Love in the time of coronavirus is hard—especially when the pandemic has forced thousands of couples to cancel or reschedule their weddings to another year. According to a Brides.com survey last fall, 66 percent of respondents said they postponed weddings. We get it. Why spend almost $34,000 (the average cost of a wedding, according to The Knot) on a wedding, if it’s just going to get cancelled last minute because of a spike in Covid-19 cases?
But now, a year into the pandemic many, including the folks at The Heritage Society, are just plain tired of pushing off love, so they’re holding express weddings in the St. John’s Church building at Sam Houston Park this Valentine’s Day weekend.
“We just wanted to do something,” Development Director Laura Woods says. “We wanted to have a party.”
And a party they’ll have. On February 13 and 14, couples can book a one-hour wedding ceremony at the church for just $150—yes, you did read that right—and the deal gets even sweeter. The all-inclusive package includes a nondenominational officiant (most likely a judge, says Woods), flowers in the church, the bridal bouquet and boutonniere, small treats and champagne for a toast, and a formal photograph, plus free parking. All you have to do is show up.
The Heritage Society may be taking care of pretty much everything, but couples can still personalize their ceremonies, Woods says.
The flowers in the picturesque white steepled church (built in 1891 on Mangum Road, and moved to Sam Houston Park in 1968) will be white. But Rexberry Luxury Weddings and Events and Kirksey Gregg Productions, which are donating the decor and flowers, are allowing brides to choose the color of their bouquets.
After the ceremony there will be a champagne toast accompanied by a sweet treat outside in the Park Bandstand, says Woods. Couples can choose either a brut or a brut rosé for their toast. In lieu of cake, the Heritage Society is offering petits fours with flavors like vanilla, strawberry, and raspberry.
If a couple wants to personalize their wedding even further, as with additional guests or more flowers, packages can go up to $295, Woods says. “We can manage anything” someone wants, making planning a wedding during a pandemic as stress-free as possible.
But since it is, indeed, a wedding during an international pandemic, the Heritage Society is taking precautions. Only 10 guests are allowed inside the church, with one couple per pew, and everyone must wear face masks. Woods says they’re also scheduling two hours between every ceremony so staff can come in to clean the church and disinfect the pews, among other things.
Right now there are eight wedding slots open, four per day. But, Woods says, if there’s enough interest, the Heritage Society will open up two more ceremonies over the weekend, and it might even hold weddings on Friday, February 12, too.
So if you’ve been struck by Cupid, or if you just can’t wait for this pandemic to end to celebrate your love, go to the Sam Houston Park chapel … you’re gonna get married.