In 2020, so many brides and grooms-to-be were forced to put their matrimonial dreams on hold. As families, friends, and venues grappled with the unknown future of the coronavirus pandemic, many couples' save the dates became obsolete. But with a focus on safety, Greystone made it possible for couples to celebrate their blossoming love with their loved ones.
Renee Nicholas and Luke Miller are just one such couple. Holding their reception at the Founders Clubhouse after their intimate wedding ceremony at a nearby church, Greystone's wedding team worked with Renee and Luke to make sure everything after tying the knot went off without a hitch (including food, prep, dance floor, and driving range photos) while keeping the newlyweds and their guests safe and comfortable.
We asked Renee to talk about her 2020 wedding experience, how they adapted their reception, what it meant to the new couple to keep their wedding date during a pandemic, and how Greystone made it all possible.
How did COVID-19 change your wedding plans?
"Honestly, we got lucky ... COVID didn't change our wedding plans as much as we thought. Our wedding was the end of August, and the phase of re-opening that Alabama was in at the time was in our favor. We decided to cut down our guest list and have the reception half inside and outside to make guests feel more spread out and comfortable with fresh air and lots of room."
Did you consider rescheduling or postponing your wedding during COVID-19?
"I only considered postponing to October one time when the virus numbers were not looking good, but there was no guarantee that the virus would get better by then. I prayed about it, asked our photographer what she thought (because she has been in the business so long and I trusted her judgement). Every couple is different, but we did what was best for us. In the end, we kept the date because we couldn't push back our wedding any longer. We told our guests if they didn't feel comfortable coming, they didn't have to and we certainly understood."
What made Greystone the right place for your wedding reception?
"I've been to receptions at Greystone, and I always thought they were so pretty and managed very well. Prior to COVID, I wanted somewhere close to the church where we were getting married [St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Birmingham]. By the time we chose to keep our wedding date, I was still certain Greystone was the place. We were also thankful they could still work with us, because I know some venues just cancelled on brides – that sounded like a nightmare no bride should have to deal with."
What did Greystone do to keep guests safe at your event?
"Greystone had guidelines in place that made guests feel comfortable. Instead of buffets, servers handled the food; masks and hand sanitizer were provided for all guests; and signs reminded everyone to maintain social distancing. They even let us hold our reception half inside and half outside."
What was the best part about having your reception at Greystone?
"Everything was truly perfect, and better than I could ever imagine – especially during a pandemic. I'm so thankful for Olivia [Glasgow, Catering Director] who was always calm and confident, accommodated our needs, worked with us, and worked so well with our wedding planner. It was a safe environment with great precautions. We had a great team and I wish I could relive the day all over again. Greystone made it magical."
Wedding Planner: Anita Kanellis (AK Brides)
Photographer: Arden Upton (Arden Photography)
Videographer: Angela and John Deaver (Main Street Productions)
Floral Design: Vince Grey (Bloom and Petal)
Cake: Olexa’s Cafe
Entertainment: Hunter Lawley (Atlanta Groove Factory East Coast Entertainment)