Weddings, Celebrations & Parties post Covid.... Events are no longer the same

In March 2020 the world of celebrations & events changed forever. The doors closed on a world that I’d been in for over 23 years. We were told we could no longer hold live events. Gatherings where we could bring groups of people together were banned, and we were all confined to the space in our own homes. I always told myself that I was in a safe industry, people are always going to get married, people are always going to throw parties and celebrate birthdays. They are life events after all! I could have never foreseen what we were about to embark on. It was like someone had turned my air off...what's going to happen now?

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18 months on, one of the most challenging & incredible years of my life took place. My business survived and thankfully all my family are well and we are back out planning, designing and creating events again, but they are not the same! I also see life with a completely different perspective now. After being cooped up for so long, there is now such a different potency and buzz around a live event, however big or small. Over the past few weeks I’ve been honoured to spend lots of time with guests at some beautiful weddings, creative barmitzvahs, and special celebrations. I’ve listened, I’ve watched and I’ve noticed everything going on.

When you look at an event pre covid, often a celebration can seem a superficial celebration. Same formats used, same old same old, you need to attend and show your face whether you want to be there or not. It's a lovely day and you enjoy it and well…that’s it, it's done, and onto the next one.

Today, things have changed and I’m redefining what events look like in the post Covid era. I know for a fact that it's only the start of so much more magic that is to come when throwing a party, wedding or celebration. Everything I’m about to put out there applies whether you're throwing a million dollar party, or whether you're throwing a small intimate gathering for a baby shower.

Firstly, people are excited to get out, excited to get dressed up, and to get together with friends and family they’ve not seen in a long time. Make sure you tell people how you want them to dress! We’ve not been out for a long time, so be specific and have fun with it. If that means dress ‘all white’ or ‘1920’s chic’, build excitement from the moment the invite is sent out.

People are learning how to engage and interact with each other again in gatherings, but one key thing I have noticed is that there is so much more joy around for the person or couples celebration that you’re attending. There's a feeling of privilege that you get to experience and be part of such a key moment in someone's life, and they’ve chosen you to be a part of it with them. It’s a heart-warming feeling that you know how much this day means to them and you really want to share it with them. So when going to an event, your guests are ready, they are eager to dive head first into the event and really enjoy every minute.

So will you explode all expectations? Your guests are ready and people are expecting more when it comes to attending a live event. They want more than just the social interaction element, they want an experience, one they can look back on and remember for years to come.

Living through Covid was an experience. What elements are we going to remember from this? We might remember how we had to go to a real effort to celebrate a loved ones birthday at home and make it really special. How we transformed our houses into something different for the day. Why did we do this? It was because we wanted to create a memorable experience.

Now when it comes to entertaining at home, a dinner party, a wedding or a birthday celebration, the experience is different. Our guests want more, they want to be transported into a magical world where they can embody a truly engaging experience that blows them away, we expect more. We’re done with the boring. No more boring parties. Creative experiential parties & celebrations are definitely the way forward. We want events that play to all of our senses. Ones where the body perceives an external stimulus from all the senses; sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.

Let me explain more and you’ll understand what I mean. Your guests walk into a room for the very first time and it's a complete transformation from a) what the room originally was (unless the room is a true feature in itself and b) it's completely different from the everyday. You are walking into a new world, a transformation from the world you’ve come from, to this incredible new world you have created for your event. I very much believe that the beauty in life is how we transform it. As an individual, we are in control and are in the driving seat. As a host for an event, you're in the same driving seat, you can ensure your guests receive and embody that transformation.

The use of colours, shapes, theming and visuals dictates what we see, and lighting all contributes to this. Entertainment is key, it of course comes in all shapes & sizes, but the more surprises the better! Music and thematic sounds are essential. Let’s say for example you walk through a tropical themed entrance to your event, why not enhance with tropical sounds that all add to the ambience? What does your room smell like when you enter? Maybe your wedding has a scent associated to it and in the future when your guests smell that smell, it's going to remind them of your day. This could even be small touches such as a sprig of rosemary on your napkin that just makes you want to pick it up and smell it. This is all part of embodying your event. When it comes to food, incredible taste is important, but I also love to surprise guests when it comes to the experiences they have with food. Touch is one way I love doing this, bringing different textures into your event through florals, linens, shaped glassware, unusual drinkware and more! I’ve been designing creative events for a long time now and I’ve been to a lot of events where I’ve not been involved. Let's say I can get bored easily and so can your guests. This is exactly why just focussing on one of the senses is not enough. You need them all, beautifully fused together, and this is exactly what I love to produce - creative, experiential parties.

It was supposed to be my daughter Dahlia’s batmitzvah last year and we were going to have a big party. The majority of her school year group decided to have very small celebrations. However, for me I can’t tell you how much joy I’ve seen from planning these special occasions over the years and why shouldn’t we celebrate in style, putting our own stamp on it and making it really unique? I’m totally going to embody all of those creative senses for Dahlia’s party and I can’t wait to share this special evening with all our guests. For me it’s all about the memories we’re going to create. When I look back now at the 100’s of events I’ve planned over the years, the ones that really stand out are the ones that really focussed on the experience that guests were going to have.

Every little detail counts. Make sure your events are filled with special magic touches. Please don’t do boring parties & celebrations as these are over! Think differently, bring personality into your events. I’m a big believer that it doesn't need to be hard to make this happen. I’m a strong advocate for making creative event planning easy and fun and this is exactly what I help my clients achieve.

During lockdown I took an idea I’d had for a long time and brought it to life. I wanted to be able to bring the ‘Debbie Marks touch’ to your home. Officially named ‘Qube Luxe by Debbie Marks’, my creative luxury DIY events business was born featuring creative decor kits for those smaller events at home. This is my way of sharing my designs with the world. If you're entertaining at home and throwing a dinner party, you’re going to love our tablescape boxes. It's really special and is only the start. There is so much more to come. You can check them out at, I’ve taken key features from my large scale creative events and put them into a box for you to style in your own home, and it’s all about the luxury, as I truly believe we all need to spoil ourselves and our loved ones. If you're ready to put the magic into your memories, I invite you to come and follow me.

Debbie Marks is a Luxury Event Expert and the CEO & Founder of the Qube Decor Group, which includes Qube Events, Qube Event Hire & Qube Luxe.