Bonn/Region Many bridal couples have postponed their wedding celebration in 2020. Since the incidence level 1 has also been reached in Bonn, many want to rebook the celebration. The demand for dates is high.
2020 was a bad year for the wedding industry. Due to the Corona pandemic, many couples postponed their weddings. In Bonn, twelve percent fewer couples got married than the year before. But now the trend seems to be turning around. Markus Schmitz from the press office of the city of Bonn explains, "At the moment, the reserved dates are no longer changed so often." The lower the incidence values are, the fewer couples will cancel or postpone their wedding celebrations, he adds. "Up to and including May, as in 2020, quite a few couples understandably canceled their wedding date or postponed it to later in the year - sometimes at very short notice." In the meantime, he said, the registry office is again seeing an increase in inquiries.
Bonn registry office increases offer for weddings in 2021
The registry office had already increased its offer for Saturday dates and so-called Ambiente weddings with the total planning for the year 2021. Ambiente-Trauung is how the city of Bonn describes weddings at special places such as the Godesburg, the Collegium Leoninum or the house of the carnival. "All Saturdays are fully booked due to appointment reservations made in advance," Schmitz explains. "Particularly for the additional ambience dates, the registry office is again recording increasing inquiries after the incidence values drop. For the third quarter, these dates are almost fully booked.“
The reason for the increasing demand is probably also to be found in the current Corona Protection Ordinance of the State of NRW. Since Bonn reached incidence level 1 on June 20, couples have been allowed to celebrate indoors in a large circle with up to 100 people who tested negative. They can also invite an unlimited number of fully vaccinated guests. If the celebration takes place outside, 250 negatively tested guests are allowed. Vaccinated people are allowed here also.
In the wedding venues of the city of Bonn, other restrictions apply in some cases, as Schmitz. "Depending on the room sizes and ventilation possibilities, between four and 30 people are allowed. In the wedding room in the Stadthaus loggia, eight people are currently permitted. The bridal couples will be sent rules adapted to their booked wedding room in good time. If there are any changes after that, the bridal couples will be informed immediately."
During the wedding ceremony, masks are mandatory for all persons. "However, bridal couples are allowed to remove their masks for the essential parts of the wedding ceremony, such as saying yes and exchanging rings," says Schmitz.
In the halls of the Redoute in Bad Godesberg, all weddings and events were canceled during the lockdown. Sporadically, there were small civil weddings there, an employee tells us. Many couples had to postpone their planned weddings, some even several times. Since the end of June, however, things have started up again: inquiries from couples are increasing, and couples who were still undecided about whether to celebrate are deciding to do so. The dates in the Redoute for this year are almost all gone. For the next year they are already well booked.
Marriage in Bonn: Dates up to May 2022 partly already assigned
There are also signs of a wedding boom at the Protestant church district. Press minister Joachim Gerhards reports a large pent-up demand. Many pairs, who decided already in the past year on a church wedding, want to catch up now with their dear ones. Above all dates on Saturdays are in demand and those partly already into May 2022, says Gerhards. His advice to engaged couples is therefore: "All those who still want to get married this year should immediately look for a date.“
In some churches, he said, weddings are already scheduled at two-hour intervals. So that for each ceremony sufficiently time remains, Gerhards suggests to be flexible also with the selection of the time and to begin perhaps also somewhat earlier in the morning with the celebration. Parish schedules also have to accommodate an especially large number of baptisms and postponed confirmations this summer.
Many couples have postponed weddings
But there are already some couples who have postponed their weddings until next year, says Norbert Koch, pastoral advisor for marriage and family at the Catholic parishes in Bonn. Some pairs would have shifted their wedding already three times. With the weddings, which fall now on the summer or autumn, the couples assumed now that they can finally take place. "New couples are also coming forward, but usually not for dates this year. A wedding like this is usually planned a year in advance and not so spontaneously," Koch says. Wedding dates certainly aren't booked up yet in the individual communities, he adds.
During the lockdown, the Bonn city deanery offered online marriage preparation courses that were in high demand. Some were immediately fully booked and additional dates had to be introduced. "The interest was nationwide; we had participants from southern to northern Germany," Koch said.
Airborne weddings were in demand all the time
Contrary to the general trend toward fewer ceremonies, Sankt Augustin-based Air Lloyd did not experience a total loss of all booked ceremonies last year. The company offers helicopter wedding ceremonies. The flights with the registrar were still in demand and could continue to take place in a particularly small circle, according to a spokeswoman for the company. Couples had booked the unusual location partly as a substitute for fancy ceremonies on a cruise ship or abroad. Flights for marriage proposals were also in demand.
(Original text: Anja Wollschlaeger; Translation: Mareike Graepel)