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Club Chronicles: Drive-through wedding showers become new trend

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all businesses because of the strict social distancing rules. One of these is the wedding industry – which netted more than $670 million last year. Businesses affected that rely on weddings include the bridal stores, flower retailing, event catering services, salon services, taxi and limousine transport and professional photographic services.

Women in Russellville are known for hosting beautiful bridal teas, coffees and showers with all the trimmings for couples beginning a new life together. Large teas might have 20-75 hostesses. Registries indicate between 100-200 guests attend the tea during a two-hour event. Decorations feature beautiful floral arrangements, delicious food, punch and piano music backgrounds.

Although the current public health crisis has slowed life down, people are still getting engaged and getting married.

Rather than canceling this traditional event, the wedding businesses have begun to adapt their services to the COVID-19, such as by offering drive-through bridal parties and weddings.

A drive-through bridal shower is an event that allows social distancing for guests. Cars of guests line up in front of the bride’s choice of venue to drop off gifts through the car window. The bride or the couple open their gift in front of guests, take a quick picture beside their car, hand them wrapped cookies, a drink and a squirt of sanitizer and send them on their way!

A drive-through bridal shower could also be arranged as a curbside pick-up event. People are given a certain time to arrive and leave their gifts on the bride’s porch. To keep things safe, a table or stand is set up so guests can easily drop off their wedding gift. Decorations such as streamers, balloons and flowers using the couple’s wedding colors make the drive-through shower more festive, and pre-packaged snacks, drinks and goodie bags are made available for guests to pick up.

This summer, four bridal drive-by showers were given at Bennett Hall. These drive-by showers were quite different from the traditional teas but still maintained the bridal eloquence.

Gift tables were draped in white linen cloths under a huge beautiful oak tree that provided shading and a cool breeze. For one shower, a white wicker peacock chair for the bride was decorated with live pink and white roses draped with Eucalyptus. The lamp post was also decorated with a matching floral swag.

Gifts were unwrapped, pictures taken, and each guest received a wrapped cookie with the couple’s initials.

The best part of the drive-through wedding shower is getting to see family and friends again during this pandemic while keeping 6 foot social distancing and ensuring everyone’s health and wellness.

The wedding sector will recover as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. However, many couples will likely downsize to smaller gatherings, get legally married in the short-term or postpone the ceremonies until the COVID-19 pandemic fully subsides.