"Tiny Weddings" offers alternative to couples affected by COVID-19

Posted at 2:46 AM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 06:55:42-04

(WXYZ) — Because of COVID-19, Allison Walker's dream July wedding at Lake Leelanau had to be postponed.

“We were pretty devastated, just having to send an email to all of your friends and family was really tough," Walker told 7 Action News.

It's a scenario so many couples have had to face due to this pandemic; social distancing restrictions and shuttered venues have led to postponed or altogether canceled celebrations.

By May, Walker knew she needed to have a plan B.

Beatrice Wolnerman, who owns "Bea's Detroit," a co-working space in Eastern Market alongside he husband Eli, saw not only a solution to this reoccurring problem, but also a business opportunity.

Bea's Detroit has a rooftop patio, overlooking Eastern Market with a view of the city skyline.

"And we just thought, there’s no better place to get married than right here in Detroit, in Eastern Market," Wolnerman said. So she created "Tiny Weddings," an alternative for couples sidelined on their big day due to COVID-19.

Packages start at around $800. Wolnerman is working with Event Coordinator Connar McLeod, also affiliated with 24 Maple.

“We put together the whole package, everything you can dream of, we have a beautiful floral arch, all of the food, all of the drinks," Wolnerman said.

There's an upstairs area for the bride/groom to get ready, and Wolnerman herself is a registered officiant. She said couples can make it as standard or as personal as they'd like.

When she first started advertising her idea, she was shocked by the response.

“I posted it on Instagram and within literal seconds we were getting messages," Beatrice said.

There are some limitations -- you can't have a crowded dance floor, and couples must bring their own photographer, however Bea's does have a list of preferred local vendors.

Walker is still planning to tie the knot on July 11, but instead of Lake Leelanau, she's now having her wedding at Bea's Detroit.

“I mean it’s definitely different than what I had imagined, but we have our champagne toast, we have our cake," she said.

Originally, the "Tiny Weddings" idea allowed for just eight guests or less, but now that 100 people are allowed at outdoor gatherings, Walker's celebration may be a little less tiny.

After the pandemic, she's still planning to have a larger wedding celebration as planned up north, but this gives her and her fiance Tim a special day on their original "big day."

“There’s so much going on in the world right now I think it’s kind of time to step back and reflect. And really I think the day is just about the two of you getting married," she said.

Wolnerman said because of the response she's gotten, she's planning to keep "Tiny Weddings" as an option even after COVID-19 related restrictions further loosen.

To learn more about "Tiny Weddings" and Bea's Detroit, click here.

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