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Your Best Life | Wedding traditions altered by COVID-19 pandemic

Couples who postponed their weddings in 2020 due to COVID are getting ready to tie the knot. But trends are changing. Big events are out. Microweddings are in.

BELTON, Texas — Off Sparta Road in Belton is a hidden creek, a stone house and a wedding venue that's truly a hidden gem. But like most wedding venues, COVID-19 hit the venue hard.

"It was scary for us because we didn't know what our future held," said co-owner Kelly Glass.

She and her sister Samantha Seidel, along with mom Loretta Solliday, run Hiddencreek at StoneHaus. The family renovated the property and turned it into a wedding venue three years ago, after Seidel's wedding. Now, they make sure every ceremony is just as special.

"I think that's what's so special about us,” Seidel explained. “You're getting the family, along with the venue. I mean we're here every step of the way. We got you, we're gonna take care of you.”

And while they've hosted several large ceremonies, they specialize in micro weddings, like the one for Brandi and Allen Santos who let me film their rehearsal a few weeks back.

"A micro wedding is a more small, intimate wedding,” Glass said. “We do everything down to the decor. Cake, everything. So basically all a bride has to do is show up."

Here, micro weddings last for two-hours and top out at 40 guests. Packages start at $1,100 and include everything from the photographer, Seidel, to the wedding planner, Glass, to the officiant, Solliday.

Brandi and Alan Santos said they chose the venue because they knew everything was taken care of for them. 

"We knew that we wanted something small and intimate, anyway, with closest friends and family," they said. "And having Kelly and Sam help us throughout the whole process from beginning to ending, as far as planning was just icing on the cake. Not to mention it's beautiful out here."

During the pandemic, the family made changes to help guests feel safe. The outdoor venue offers plenty of places to social distance, they provide hand sanitizer and modified the way food was served. Now that things are getting back to normal, Glass said weddings are mostly staying smaller. Sometimes it's because guests just make it.

"If you have a bride that's going to have a wedding of 150, you may see half of what they thought was going to come, come,” explained Glass.

But other times, it's because brides are consciously choosing micro weddings, she said.

"I think they know they want a small wedding, they want the intimate wedding and they just want to be able to, to walk in, get dressed and get married. And I think the pandemic has played a part in that, but honestly, I think they were always micro-brides," Seidel said.

Glass added that business is booming. 

"It's exploded. Truthfully, when we first started, you know, we had a few, and now it seems like every other tour we're doing is for micro wedding, we're booking a lot we've, we've doubled, at least in the micro weddings, we're getting here," Glasss said.

To find out more about Hiddencreek at StoneHaus visit their website or Instagram. The venue does offer military discounts.

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