Denham, United Kingdom, 2021-May-14 — /Travel PR News/ — Small in guest size but big on creativity, micro-weddings are helping couples celebrate their love amid the pandemic. While they were born out of necessity, these intimate gatherings, with fewer people or just the bride and groom, may be here to stay, according to Sharon Kilmartin, General Manager of Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia in Georgia.
“In June and July of 2020, we started doing these small, two-hour wedding packages where we would host several weddings in a day. The couple would be able to have 10 people, time for photos, a champagne toast, and then we would get ready for the next service.”
That package eventually grew to day-long events with a ceremony, photos, and a sit-down dinner service for 10 or 15 people in a private dining room. Some couples chose outdoor dining – among a wooded backdrop with scenic walking trails – or brought in food trucks to feed their smaller bridal parties and family members.
Kilmartin credits Senior Catering Sales Manager Julie Bilecky for making Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravina’s “Intimate Wedding” package a success.
Last summer, Bilecky began speaking with wedding planners in the Atlanta area and, working with Kilmartin, crafted a micro-wedding package that offered guests all the delights of the big day without the big crowd.
“These were couples who just wanted to be married. They didn’t care that their wedding would change and look different. It was about being married and being together and not postponing that,” says Bilecky.
This was a sentiment felt across the pond. “Since our micro-weddings package launched in September of 2020, we noticed a 50 percent increase in bookings,” says Garreth Walsh, General Manager, Kimpton Fitzroy London. “Couples and guests were happy to have the chance to celebrate their day with those who meant the most, and we were able to safely provide them with memories to last a lifetime.”
Still, many couples did put their weddings on hold in 2020 and are now ready to have the wedding of their dreams. IHG Hotels & Resorts’ global data shows that April 2021 saw more wedding opportunities created than in April 2019.
So, with wedding business bouncing back, will couples opt to return to the large-scale affairs from before or have micro-weddings cemented their place in the business of matrimony?
“I truly think intimate weddings are here to stay. People can do more with their budget. It’s quality over quantity. Instead of spending money for a large space or a hundred guests, they can make the wedding about them and what they want,” says Bilecky.
Kilmartin also added that flexibility – from hotels and guests alike – is essential to the future of this market.
“As we morph into a new normal, we won’t rent our ballroom again for 30 people. But the private dining areas and some of the smaller event meeting spaces can be utilized for intimate weddings, and guests love it,” she says. “I think we were successful with this because we worked with the couples, the wedding planners, and were willing to adapt, and if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how important that is for our business,” says Kilmartin.
Both Kilmartin and Bilecky say wedding business is a crucial part of recovery. While they weren’t surprised that there were couples eager to get married and willing to down-size their events, there was one surprising aspect.
“The dresses! None of the brides scaled back on their look and wore big, beautiful dresses even though there were only 10 people,” says Kilmartin.
“The dresses and the photographs,” adds Bilecky.
“They wanted to look back on this day and have those memories. During such trying times, we were able to celebrate something and do so safely,” she says. “These weddings filled my emotional bank account as much as theirs.”
From a dreamy ballroom in London to the beaches of Fiji, wherever you picture your wedding day, IHG Hotels & Resorts has intimate wedding packages around the world. We’ve rounded up a sampling of properties that will have you saying “I do” in no time!
For an intimate vow renewal or wedding reception that oozes cool, check out No. 33 at Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel in Edinburgh (a hotel within a hotel). The boutique property in Scotland’s capital is inside an 18th-century Georgian townhouse on picturesque Charlotte Square. No. 33 is available for exclusive use and has a private entrance, which sets the scene and from there, everything can be personalized. There’s plenty of room for up to 20 of your nearest and dearest in 12 guest rooms, including three signature suites, three junior suites, two deluxe bedrooms, one double and two single guest rooms. Email for inquiries.
Nestled in the heart of Bloomsbury, Kimpton Fitzroy London is the perfect central location for a dreamy micro-wedding and bespoke packages to suit guest’s every need. Architecturally stunning, there are a range of spaces throughout the hotel – from the dramatic ballroom to eight intimate rooms and four restaurants and bars, all flooded with natural light and historic details at every turn. Email for inquiries.
Located in Chicago, Kimpton the Gray offers an amazing Le Petit Marriage package, which is great for those looking to have a micro-wedding of up to 25 guests. The lucky couple can take their vows on the hotel’s historic marble staircase from 1894. The hotel crafts heartfelt, personalized affairs lead by an ordained hotel manager, with a cocktail hour, reception and dinner customized by the Executive Chef. Email for inquiries.
Holiday Inn Resort Jekyll Island is a beautiful beachfront paradise on the coast of Georgia which offers a quarter-mile of private beach access, a beachside pool, and on-site dining facilities including The Beach House and Tap Room. The Atlantic and Blissful wedding packages are ideal for smaller ceremonies. Email for inquiries.
As one of Mexico’s most untouched islands – famed for its glorious turquoise waters and world-class diving spots – it is no wonder InterContinental Presidenté Cozumel Resort & Spa is a perfect choice for those looking to tie the knot with some of world’s most significant backdrops. For the more intimate ceremony, the Akbal Package includes a three-course meal, DJ and complimentary night for the lucky couple. Email for inquiries.
Nestled on a private bay on the Son Tra Peninsula, InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort covers 96 acres of pure paradise on earth – thanks to a backdrop of shimmering turquoise waters, unspoiled beaches, lush rainforests, and majestic mountains. Locations don’t get much more magical, making it the perfect setting for a destination wedding to remember. Email for inquiries.
Looking to plan a destination wedding of your dreams in a location like Thailand, Malaysia or Vietnam? The recently launched Weddings by IHG program includes various hotels and resorts in Southeast Asia and Korea, where a team of event specialists can help plan a seamless celebration to remember.
A Fijian paradise awaits at the luxurious InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa nestled among 35 acres of tropical gardens in Natadola Bay, one of the world’s best beaches. The Vau Vata Wedding Package (Fijian for ‘blessed union’) is a wedding experience for two, including special touches such as a Fijian choir for serenades, a couples spa ritual, and five nights’ accommodation in a King Bed Lagoon View room. Email for inquiries.
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