Weddings: Changed Forever

Weddings: Changed Forever

Another Perspective by Marilyn Patterson, CEM of Joyous Events, LLC

Will the challenges associated with the COVID – 19 Pandemic shape how we plan weddings in the future?


Flashback to the Fall/Winter of 2019/2020. Social media was filled with beautiful pictures of elaborately decorated venues, jam-packed dance floors, and large wedding parties anchored by stunningly attired newlyweds. Celebrations of the rich and famous? No! Our friends and family showcasing their dream day. Since then, dreams have been deferred, derailed, and deflated. Instead of stressing out, let’s find the silver lining…

Intimate Gatherings - More Fun. More Memorable.

Among the first changes employed to protect us impacted our ability to gather in large groups. Over the years, I’ve counseled many couples on creative ways to align their dreams and their budget. Consistently, the most impactful difference is modifying the guest count. Why? Because approximately 40% of the budget is directed to food and beverage. Guest count reduction will take you on a discovery resulting in identifying the persons who most significantly undergird your relationship. Even if the wedding is the first meeting for some, you’ll be in a better position to talk with everyone in the room. You will be the Rock Star, as guests engage in true connections, meaningful conversations, and genuine laughter.

KISS – Keep it Simple and Sophisticated

Security! Keep Murphy and his 'law' away! 'Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong’ is not welcome!

With the average wedding employing at least 14 vendors – venue(s), officiant, catering, photography/videography, musicians/entertainers, beauty/grooming services, attire, transportation, stationery, florals & décor, rentals, baker – the professional Wedding Planner serves as the Master of Logistics. (Sidebar – this is not the time to cut corners with inexperienced, well-intentioned friends and family trying to take charge!) Drawing on 20+ years of event experience, I’ve witnessed the strain that excessive complexity and extravagance have on flawless execution. Preparing for fewer people will elevate the overall experience for everyone.

Game-Changer: Weekday Weddings!

Celebrate your love on a day that means something to you. You met at your favorite coffee shop and want to marry on the anniversary of that date, and it falls on a Wednesday. Do It! Extending an invitation to your intimate wedding experience is an honor, not an obligation. Subsequently, if our relationship enables me to be considered among the covenant witnesses to celebrate your nuptials, rest assured that regardless of the time or day, I will make it a priority to be there for you. Broaden your options, there are only 52 Saturdays each year, eliminate the stress of navigating and negotiating the fulfillment of your dream on someone else’s terms.

Whether you’re a bride, groom, parent, or guest, I challenge you to embrace a new normal for weddings. Imagine this – an intimate gathering of treasured individuals assembled to celebrate a marriage on a day that makes the couple’s heart smile! Ambiance, great conversations, and a lifetime of memories. Alexandria is the perfect destination for a wedding! As a charming, cosmopolitan town, our venue options are perfect to support intimate socials that offer award-winning cuisine, amazing scenery, and accessible entertainment. No need to compromise!



Marilyn Patterson is the CEO of Joyous Events LLC, an Event Management and Production company headquartered in Old Town Alexandria, VA. Her team plans, coordinates and executes special events in and around Alexandria for non-profits, small businesses and weddings. Marilyn also serves as the Executive Director and Producer of First Night Alexandria.

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