Elopement style weddings on the rise amid COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: Apr. 25, 2020 at 6:50 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Events continue to be cancelled or rescheduled amid the COVID-19 pandemic including weddings. However, one local wedding venue owner says they’ve had a big increase in business during a time of social distancing and no large gatherings.

Inked-Weddings in offers elopement style wedding packages. Owner Maria Roye says business has picked up as couples who originally planned big weddings or destination weddings are coming to her to get married. The couples can still dress up and have professional photos done on their wedding day.

“Having events cancelled is very disappointing, but we’re here to make the best of the situation. We’re able to customize their wedding and give them more of memorable moment for them to enjoy the rest of their lives. We don’t want them to feel that they’re missing out on something because of changed plans," Roye explained.

Roye says they usually have three to four weddings a month depending on graduations at Fort Benning.

“Just last month alone, we probably did about 15 weddings. 10-15 weddings in one month," Roye said.

Tamika and Jamaal Williams originally talked about a traditional wedding, but got married in March through Inked-Weddings after a pregnancy and change of plans.

“It actually worked out perfect because that was around the time you could have no more than 10 people in surrounding area so, it’s like God kind of worked that out to the point that it was just us and the kids and it was just perfect," Jamaal Williams said.

The Williams live-streamed their ceremony so friends and families could enjoy their special day with them.

The ceremonies last several minutes and are connecting more than just the newlyweds.

“It’s like we’re getting married all over again. You know what, we pretty much blessed because it’s almost like we get to renew us. Our vows. Every time I give vows out or do a ceremony, it’s like we’re renewing our vows," said Roye and her husband, Don Roye.

Roye says aside from not being able to gather in large groups, the cost of elopement style weddings compared to large weddings can be much cheaper during these tough economic times.

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