Has the ongoing COVID pandemic put a big kink in your wedding plans? Maybe you assumed that the pandemic would be over by now. Many of us did. But it’s clear that it will continue well into 2021, and if you still want to marry in style, you need to accept that reality and find some fresh COVID wedding ideas. Whether you are eager to do a small wedding soon or plan something larger a year down the road, we want to let you know about some options, including minimonies and micro-weddings.
Our venue has multiple options for an event that will be memorable, beautiful, socially distant, and safe, even if different than you originally planned. You might find that some of these new COVID wedding ideas are even preferable to old-style events, and that with a scaled-down wedding, scaled-down cost, and less aggravation, you prefer it this way. Whatever you choose, we can make your dream of a perfect wedding come true.
Let’s get started!
What is a minimony?
It’s a mini wedding ceremony held with your loved ones, or simply a moment of commitment shared between the two of you or with a small group of up to 10 people in a space that allows for social distancing.
The minimony can include as much or as little of the traditional ceremony as the couple wants. That means you can still have an officiant, a professional photographer to memorialize the day, knockout flowers, and your favorite pastry chef to bake the wedding cake. Or not. It’s completely up to you.
Some couples are opting to have a minimony now with the hope that they will have the larger wedding they had originally planned, now referred to as a “sequel wedding”, when the COVID restrictions against large gatherings are eased.
What is a micro wedding?
A micro wedding is a formal wedding with all the traditional bells and whistles, but much smaller, generally not more than 50 people. But there are no hard and fast rules. According to DWP Insider, a destination wedding site “…as the couple planning the wedding, you have the power to define what micro means to you. It’s more about a mindset than a precise number of seats at the dinner table.”
What accommodations does Saint James Place offer for minimonies and micro weddings?
We have three different sized spaces that provide a range of options.
The Sanctuary, with its world-renowned acoustics and antique stained glass, is an ideal spot for your ceremony and regularly seats up to 271 people. With the current Covid restrictions, we can accommodate up to 104 people for a scaled-down ceremony.
The Great Hall can normally accommodate 100 people seated for a reception. Now we are offering it for socially distanced weddings of up to 25 people.
The beautiful, light-filled East Room normally holds up to 75 people seated, but now is recommended for no more than 12 people.
Take a look at the layout of our spaces here.
Can I have an outdoor wedding at Saint James Place?
Yes! Saint James Place’s lawn can accommodate a large tent for outdoor, socially-distanced receptions and gatherings.
I am not from The Berkshires and my parents and all my family cannot travel. Can you accommodate a Zoom component in my event?
Absolutely! We can work with you to accommodate all your needs and make your family feel as if they are there with you. Our space is also handicapped-accessible and pet-friendly.
Do I have to use your vendors?
We have a list of preferred vendors here who know our space and our staff but you are free to use any vendors you want. There are many experienced and talented caterers, wedding planners, florists, etc. here in the Southern Berkshires!
What COVID restrictions will my guests have to meet?
The guidelines for travelers to Massachusetts are constantly changing as the situation evolves.
Generally speaking, if you test negative within 72 hours of arriving from most states and can show the result, you do not have to quarantine. Those from lower-risk states do not have to quarantine or get tested. You can find a map with lower- and higher-risk states and more detailed quarantine requirements at Mass.gov.
How can I be sure my wedding will be safe?
Excellent question. The safety of our guests is of the utmost importance to us. We rigorously follow guidance from the CDC and the state of Massachusetts. All protocols are followed – masks, social distancing, hand washing, and more. These guidelines are constantly changing but you can find out the latest requirements here.
Will we have to wear masks even if the wedding is under capacity?
Wearing a mask is an easy thing you, your partner, and your guests can do to keep yourselves and each other safe. We highly recommend it. But you don’t have to don a blue and white surgical mask on your big day. Check out theknot.com for a collection of beautiful masks that are in keeping with the wedding spirit. Want to go the extra mile? Give out masks to guests.
Sounds like Saint James Place is a wonderful Covid wedding idea. What is the next step?
Please contact us to set up a tour. We love to show our beautiful space. Call Laura Gratz at (413) 528-1996; text (413) 429-1141. Or email Laura! Click the button below.
We at Saint James Place are here to help you. Saint James Place is a lovingly restored and completely renovated cultural center with state-of-the-art equipment for outstanding sound and lighting. And it’s located in downtown Great Barrington Massachusetts–voted Smithsonian Magazine’s Best Small Town in America.