Cheers to 2021: A look ahead

I’ve been searching for my youngest daughter’s red shoe for three weeks. Shoe, singular. We’ve  had one shoe hanging around – periodically shuffled to a new location when it’s in the way – while the other shoe remains elusive. It’s likely stuffed in a bin, stuck under a stack of boxes, or tucked away behind a pile of bags. 

You see, Jason and I are in the process of renovating the first floor of our house. One of the first things we did was to empty our shelves and cupboards, and pack up everything we deemed to be non-essential. So we kept the coffee maker, dishes, pots and pans, dish soap, etc. Everything else was stored away into boxes, bins, and bags. The goal was to cut back on clutter but ensure we could still get through the day-to-day tasks of life throughout the renovations. We kept the winter boots out and packed the shoes since, you know, winter. 

We did our best to keep things organized but the house is still a bit chaotic. The old floors have been torn up and we’ve been walking on plywood for weeks. The walls are polka-dotted with drywall mud, mending the holes we’ve made to hang photos and covering the patches where our asinine cats have scratched the walls for some unknown reason. We can barely keep up with vacuuming all the dust.

Our kitchen cabinets have been torn out revealing years of paint colours: a rainbow of pink, green, blue, and gray blocked in odd patterns around the room. Our sink and dishwasher remain in place and we don’t plan to remove those until we absolutely have to. 

We’ve been left with very few surfaces to use; we have about two feet of counter space above the dishwasher which is piled high with essentials, such as glassware, plates, cutlery, and a bottle (or two) of wine. Our dining room table has become a catch-all for anything else we might need for the duration of the renovation; there are bins with pots and pans, paper towels, and a stack of winter coats, gloves, and mitts. 

Everything else is being stored in our front porch – a room full of “non-essentials”. We’ve had to dig through the piles of these items several times to find something we really did need (or want) after all. One time, I just wanted to find my frother because I felt that a latte with a bit of cinnamon could help things feel a little festive. This is a different kind of essential, but it felt essential in the moment. Since we can’t decorate for the holidays until the renovations are complete. 

I now avoid the front porch at all cost since, three weeks into searching for non-essentials, it looks like it’s been ravaged by a tornado.

We push through the haphazard living conditions with as much patience as we can muster because we know that there’s a better living space in our future. Soon we’ll be able to bake in the kitchen again, we’ll be able to sit on the couch with a glass of wine to watch a movie, and we’ll be able to enjoy dinner around the dining table with the family. 

Everything should be done before the end of December so we’re looking forward to kicking off 2021 with a little less chaos in our lives.

Frankly, I’m predicting a lot less chaos for all of us in 2021, and I have a few key predictions about weddings and events for the coming year too. Normally, I’d use this post to talk about style forecasts, since I design events for a living after all, but I don’t want to talk about how events will look from an aesthetic standpoint in 2021. Instead, I want to discuss how events will look from a practical standpoint, from a logistical standpoint, perhaps even from a philosophical standpoint. 

I have 5 major predictions for how events will look in 2021: 

1. Yes, events will happen in 2021

We may not be back to business as usual when it comes to weddings and events in 2021 but I can make some predictions based on what we know right now.

For example, in 2020 Sage produced some stunning events ranging from 2 guests to 100 guests. What we witnessed is that those events which were held in staffed venues were very safe (even safer than a trip to Walmart or Costco). Venues came up with systems and protocols to protect guests and as a result very few covid cases came about from these celebrations. Cases that were traced back to gatherings turned out to be private events which were not hosted in professionally staffed venues. (i.e. Uncle Bob’s Canada Day BBQ). 

Furthermore, we’re expecting vaccines to be available in Canada starting in January with the most vulnerable persons slated to be inoculated first. Now, I won’t get into the nitty-gritty math of the matter, but suffice it to say that if we inoculate those who are at the highest risk to experience complications from COVID with a vaccine that’s said to be 94% effective against a virus that has a survivability rate of roughly the same average, we could consider our communities relatively protected early on in the year. 

While we may still see some restrictions in place I think we’ll see a great number of social events taking place starting in the spring.  

2. Intimate weddings will be a thing for some time:

Our team took part in some incredibly beautiful micro-weddings and events this year. We’ve shared a lot of these events in past blog posts and the common sentiment from the clients afterwards was that they loved celebrating in such an intimate way. Couples felt that they were able to spoil those closest to them with a magical celebration. Their guests said the same. 

I think that anyone who was lucky enough to participate in an intimate wedding this year will remember the experience fondly and, consequently, we’ll see lots of couples looking to create the same special experience for their guests. 

We already have several intimate events booked for 2021. These couples are planning smaller events, not because the clients are worried that they won’t be able to host a large event, but because they really want to celebrate with fewer guests in a big way. 

Stay tuned because these weddings are going to be incredible!    

3. Masks may not be mandatory, but they’ll still be a thing:

Both inside and outside of events, I think that we’ll see a number of people who will continue to wear masks, especially when they are ill. This is common for many Asian countries who were hit hard by previous pandemics. It’s not unusual to see masked citizens riding the subway in Hong Kong or walking down the street in Taiwan. 

If this is the case, even once masks are no longer mandatory, we may still see cousin Steve wearing a stylish mask to your wedding in order to help protect Grandma Rose.

4. Streaming weddings for family and friends will be commonplace: 

2020 has seen a number of photographers, DJs, and AV companies master the art of live-streaming events and I believe they’ve made a good investment for the future. We may see scenarios where a couple wants to share their ceremony with many people but host a dinner for a smaller group. We may also see situations where important guests cannot attend but who really want to participate in the event – streaming can achieve this. 

Whatever the circumstances, I believe we’ll see a greater number of couples opting to live-stream their ceremonies going forward.

5. No dancing. No cakes. No flowers. No speeches. 

Ok, I’m kidding. I don’t actually think all of these elements will disappear from weddings entirely, but one thing that will certainly come out of 2020 is that the traditional wedding mold has been shattered into bits. 

I can’t tell you how many times I heard some variation of the following statement, “We are actually so grateful that events have been restricted like this. Now we can have the wedding we actually wanted without any flack from our families. We didn’t want to invite a large number of guests, we didn’t want dancing, and we didn’t want the big banquet hall but we felt pressure to host a traditional wedding.” 

I think we’ll see that a lot of couples will start the planning process with a blank slate. They’ll be able to ask themselves questions like, “Why do we want to have a wedding celebration?”,  “What’s important to us?”, “What’s not important to us?” – and from there they’ll be able to design an event that reflects their own personal values and priorities. 

I’m excited to see where this goes. And for those who determine that flowers and decor is super important to them, I hope you’ll reach out because you are our kind of people!

Like any major life overhaul, covid has forced us to slow down and reevaluate the important stuff; the essentials. 

From the very beginning our entire industry was deemed “non-essential” (and we understood why) but as we’ve settled into this chaos a little, we’ve been digging through our own front porch of “non-essential” items for those things that may not be absolutely necessary for survival, but which still bring much-needed joy and beauty into our lives. Gathering with those we love and celebrating life’s milestones may not be necessary for survival – but like a good frothy latte, they make the chaos of life much more enjoyable. 

Now, if I could only find that damn shoe!



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