Weddings in the Time of COVID

You've spent months, maybe even years planning for your big day. So much energy and emotion has gone into creating this wonderful celebration. But COVID had other plans. So what do you do when you don't want to postone? We've rounded up tips from the best in the wedding planning biz to share how you can still have your dream day under these new normal conditions.

1) Pared Down Attendees

Marie Kubin, CEO of Rent My Wedding, the largest event rental company in the US says that prioritizing your guest list is critical. "To ensure a smaller wedding size, couples can send out their wedding invitations in batches.  First, invite all immediate family and close friends.  Once those RSVPs come in -- which will likely be less guests than you expect due to COVID -- determine how many more guests you can still invite.  Send invitations to a second and/or third round of extended family and friends until you have filled all of your available socially-distant seats at the reception."

2) Hire an Expert

Michelle Durpetti, Owner of Michelle Durpetti Events, emphasizes the importance of getting expert help to coordinate your special day. "In these times, so much feels on hold and the reality is that life is still moving forward. Celebrating milestone moments like a marriage is important, and if it is done wisely with full working knowledge of safety guidelines, practices and procedures it can be done. This is why now more than ever, it is so crucial to hire professional, knowledgeable vendors to assist couples in the planning process.” 

3) COVID Questionnaire

Tara Fay, luxury wedding planner based in Ireland, also emphasizes the importance of screening your guest and staff working the wedding. "All guests have been sent a Covid questionnaire in advance. Our security keeps all details of all staff working on site - each staff member receives a Covid questionnaire in advance and all staff wear masks at the event."

4) Guest Etiquette

Katie Brownstein of event company With Joy, says that you must alert your guests in advance of what is expected. "Make sure you are on the same page as your guests regarding the social etiquette you expect to be followed at your wedding, such as social distancing, wearing face masks, avoiding direct contact such as handshakes and hugs, and any other preferences you may have. Communicating this in advance helps avoid any surprises or misunderstandings on your big day. An easy way to do this is to include a detailed FAQ / Q&A section on your wedding website to get ahead of guests' questions!"

5) Outside is Key

All the experts agree that being outside is really the best way to hold event during these times. Wedding photographer Bob Kniley, who has photographed 6 in person weddings this summer, shares the following: "Most of the couples who held a backyard wedding rented a commercial tent to provide a rain-backup location that didn’t force everyone to go inside - making everyone go inside is the last thing anyone wants right now!"

6) Ceremony Pre-Seating

Rosy Nuboer, Romance Planning Manager of Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa & Casino, advises the following: "Ceremonies at Hyatt Aruba will be pre-seated, the wedding couple will provides a seating chart to the venue and to guests before the event in order to help keep everyone socially distant."

7) Socially Distanced Layout

Brian Worley, owner and creative director of B. Worley Productions in Georgia shares the following: "We are social distancing the tables and limiting the number of guest that can be seated at each table.  All food stations must be chef attended and guest are not allowed to grab their own food.  Food is served to them so that only the chef, in gloves is touching the utensils that touch the food. The tables are set with decor, but flatware is individually rolled so that it is not just sitting out.  We also use double the amount of roll-ups of flatware and napkins that are provided to guests so they have more options."
8) Hand Sanitizer Stations & Custom Masks
Kourtney Perry, founder of 7 Centerpieces, highlights the new essentials for a COVID wedding. "Guest safety is a number one priority for couples having in-person weddings during this time. Thus, they are doing everything possible to make their guests feel comfortable. Hand sanitation stations are replacing photobooths. And embroidered facial coverings are doubling as favors."
9) Music Mods
Most couples are opting for a DJ instead of a live band, to minimize contact. Jason and Diana Alexander, owner of Austin Best DJs shares their best practices. "For our DJs, we create a barrier and do not allow requests. We also bring sanitizer to wipe down microphones that are being used for toasts/speeches, etc." As for dancing, most experts agree that masks should be required during dancing.


10) Mini Wedding - Big Decor

Melanie Levin, owner of Luck Eleven Events, also offers a good reminder: "It's important to remember that if a couple foregoes their large planned wedding for a smaller, intimate mini wedding, they have an opportunity to go all out with decor. Some of the things they might not have had in budget before are now accessible if there are less centerpieces, tables, chairs, dinners, etc. to pay for. Having a small wedding doesn't mean that decor and aesthetic have to be sacrificed!"

Lastly, if you'd like to read about a recent real wedding recap, Lauren Schaefer, founder of The Get Together Events Company has shared an amazing one with us here!

Cover Image courtesy of HES Photography.

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