Northshore Magazine

Northshore January February 2021

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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Page 85 of 123

84 Essentially, it's a scaled-down version of the grand shebang that follows state guidelines, which in Massachusetts means private residential gatherings of up to 10 people indoors and no more than 25 outdoors. For public settings and event venues, gatherings can be up to 25 people indoors and no more than 50 outside. So what has driven the popularity of pocket-size weddings? e reasons are many, says Janie Haas of Janie Haas Events, who has planned numerous mini weddings during COVID-19. "Some couples had the venue or vendors under contract, so decided to get married and have a big celebration at a later date," she says. "ere are other couples who wanted to get married and it was never about the celebration or they always wanted a small wedding and the mandates legitimized that." Encore Boston Harbor wedding planner Kassi Weist has found that most of her micro wedding couples simply didn't want to put their lives on hold. "Some want to start a family, while others wanted to start creating new, positive memories together," she says. "Others were planning a wedding in an international destination, but because of travel restrictions, decided to get married locally. Encore, being a large resort with so many amenities, like the restaurants, spa, and casino, feels like a destination without the risk of traveling." Melissa unberg, CEO of Bramble Hospitality, says that many couples who "had wanted hundreds of guests at a big hotel decided to have an intimate wedding at a smaller spot [like Willowdale Estate or the Briar Barn Inn] because the original venue was closed or their date wasn't available a year later." Take Gianna and Greg Baglioni, who got married at the Briar Barn Inn last Halloween. "We were noodling with a ski wedding or doing a big farm wedding," says Gianna Baglioni, "and then a girlfriend said to us, 'I'm kind of jealous. If I were you and could invite 20 or so guests, I'd do it in a heartbeat.'" "After going through so many plans and competing with so many couples who had postponed, we decided to make it happen," says her husband, Greg, who helped whittle down the guest list from 200 to 25, which included the couple. "It was a mix of family and friends Janie Haas has planned numerous mini weddings during the pandemic. and the perfect amount of people because we weren't getting lost in a sea of guests." "It really forced us to focus on what mattered most to us," adds Gianna, "which was the company, the food, and the vibe." All guests got COVID-19 tests prior to the wedding and followed health protocols during the event. After an outdoor ceremony nearby, the couple gathered with near and dear in the dining room of Grove for cocktails and a gourmet dinner. An adjacent patio strung with bistro lights provided outside space, where guests could mingle under a glowing, full moon. When the pandemic hit, many couples decided to postpone their wedding. Others, however, are doing what has become a red-hot COVID wedding trend: HAVING A MICRO WEDDING. PHOTOGRAPH BY GENEVIEVE DE MANIO

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