New Traditions

In the strange new landscape of our world, more and more are rethinking how social interactions happen whether it’s going to work, out shopping or even for a walk outside. As a result, many engaged couples are having to scale back and consider alternative options. With some creativity and flexibility, there are still ways for people to connect and celebrate special moments.


The great outdoors not only provide a beautiful backdrop for a special event, it also provides more space to spread out with better air circulation. South Bend has several parks that are truly special spaces for events and weddings that you may have never considered. Leeper Park is known for the stunningly renovated Studebaker Fountain. This historic gem would make a memorable backdrop to your special occasion. The Ziegler Amphitheatre is also a great spot for an intimate wedding ceremony with a small stage and seating built in. Several parks in South Bend have outdoor pavilions that are rentable throughout the year. When temperatures are milder, a pavilion is a perfect spot to host a gathering that is outdoors. Additionally, pavilions at Potawatomi Park, Rum Village, O’Brien Park and the Jon Hunt Plaza are all options for those looking outdoors.


Limitations during this COVID era provide a unique opportunity to create more intimate gatherings with those closest to us. Traditional event venues like Century Center, Palais Royale, Morris Performing Arts Center and Howard Park Event Center continue to remain open and available, but at reduced capacity. Event specialists at each of the venues are able to help create layouts that keep people at appropriate distances. While it might be obvious that seating should be spread out, other aspects of the event can also be adjusted to keep interactions among guests minimal. Consider locating dance floors throughout the room instead of all in one place; food can be boxed individually and kept at each seat; and entertainment can be located centrally in the room so it’s visible from all over instead of just one area near a stage. There are many ways to create a safe and fun environment for everyone attending.


Some situations call for people to not be in person at an event, but we’ve seen over the last several months how possible it is to participate in gatherings virtually and still have meaningful experiences. All of our indoor venues and some of the outdoor parks in South Bend offer free, high-speed Wi-Fi which makes connecting for live streaming purposes easy and accessible to all.


To see more of the Fall/Winter 2020 Spark Magazine, click here.