By Rachel Holt

BOSTON (CBS) – A shift in the wedding industry has more and more people are turning to micro-weddings, where intimate ceremonies allow a couple to tie the knot while adhering to COVID restrictions.

Encore Boston Harbor’s mid-week micro-wedding packages begin at $1,500, while the weekend packages start at $2,000. Included are bridal bouquets, seating for 25 guests, and atmospheric lighting. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a wedding in 2020 without a complimentary sanitization station.

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“Some of our couples have had to shift their weddings two and three times over the past year, and they’re not wanting to put life on hold anymore,” said Kassi Weist, Executive Director of Sales and Catering at Encore Boston Harbor.

Smaller weddings also mean lower costs.

At the Boston Harbor Hotel, which is known as one of the premiere wedding locations in the city, micro-wedding packages start at $5,000. Like Encore Boston Harbor, they offer customizable options.

“Because we’ve been able to strip away a lot of the other fanfare that builds into a price of a wedding with a high ticket item and we’re going the essential basics, we’ve been able to bring the prices down significantly and make a really turnkey experience,” said Weist.

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The Boston Harbor Hotel’s $5,000 option in the Presidential Suite is offered for a gathering of ten. It includes wine and champagne, all administration fees and taxes, use of the suite for two hours, and appetizers.

For $10,000, couples are also offered overnight accommodations in the presidential suite, open bar, brunch the next day, late checkout, and valet parking.

“It’s really customizable to tell you the truth. You can tone it down and keep it fairly low-key and simple or you can go all out and have the most lavish wines and foods and courses,” said General Manager of the Boston Harbor Hotel Stephen Johnston.

And while some are simply putting their large weddings on hold, Johnston says this may just spark a change in the wedding industry for years to come.

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“People have become a little bit more cautious about spending money, so even when the micro-wedding trend has passed and we’re able to do larger numbers, I do suspect that we may be seeing more weddings of sort of 70 to 120 people. More so, than the big lavish expenditures than we’re used to seeing,” Johnston said.

Rachel Holt