Real Weddings: Planning Through a Pandemic
ASHLEY + PATRICK’S INTIMATE LOWNDES GROVE MICRO WEDDING
Planning a wedding isn’t always easy. Planning a wedding during a pandemic is a whole other ballgame… but it CAN be done, and you CAN still have the most perfect day! That’s why we’re kicking off a new blog series called “Real Weddings: Planning During a Pandemic” where actual PPHG couples share their stories about planning a wedding in the time of COVID-19. Get first-hand accounts on how to celebrate your love safely with your nearest and dearest. Below, newlyweds Ashley + Patrick (and former PPHG employees!) share their Lowndes Grove wedding planning experience, as well as the outcome of their big day!
“Pivot” is the word of 2020. In what ways, if any, did you have to “pivot” your wedding/planning to stay within COVID-19 regulations? And did this include moving your original wedding date and/or location?
We did not move our wedding date or location, and kept it on the original scheduled date of October 9th, 2020. We did, however, make adjustments to our orders to accommodate COVID regulations – such as renting the sneeze guards for the bar and all stations, as well as other small rental items. We also took steps to communicate with invited guests about regulations that would be in place at both the venue as well as the hotel (masks available for all guests, hand sanitizer available, etc.)
In addition, we had to make some adjustments to the fact that our guest count reduced by about half. This was not a decision we made, but a result of some guests choosing not to travel during the pandemic – a decision that we completely understand and support. Due to the reduced guest count, the primary adjustment was in meeting the F&B minimum, which we did by adding additional food and increasing the bar packages to higher levels.
Is there any aspect of your original wedding day plan that was important to you to keep?
We knew we absolutely wanted to keep the location at Lowndes Grove. Ashley and I fell in love with the venue back when we were working there ourselves. Many times we spoke of how beautiful the property is and often pictured how much fun our friends and families would have at such a wonderful location. We were so excited to invite our loved ones to celebrate with us at our dream location. And we were able to do so with so many, but, of course, we wish the rest of our friends and family who were unable to attend were able to see it as well.
Were there any positives that resulted from having to “pivot”?
We absolutely made a point to focus on the silver linings where we could find them. The reduced guest count meant that it was more intimate with close friends and family (though we of course missed those who were not there); in meeting the F&B minimum, we certainly enjoyed indulging in top shelf liquor, beer, and wine.
What PPHG COVID-19 guideline(s) made you feel the safest?
The waivers that all guests were asked to sign, we feel, helped make guests feel safe because they knew other guests were signing the same waiver – all stating that they were not experiencing symptoms and had not been in contact with anyone experiencing symptoms to the best of their knowledge.
We also appreciated the very apparent effort made by PPHG to ensure all measures possible were being taken (disposable cups with lids, stations rather than passed bites/drinks with an attendant to serve rather than serve-yourself style, etc.).
What advice would you give couples planning a wedding during the pandemic?
Remember to still enjoy the day! Everyone in attendance and involved is aware and understanding of the necessity for extra measures to be taken – and they will appreciate that those measures are in place! Enjoy EVERY SINGLE MOMENT, because it will be BEAUTIFUL – the pandemic will not take that away from you.
Looking back, was your wedding still the special day you’ve always dreamed of?
Absolutely! It just went by too fast! 🙂
Thank you for sharing your experience, Ashley + Patrick, and congrats!
Venue, Bar, Catering + Cake: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group
Wedding Planner: Nicki Paige Collection
Photographer: Kelsey Halm Photography
Videography: Palmetto Wedding Films
Hair + Makeup: Canvas on King
Music: DJ Rehab
Getaway Transportation: Coastal Limo