Then, Now and Forever: How Weddings Have Changed and Stayed the Same

Weddings have changed since the pandemic hit. What used to be occasions with rows after rows of seats and long tables filled with excited guests and spectators, are now replaced by intimate gatherings and Zoom watch parties. There’s no doubt that the global wedding scene is not how it used to be, for better or worse. 

While soon-to-weds or newly weds and their families can definitely attest to this, the suppliers experienced firsthand the effects of the changes in the wedding and events industry to their business. We share insights from the experts.

Then and Now: Simplified Sartorial Choices and Sanitation

Acclaimed fashion designer, Joe San Antonio, noted the dramatic shift in gown design preference among brides. Joe, whose creations have graced Marry Me at Marriott and the Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Milan Fashion Week, shared, “During the peak of the pandemic, most brides preferred simple and practical silhouettes.” 

Photo from: Joe San Antonio's Instagram account

From voluminous gowns, bridal attire has become noticeably more minimalist. The same can’t always be said for rings, however. Ocampo’s Fine Jewellery marketing consultant, Charles Chan, observed two mentalities for soon-to-weds at the height of the pandemic: splurge or save. He enthuses, “Some opted for lighter weight wedding bands to make do with tight budgets while others thought it best to go all-out on the rings as there are fewer people to invite due to restrictions in public gatherings.”

In addition to restrictions, businesses also needed to follow stringent sanitation practices to ensure the safety of their clients. Joe says, “We make sure the fitting rooms are sanitized every fitting. Apart from safety protocols, we have limited the number of guests in our atelier per appointment. Since our work is difficult to conduct online, we make sure our staff are tested every two weeks. We also ask clients to declare if they are not feeling well, or are experiencing symptoms of any sort.”


Now and Forever: Enduring Brilliance and Grandiosity 

Years into the pandemic, and weddings continue to adapt based on the circumstances. Surges predictably meant stricter safety protocols, while a drop in the number of cases meant the easing of restrictions. With it comes the resurgence of grand celebrations. 

Shares Joe, more brides are gravitating towards glittery, maximalist gowns once more. As for jewelry, apart from getting the usual ring, more brides-to-be and entourage members are back to bedazzling their wedding styles with colored stone pieces, which may double as gifts. For the two experts, changes are inevitable. 

But, the commitment to make a wedding special remains the same, and that is what makes the experience worthwhile, no matter the circumstances. The fashion designer has this to say to soon-to-weds navigating the planning process in the midst of the pandemic, “Just enjoy it, and don't stress yourselves too much. Planning a wedding is an experience you and your partner should look back to with fond memories.” 

For experts like Joe and Charles, that is, and will always be, the ultimate goal. 


Photography: Juan Padilla

Makeup: Monica Cruz

Fashion Styling: Kimberly Piol 

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