Things are looking positive for weddings and events in 2021 as the COVID vaccine continues to be distributed to the general public. The wedding industry saw several changes in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the pandemic. As a wedding venue in St. Augustine, Florida, we have assisted hundreds of couples through the process of changing their wedding plans to best suit the needs of the times. The team at News 4 Jax’s River City Live visited us recently to talk about wedding planning changes in 2021 and allowed us to share more about what makes The Treasury on the Plaza such a unique wedding venue.
Watch the interview below or continue to read on as we share more about planning weddings in 2021 at The Treasury.
The Treasury Shares Wedding Planning Changes in 2021 with News 4 Jacksonville’s River City Live
River City Live: Today we are at The Treasury on the Plaza in St. Augustine and I’m with Brandy. We’re talking about weddings. A lot has changed with COVID-19 and Brandy’s going to walk us through what’s happening here. But before we start out with that, let’s just learn a little bit about this building. It truly is remarkable with a lot of history!
Brandy Boulette, Director of Operations at The Treasury Venue Collection: The Treasury building was constructed in 1927 and remained a bank building up until 2014 when we started doing weddings. Renovations started in 2013 and we transformed everything–trying to keep as much of the history of the bank as possible, such as the columns and bank teller stands that now make our bar. A year later we hosted our first wedding in 2014, and there have been over 600 weddings since then! Weddings have been a booming business here in St. Augustine
River City Live: And when it comes to St. Augustine, this is one of the taller buildings downtown. There’s a story behind that.
Brandy: As many people know, we’re the only skyscraper in St. Augustine. That’s because when it was being constructed, back in the 1920’s one of the government officials was driving over the Bridge of Lions, which was built at the same time as the building, and said, “Wow! That blocks the beautiful view of our city. No more tall buildings!” So, we are very fortunate that we are the tallest building because it makes us a little more unique. But since then, they’ve built more petite buildings downtown.
River City Live: Well, it totally allows this place to really stand out, and one of the things you guys do such a great job with is weddings. With COVID-19, the whole wedding landscape totally changed. What’s happening here? What are you seeing on a day-to-day basis?
Brandy: Yes, you are correct. There have been a lot of wedding changes in 2020 and 2021. From smaller guest counts, to couples changing the day of the week, to the number of weddings we’re doing in general. Because of COVID, there was a shut down in St. Augustine and we ended up having to reschedule a lot of our weddings. This meant that many weddings in 2020 moved into 2021, and resulted in The Treasury not having the same type of available dates that we have had in previous years. We started doing more weekday weddings. Weddings are now are being hosted Sunday through Saturday, and they’re a little bit more intimate. Luckily, for the most part, people are now able to have the guest counts that they wished for.
RCL: And the themes changed a little bit too, correct? So let’s just say, the only day that worked for your entire family was a Sunday. Now couples can start planning and the party can start on Friday. Things like that have shifted.
Brandy: Yes! It’s actually a lot of fun. So now, your friends and family can come into our town of St. Augustine on a Friday and celebrate all weekend. We also see Monday weddings and people will come in on Saturday or Sunday and just take off that Monday to celebrate, or coming in Thursday and starting off the long weekend of partying by starting with a wedding on a Thursday night.
RCL: This facility is great because it’s open and spacious and I kind of feel like that’s the trend right now. So even if you had a smaller wedding, you’re still going to be spread out. What are you seeing as far as couples wearing masks or not wearing masks, making it mandatory or not for guests? How has that been playing out?
Brandy: Clients have really allowed the guests to make the decision. Some of our couples have made custom masks with their monograms on them, the colors of the wedding, or the couple’s name and date. Couples have also done this cool thing with bracelets where they come in different colors. The bracelets help communicate how each guest feels about social distancing. For example, there will be three different colors: green means, “I’m going to party, I’m comfortable, give me a hug!” Yellow means “I’m okay with talking, but no touching,” and red means, “I’m practicing social distancing. Please stay 6 feet back and wear a mask when speaking to me.”
RCL: If you are invited as a guest to a wedding, what are some things you should be looking at or considering to make sure you’re abiding by the rules of that wedding party or the venue?
Brandy: Visiting the couple’s wedding website is very important because that typically will show how the couple is communicating to their guests. There will usually be a link to the venue or information will be provided about if the couple would like you to wear a mask. We share with all of our couples a current safety protocol of what we’re doing so that they can share it with all of their guests. That way guests can come into the venue feeling comfortable, not only about what we’re doing, but also how to be prepared.
RCL: Absolutely! And then when it comes to having the party atmosphere, over here you have this bar. So walk me through this. You mentioned this before, but the bar actually is in a vault!
Brandy: Yes! So this is the original vault that was in the bank. As you can see the gears still shift. We have adjusted it for safety reasons so it doesn’t completely lock. We don’t want anyone to get locked in! Inside you’ll also see the original floor and original teller stations, which are now your bar front and bar back areas. Everything inside is held up by magnets, because you couldn’t drill through it for the safety of the vault back in the 1920’s!
RCL: Well Brandy, thank you so much for all of your time, information on wedding planning changes in 2021, and for the help for the people out there who are looking at wedding planning right now. If people want to learn more about the Treasury how can they do that?
RCL: Thank you so much! We appreciate it.