[Featured image above from a recent event in Lyrath House Kilkenny, and drawn from behind my new perspex screen!]
I’m caricature artist Allan Cavanagh and I have been creating unique wedding guest caricatures at venues all over Ireland for over 20 years! You can see my live wedding work by clicking here. In this post I’d like to talk to you about what’s going to happen with weddings in 2021 and beyond.
We’ve all been living with the reality of the coronavirus for quite some time now. Many people are back to work and having relatively normal lives again. Obviously the wedding industry is still largely on hold.
The way I see it the wedding industry is going to split in two in the coming year.
There are going to be two different sets of couples. There will be those couples who have their hearts set on a large traditional Irish wedding with the ceremony packed to the rafters with guests of all ages, large parties of bridesmaids and groomsmen filling several cars apiece, and a heaving drinks reception, banquet and dancing that goes on to the wee small hours. You know, the sort of wedding that was normal in the distant past of 2019! These couples are going to postpone their weddings until the Covid-19 crisis is over. Already some of my 2021s are slipping away to 2022 as the realisation takes hold that this is how we’re going to be living for the next year, and possibly more. This is a completely understandable position to take, and I look forward to the time we can get back to this sort of wedding!
The second type of couple that’s going to emerge will decide that by hook or by crook their wedding is going to happen and they are going to make a DAY of it! Already I’m seeing these two trends in my existing bookings. While the majority are still moving their weddings back I’m seeing a strong indication of couples making the best Big Day Out possible despite the restrictions. I strongly feel in the next few months we’re going to see the wedding of 50 people become more and more normalised. It’s up to us as wedding suppliers to adapt and get ready for this too. There has been a huge surge in searches for terms like “smaller wedding venues” and “planning small weddings Ireland”. I think in the coming months we’re going to see this intent solidify into action with an actual increase in small weddings snapping up the availability of dates later this year and as we move into 2021.
Below is an example of how some couples are now adapting to the smaller wedding situation. It comes from the Weddings Online HIGM (Help I’m Getting Married) Facebook group (which has 53,000 members!) As you can see this couple went for the smaller wedding and succeeded in having a fantastic day. You can see as well the vendors (including the humble caricature artist Allan Cavanagh!) were very flexible and understanding and this helped make this smaller wedding a success.
Wedding Vendor Covid-19 Safety Preparations
In preparation for the increase in smaller weddings I believe we’re going to see, I have made some adaptations to give couples booking my live caricatures for their weddings peace of mind.
- I have completed certified Covid-19 Compliance Officer Training (see below). This means I have learned best practice in preventing the spread of the virus in a work environment.
- I now have a clear perspex screen specially adapted for my easel, which means I can still see and talk to guests while I’m drawing them, even if I have to PROJECT MY VOICE a bit more!
- I wear a mask when entering the venue and while setting up my gear, and then put it on again when packing up and leaving the venue.
- I practice strict handwashing hygiene, washing and disinfecting my hands before and after each session.
- I maintain social distancing at all times, so while guests can still watch me work they must do it from 2 metres back.
I have made a specially adapted perspex screen as you can see in the gallery below. This greatly helps reduce the potential for spread.
The big message I want to get across to couples planning on taking the plunge with the smaller wedding is I am ready to entertain you and your guests with my live wedding caricatures, as safely as possible. No matter what stage of planning the entertainment for your smaller wedding you’re at, you should get in touch as soon as possible. You can use my caricature artist for weddings contact page here.
Entertainment for Smaller Weddings will become a new normal. I have now done 3 weddings with the limited numbers, and while different they have been tremendous fun, and one bride said to me she wouldn’t have changed a thing. It’s going to be a strange couple of years but we are resilient, adaptive people and we’re all in this together.
2021 will be the year of the smaller wedding!