'Micro-wedding' trend sparked by coronavirus brings business back to hotels

Hotels in a pinch amid coronavirus concerns

The hotel industry is struggling amid COVID-19 concerns. FOX Business’ Gerri Willis with more.

Hotels that have sat vacant for months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic are picking up business by catering to downsized wedding parties.

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Hotels are capitalizing on “micro-wedding” trend after months of closings and stalled business. (Getty Images). 

Because wedding days were derailed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which creates a risk for large gatherings, venues are promoting what so-called micro-weddings for couples looking to tie the knot in a safe, intimate way.

Fitler Club, a 14-room hotel, spa and workspace in the heart of Philadelphia, launched a micro-wedding package, which starts at $5,000 and includes a one-night stay in the venue’s Wedding Suite and a 30-minute ceremony, cocktail hour, hors d’oeuvres, open bar and a pre-selected entrée and dessert.

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To get the buzz out to couples frantically trying to reschedule the big day, Fitler Club is giving away a free micro-wedding to a pair of love birds looking to exchange vows with 23 of their closest friends and family members.

The outdoor wedding space at the Fitler Club in Philadelphia. (Courtesy of the Fitler Club).  (Fitler Club)

The event will take place in the club’s airy outdoor garden space with enough room for two dozen guests to socially distance. To enter, brides and grooms-to-be simply submit a photo of themselves on Instagram and tag the hotel and one lucky couple will be chosen on Aug. 28.

Fitler Club is just one hotel jumping on board the micro-wedding trend. As the world experiences Zoom fatigue with the new work-from-home normal for those lucky enough to be able to do so, couples are looking for safe, feasible ways to say “I do” in real life. And while hotels can make more money catering to large format weddings, any business helps.

Indeed, the travel industry, particularly, hotels, has been hit hard as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions and shutdowns. The hotel industry lost close to 4 million jobs, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association. What’s more, it lost more than $21 billion in revenue, Forbes reported. And there’s certainly demand for rescheduled weddings this year, considering 78% of them take place between May and Oct, according to a recent survey.

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Aparium Hotel Group, a set of luxury hotels throughout the country with locations in places like New Orleans, Detroit and Kansas City, also launched micro-wedding packages throughout its portfolio of properties. Each requires a minimum of 20 people and no more than 50. The minimum package costs $1,500 minimum at each property.

And The Boston Harbor Hotel, located in the city’s historic Rowes Wharf, already has more than a dozen couples slated to say "I do" in a more intimate space, the hotel confirmed to FOX Business. The hotel's John Adams Presidential Suite is now hosting parties of 10 at $5,000. The package includes the ceremony, wine and champagne and bites like a cheese platter, jumbo shrimp and tuna poke, among other menu items. And for another $5,000, guests can get overnight accommodations in the four-bedroom suite, open bar and brunch the next day.

While having to trim down the guestlist for some soon-to-be-married couples can be tough, the micro wedding trend is saving couples thousands on the big day. The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $33,900, according to the wedding website The Knot.

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