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Love Is In The Air, Among Other Places, As Fantasy Weddings Outwit COVID

As they say, “the heart wants what the heart wants.” During a pandemic, however, the lungs and lymphatic system have needs, too. That struggle between health or happiness (pick one) messed up a lot of wedding plans in 2020, but the ingenuity of love is winning out.

Consider New York-based jet leasing outfit Air Charter Service (ACS). Starting at the not entirely unreasonable investment of $18,000, couples can tie the knot high above it all — moving at about 400 MPH — in socially-distanced nuptials aboard a zippy Cessna Citation CJ2. The average American wedding recently cost about $44,000 by comparison (private jet not included).

With ACS, you can pick the route – and maybe even ask the pilot to buzz your ex’s condo. Make it fun.

The sky’s the limit after that, with packages like the tempting “Ultimate Wedding in the Sky,” starting at $28,000 aboard a luxurious Bombardier Challenger 850 private jet. Or, lovers can opt for the “Just the Two of Us” package. Smaller aircraft, but the same lofty start to married life.

Business Insider reports that “standard amenities in each package include a chauffeured car to and from the departure airport of the couple’s choosing, an onboard floral arrangement, and a selection of champagne, canapes and personalized wedding favors, among others. One of the flight crew members will also act as unofficial officiant during the flight.”

Air weddings are just one example of how people are putting the merriment back into matrimony in the midst of a global health nightmare. Brides even published details of how 36 couples said “I do” even as the world went to blazes around them. It’s a crazy little thing called love – and if wedding workarounds are any indication, love is far more potent than the novel coronavirus.

Don’t Rush Into Marriage – Zoom Into It

The action began early in the COVID event, as wedding planners and the massive industry as a whole were in the same boat as every other event-based business: dead in the water.

Couples dead-set on wedlock didn’t let the pandemic stop them from getting hitched. As expected, video conference platform Zoom–which might never have grasped its untapped potential for l’amour–has been marrying folks for months. It’s created a bit of an issue, actually.

“Digital weddings aren’t yet legal in every state and things are changing fast, so check your local laws,” Vogue reported in May. “For example, in April, New York announced it would allow people to obtain marriage licenses online. California has a similar rule, and in Colorado, there was a month-long provision enabling people to apply for marriage licenses via mail.”

Legalities aside, Vogue notes that “Zoom has become one of the go-to streaming services for work and social functions, and it has also pulled ahead in weddings. Zoom is user-friendly, and its burgeoning popularity means that plenty of people are familiar with how it works, making it a low-stress solution for many attendees. On Zoom, you can have up to 1,000 devices in a single call. It offers live chat, private chat and breakout rooms.”

Put a Ring on It (But Wear Gloves)

As go weddings so goes the diamond trade, which has a serious vested interest in making sure that people keep spending on precious stones to symbolize their eternal devotion.

When the Jared jewelry chain took the wraps off of its #LoveCantWait campaign, vowing to virtually marry 1,000 couples in the middle of lockdowns, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive General Manager Bill Brace said in an announcement, “we’ve learned that countless couples across the nation who’ve been impacted still want to celebrate their wedding day in a big way, but need support to bring their special moment to life.”

Separate but related news noted that David’s Bridal launched virtual stylists by appointment. “Over 300 stylists from across the country will be available for customers to ‘guide, inspire, personalize and help bring their wedding vision to life,’ per a past announcement,” PYMNTS wrote. “Clients have the ability to text with a virtual stylist with the program and receive advice on measuring as well as discovering a dress that is ready to ship, among other endeavors.”

Digital wedding platform Bustld was well-positioned for a pandemic, and from where they sit, weddings are certainly not going away – they’re just going in other directions.

Chief Operating Officer Samie Roberts recently told PYMNTS: “I think people are going to have more intimate weddings and value that more intimate experience where you do truly get to talk to everybody who attends your wedding and have a true relationship with them. And those times, I predict … are here to stay and [will] become a big part of the industry as we see it moving forward.”

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