The year 2020 has been challenging for everyone due to the coronavirus, not the least of which are couples planning their wedding receptions. While a wedding is the perfect example of a sorely needed celebration in this all-too-trying year, the limitations for social gatherings are making most people’s visions of their dream wedding null and void. I’ve worked this year with countless couples who’ve already rescheduled 3 times or more due to the pandemic, and even six months later we still don’t see the light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel for a return to the normalcy we previously enjoyed.
Here in New York State, we’ve been able to host small events at the Saratoga Holiday Inn since June with restrictions on the number of people allowed to congregate at indoor and outdoor gatherings. Currently we cannot exceed 50 people for events, and for this reason we created a smaller, more intimate wedding reception package for couples who don’t want to wait for an uncertain future date to start their married lives together. Because we are not allowed to have dancing at these events (again per state guidelines), we are working with couples to ‘think outside the box’ in regard to entertainment as historically after dinner the DJ, emcee or band would take over after dinner service and finish the night with loud, contagious beats meant to encourage even the worst dancer with a little help from the open bar to express him or herself through the art of dance.
We’re seeing table and trivia games, photo slideshows as well as karaoke, and most DJ’s have risen to the challenge of finding alternative forms of entertainment on these wonderful occasions. These events are so important to the couples but also for family and friends that are re-emerging from months in isolation to help them celebrate. The ultimate goal is an event that is joyous and memorable, not because guests had to wear masks and socially distance themselves from others, but because they witnessed and celebrated a wonderful couple beginning life’s journey together supported by those they love.
Planning a wedding has always been one of the most challenging and rewarding endeavors I’ve experienced, but there’s so much joy and pride in the successful execution of a terrific couple’s big day. I am proud to share a Wedding Wire review shared by Kimberly, who celebrated her wedding with us recently:
COVID Wedding – October 2020
Four weeks before wedding day I had the unfortunate experience of losing my venue due to COVID related circumstances. Going from a small boutique Inn to a banquet hall at a chain hotel was a bit of a change in perspective, space, and expectations…at first. After speaking multiple times with the Director of Sales Julie Tierney, I was completely on board and knew without a doubt that herself, her staff, and the hotel itself would end up being better than I could have imagined.
The space actually lended itself for better social distancing (tables were 6 feet round), the resources for entertainment were ideal for a wedding without dancing, and after many a conversation with Julie, I knew that my guests would be taken care of and that I wouldn’t have to worry about babysitting tables to make sure folks stuck to the rules. A few other positives to think about if you’re planning a Saratoga wedding: right next to entrance of very photogenic Congress park, has plenty of parking for guests, as a corporate entity they have resources for staying open and operating safely under NYS guidelines more so than other smaller privately owned venues (although I do believe this Holiday Inn is independently owned which is great as the vibe is definitely “Saratoga” and not corporate chain hotel), the food got compliments, the cake was absolutely better than expected and guests said it was the best red velvet they’ve had, and last but not least the service staff and the customer service I received from Julie (and even the general manager who helped bring decorations in) was above and beyond.
My husband and I asked for a few unique things that would make our wedding 100% and Julie was on top of everything. Also, any time I emailed with several questions, I got a response back in less than 48 hours with a clear answer to each question. No unnecessary back and forth, and very candid, which is great in planning a different wedding than expected 4 weeks out. In my opinion, Holiday Inn in Saratoga should always be considered for any kind of event in downtown Saratoga. The service is sure not to disappoint.