

“Yes, there is a rise in outdoor weddings globally as it is viewed as a safer option than indoors and it allows to slightly increase the guest list since it is in open air,” explained Sara. “Hotels are providing more venue options to accommodate for intimate ceremonies and provide the highest safety standards while abiding by the country set guidelines.

“For instance, some resorts provide their in-house villas for very intimate ceremonies. Additionally, to have a ‘ballroom’ feel, tents are seeing a high demand in 2021, so expect a lot of tents and fairy lights.

“Other popular in-demand venues include residential spaces. We are seeing more couples being flexible and opting for a home-based ceremony, especially if they have a large accommodating garden.”

For those planning on tying the knot, Sara reminds them to remain flexible, have a back-up plan and consider live streaming the event in case of another official clampdown on gatherings.

“These are unprecedented times, so try to adjust to the current guidelines and try to be more open to different options,” she added. “For instance, consider having a weekday wedding. With the number of people that had to postpone and the number of people planning to celebrate this year, venues are getting requests for every day of the week.

“Another advantage is saving some of the expense as venues usually have a lower rate for weekdays.

“Also, live streaming events will still be a big part of 2021, so when hiring your wedding photographers, discuss with them arranging live streaming of the ceremony or having a highlights reel accessible online for those guests who unfortunately couldn’t be invited due to the guest list limitation.

“Regulations are still changing and new rules are applied from time-to-time, so have a backup plan in case you need to reduce the number of guests, postpone or whatever you may need to alter. Make sure you review the venue cancelation and postponement policies as well.

“Under the current safety guidelines in Bahrain, buffets and ‘self-service’ catering options are currently not allowed. A fade in buffets is expected in 2021 globally, with reduced guest lists couples are opting for a seated dinner experience. This caters to the more personalised experience, and not to mention it is viewed as a safer option than having buffet lines.

“But, at the end of the day, remember what this day is all about, it’s about celebrating you two and your love for one another. Whenever things get overwhelming, always go back to this point and remember what you’re celebrating.”

In terms of 2021’s top wedding trends, they are the following:

k Layered depth and vibrant colours: Expect unique colour combinations and a lot of foliage incorporated in layered and detailed table tops.

k The welcome box: As hand sanitisers and face masks are a part of our everyday life, there is a demand of welcome safety kits that include individual sanitisers, masks as giveaways or thank you notes for the guests.

k Catering: A reduction in the demand for buffets is expected. With reduced guest lists, couples are opting for a seated dinner experience, a safer option than having lines of people queuing for the buffet.

k Live entertainment: With dance floors still not allowed for safety reasons, people are looking at different entertainment options to keep guests engaged such as live music, dancers and even magicians or mentalists.

More on Culture Weekly