The Scoop: Love and lifelong relationships didn’t stop during the COVID-19 pandemic, but wedding industry trends have changed dramatically. One thing that’s likely to stay is the trend of smaller, more personalized marriage celebrations. Still, it can be challenging to create a unique atmosphere without the grand size. Social Studies is a company that can help couples create the wedding events and anniversary parties of their dreams — no matter the size. It provides the products they need, great ideas, and expert advice to make small event planning a fun experience.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many weddings were large affairs with opulent themes that couples could share on social media for everyone to enjoy. But when social distancing became a thing, it wasn’t so easy to have hundreds of people fly in from around the nation and, potentially, the world.

Smaller, more intimate affairs became the norm in 2020 and 2021, and many relationship experts believe the trend is here to stay. Guest lists are smaller, but that shouldn’t make the day any less special. Other trends include outdoor spaces transformed into magical backdrops for merriment and more sit-down dinners to put at least a temporary end to buffets and finger foods.

Social Studies helps with everything a couple needs to keep the celebration memorable despite those modern challenges.

Photo of Social Studies place settings
Social Studies offers a variety of products that help simplify wedding planning for couples.

Instead of spending money on a few high-priced personalized items, modern couples may want to make the entire experience as special as possible. That’s where Social Studies comes in.

The event planning company provides everything couples need for both small and medium-sized special events like weddings and anniversary parties. Its founders saw an unmet need in the planning space and set out to provide a solution.

“Why isn’t there a company out there where I can order everything needed, pre-curated, a one-stop shop?” said Jessica Latham, Social Studies Co-Founder and CEO. “Social Studies was founded to empower anyone regardless of experience to seamlessly plan the perfect event — without the guesswork.”

An Event-Planning Service Launched by Longtime Friends

Social Studies was the brainchild of Jessica and her best friend’s sister, Amy Griffin. They grew up together in Texas and reunited in New York City. Jessica said her first job out of college was working on the events team of a public relations and event planning company in Los Angeles called PMK.

“They produced many high-profile events in the entertainment industry, including the Golden Globes and film premieres,” Jessica said. “I loved all the excitement and energy around live events. It’s almost like a live performance. I was immediately hooked.”

Photo of Social Studies Founders Jessica Latham and Amy Griffin
Jessica Latham, left, and Amy Griffin founded Social Studies to provide party planners with easier rental options.

When she and Amy started to collaborate on events, they saw potential in their production, marketing, and branding skills. They both knew attention to detail and a keen sense of style were important for any special day or evening. At that point, Jessica said she realized there was a significant lack in the industry.

“I was frustrated by the lack of easy, affordable, and high-quality party rentals — particularly for small to medium-sized events,” she said.

When the trend of small events began to take off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the business grew. Today, the Social Studies team takes pride in creating memorable experiences for those who want their day to be unique and, perhaps even more importantly, stress-free.

Jessica said team members come from a diverse range of professional industries, including event management, media, fashion, restaurant, and retail. They combine their expertise to help those organizing the most important day of their lives.

Encouraging Couples to Outsource Difficult Wedding Details

One of Social Studies’ most popular offerings is its entertaining kit for weddings and dinners, which it rents in 40 different styles.

For $52 a guest, a couple could rent a look known as the Secret Garden, which is a collaboration with goop and is available for both rental and retail. The package includes a dinner plate, salad plate, flatware, glassware, and napkins. The table decor includes a runner, vase, candle holders, tapers, and votive candles. Clients can also add table toppers, menus, and place cards for a beautiful tabletop.

“You simply have to wipe off food scraps, repack the kits, and they get picked up from the venue after the event,” Jess said. “Additionally, our products are ideal for both wedding registries and gifts for new homeowners.”

The company also offers a wide range of items to rent and buy. Social Studies allows couples to pull off elegant styles in small venues instead of relying on a professional event planner or a team at a big resort.

Screenshot from Social Studies website
Social Studies packages include everything couples need to plan memorable place settings.

Few future brides or grooms have time to shop around for unique items that add some creativity to their event. Instead of working with several vendors and traditional event planners, couples can save money and let Social Studies manage the details of their special event.

“My advice would be to outsource what you can to reduce stress and focus on actually enjoying your wedding rather than planning it,” Jess said. “Social Studies is a great resource for couples at every step of planning, including bachelorette parties, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, and the wedding itself.”

Social Studies offers white-glove customer service that specializes in the latest in event planning and entertaining. The pandemic has prompted changes in wedding celebration trends, and the company has adapted to support couples and families who want to create special memories in these difficult times.

Social Studies Saw a 179% Spike in Sales in 2021

In the last few months, Jessica said the team has noticed a spike in customers resulting in a 179% increase in total sales in that period. The company has noticed many couples have started to increase the number of place settings they rent, but micro-weddings are also still popular.

Fitness pioneer Megan Roup planned her wedding with Social Studies, and many couples have even rented the entertainment kits to create at-home dates to spice up their relationships in a fun way.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to know that we are part of the memories our customers create, enabling them to set the right mood, create picture-worthy moments, and foster true connections,” Jessica said.

The company recently launched a rental and retail line with Goop, and co-curated kits with Madewell, FEED, Absolut, Ketel One Botanical, and G.H.Mumm. These collaborations can help couples more easily find styles that resonate with them.

Social Studies continues to focus on social media outreach through its Instagram page and provides advice through its editorial arm, called The Social. The company is planning even more content with tips for hosting perfect events through new franchises called Dress Code and Hosts at Home.

Jessica said team members love hearing about how they helped couples make their special day even more stylish without the stress.

“There are truly too many amazing stories to count, but we learned that, despite the pandemic, we served our customers in new and unique ways,” Jessica said. “It’s a responsibility that we don’t take lightly. We are constantly innovating to make the process as seamless as possible.”

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