A Bay Area wedding planner talks explains pandemic effects

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Wedding planning, by nature, is almost never an easy task. But throw in a global pandemic, accompanied by public health orders and social distancing mandates put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 — and it has turned the wedding industry on its head.

Natalie Alvanez, director of sales and marketing at the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, has seen the fallout first-hand.

Over the past six months, Alvanez has had to make countless difficult calls to anxious couples, canceling, postponing or downsizing dozens of weddings. And her sales and event team has been gutted, leaving nearly all the duties of putting on a wedding ceremony on her shoulders. No sooner does she take one step forward than she’s forced to take one step back in the face of ever-changing restrictions.

In April, for instance, Alvanez built out new “micro-wedding” and elopement packages so couples could still enjoy the outdoor grounds of the Winchester Mystery House. After finally getting the all-clear to move ahead with the events, she was only able to host a couple of weddings before the county put out a new directive that outdoor wedding ceremonies were permitted but receptions of any kind were not — meaning her “micro-wedding” package was now off-limits as well.

To understand how the pandemic is affecting the wedding industry and how wedding planners like Alvanez are adjusting, this news organization recently connected with Alvanez for an interview that has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: How have you tried to adapt to the new restrictions brought on by the pandemic?

A: Back in March or April when all of this started, I told my team to refocus from the corporate side of events to the social side. Unlike corporate business events that could potentially be delayed from happening for another year or more, social yearning will always be there and no matter what, people are still going to want to get married. Elopements and smaller wedding celebrations had already become a trend over the last few years as you started to see more people — especially Millennials — go for more of these exotic elopements on top of a mountain or whatnot. The younger generation it seemed was starting to pivot away from wanting to spend $30,000-$40,000 on a wedding for one day and focus more on the experience. So I, and I’m sure many others, figured we could also offer something during the pandemic when most other options are no longer available.

Q: Can you explain what a micro-wedding and an elopement package consist of?

A: At Winchester Mystery House, an elopement package is the ceremony only. Couples can bring up to 20 guests and they can have their ceremony in the front garden. And then with the micro-wedding, the idea was to have the ceremony in the front garden and then it included a mini-reception in our central garden with nice string lights and all of that. It included the space, tables and chairs and then


The Effects of Fashion Style to Females

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Fashion has great influence to all females over the years because females are more into fashion styles than men. To females, fashion is a statement and determines your own personality by portraying your different styles. Fashion should be unique in every individual, however because of media influences fashion style has created a common denominator which most people imitate to become like the “supermodels”. Fashion style its has positive and negative effects to females. We will determine first the negative effects of fashion style and we will re-enforce it with positive effects.

Negative effects of fashion style

Identity. Your identity is affected with fashion style because you tend to follow what is stereotypical in the fashion world. Fashion industry created a stereotyped supermodels who are labelled to beautiful with their thin physique. Most females worked so hard just to achieve that supermodel figure, because of their misconception about being beautiful. To them a little meat is fat and being fat is not beautiful.

Financial Deficit. Stereotypical is what’s going on with fashion style. You often buy branded clothes that are very expensive and you tend to spend more beyond what you earn just to be up to date with fashion style and you end up broke or even in debt.

Peer pressure among teen females. Fashion style has influence on many young teenage girls, if you don’t wear the latest clothing from famous brands like Abercrombie and Fitch, Chanel or Dolce & Gabbana, it simply means you are not “IN” and you cannot be part of the popular girls group in your school. This adds pressure to young girls to become part of a group that more often will result to low self esteem and even depression.

Positive effects of fashion style (re-enforcement of negative effects)

Identity. In contrary to the negative effects, style will definitely help you become creative and unique with different style that will fit your personality and lifestyle. It is a matter of understanding how fashion can influence you in a positive way. It also a matter of personal choice whether or not you will follow what the media has branded beautiful. Fashion is about your own personal style, it not about looking the same like the supermodels. You can be beautiful with curves as long as you feel good inside. Beauty comes from within.

Avenue for savings. With a gigantic variety of different styles, your wardrobe will not go out of style. You can mix and match, and add a little accessories, your old will become something new and trendy. You don’t need to spend extra money to buy for super expensive branded clothing just to be “in” with fashion. Creativity is all you need with a little help tips from the experts and you will create a fashion statement in your own little way.

Be Confident. Becoming a popular is not an issue as long as you are confident with your looks. Fashion is not all about expensive designer clothes. There are more brands that …