The coronavirus pandemic may have changed the wedding calendar in the Garden State forever.
Originally forced to scramble for a date due to multiple postponement attempts caused by the COVID-19 threat, New Jersey venues and couples are beginning to come to terms with the idea that getting married and having everyone there for celebrating the occasion not only has to be a weekend event, or be as expensive as one.
“Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are now part of that norm, with Monday and Thursday certainly being the most popular,” said Jeanne Cretella, president of Landmark Hospitality, which manages event venues in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Weekends are still the go-to for engaged couples, with Saturday night being the top pick, but weekday weddings are a “trend that’s here to stay,” Cretella said.
Compared to 2018 and 2019, weekday weddings are expected to increase by around 2% in 2022, according to a survey by wedding planning site TheKnot.com. A third of the weddings planned for 2020, before the pandemic took hold of the United States, were to take place outside of Saturdays.
Thursday has essentially become the new Friday in the wedding industry, Cretella suggested — couples prefer weekdays that come just before or just after a weekend.
“It’s not unusual for every Thursday to be booked in season,” she said. “Mondays are also extremely popular, especially during the summer months.”
Some guests may prefer a weekday wedding during the summer, Cretella added — they don’t have to ditch potential weekend plans to attend an event on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
New Jersey wedding venues have mostly worked through their pandemic-induced backlogs. Many couples have been forced to reschedule their big day more than once, due to ever-changing rules related to capacity and safety protocols.
At Landmark-operated venues, selecting a weeknight wedding can save up to $20 per guest compared to a weekend wedding, Cretella said.
“They’re not just going to save on site, they’re going to save with all of their vendors,” she said. “They really could have the wedding of their dreams and still have enough money left over to have a phenomenal honeymoon of their dreams, paid for only with savings.”
Venues may also be willing to reduce their minimum number of guests during the week.
Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]
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The Ultimate Guide to New Jersey Breweries
So what is a “brasserie”?
“A craft brewery is a hybrid between a restaurant and a brewery. It sells at least 25% of its beer on site in combination with extensive catering services. In a craft brewery, beer is primarily brewed for sale to the inside the restaurant or bar. Where legally permitted, breweries may sell beer to take-out or distribute it to certain off-site destinations.”
New Jersey has tons of Brewpubs, some of which have been around for years and some that just opened last year.