Planning a wedding during COVID has been nothing short of frustrating. If your wedding is coming up in the next 6 months, there’s definitely a lot of things to consider. You want to celebrate with all the people you love but you also want to keep everyone safe and healthy. It may be a struggle at first to find a balance but there is definitely a way to make everything work. Here’s a couple things to consider while planning your wedding during COVID.
Downsize Your Wedding
If you want to have your wedding on the same date you originally planned, you are going to need to downsize your guest list. Large gatherings are not encouraged and many venues are not allowing their couples to have guests lists larger than 50 people. Some people have tried to get around this by having their wedding held at their private residence and ended up getting fined because of it… yeah I definitely do not recommend risking that. 😬
Cutting down your guest list can be a challenge but definitely not impossible. Try to keep your list to close family members and the most important friends; people who may have had a lot influence in your life and your relationship. It can be really hard to tell people they can no longer come but with everything that has happened this year, I find a lot of people have been pretty understanding. Make sure to let them know how much you appreciate them and their support and would love to celebrate with them in the future. In the end, you’re really just looking out for everyone’s safety. As upsetting as it can be, no one can really blame you for that.
For the people who can’t be there with you in person, FaceTime and Zoom are there to help. As we all know, video chatting has been able to keep us connected this entire year, and your wedding is no different. Even though some may not be able to be there in person, doesn’t mean they have to miss the ceremony and other important moments. I usually don’t recommend people using their phone during ceremonies but in times like this it makes a lot of sense. Designate someone who will be in attendance to hold the phone, set up the laptop, or however you choose to do it and make sure your video guests can witness it all. You can do activities like your first dance, cutting the cake, and all the other traditional wedding moments grandparents love to see. FaceTiming your wedding is a great way to make family members not in attendance feel involved and send their congratulations.
Move Your Wedding Outside
Studies about COVID have been showing that the best places that minimize the chance of exposure are in well ventilated spaces. What space is better ventilated than outside?? Because of this, many outside venues are still allowing their guests to have their wedding on the original date. As long as you continue to take precautions, having your wedding outside is fairly safe!
If your venue has canceled on you and you’re struggling to find a new one, a great option is to move your wedding to a more adventurous location. State parks, campgrounds, and national forest areas are great places to host a wedding, all you need is a permit and rentals and you’re good to go! Big bonus… the scenery isn’t too bad either. 😍
Throughout this pandemic I’ve noticed one consistent thing that strangely affects weddings; eating is a sensitive subject. There’s just such a big debate about the right way to eat food and serve food that planning a dinner for your wedding has potential to be a stressful topic. Here’s my tips. Avoid buffet style dinners and if you are doing a buffet, hire people to serve the food. Hiring servers will greatly help since now you won’t have 50 different sets of hands passing the serving spoons. This will keep exposure to a minimum and you’ll make your guests feel more comfortable.
As for actually eating the food, this may be when specific seating assignments are the most helpful. Try to make the tables small enough to hold each group/household. Households normally are not 10 people, so don’t set up 10 person tables. Keep the tables small and be very intentional with the assignments. This way, you don’t have to worry about making all the seats 6 feet apart.
Hand Sanitizer and Masks
As we all know, these two things are pretty much a must when you go out in public now. You’d expect everybody to have their own by now, but really you can never be too sure. Make these two things as accessible as possible to your guests. Put hand sanitizer and a box of face masks in places where all your guests will pass like near the guest book and gifts table. I even suggest places small bottles of sanitizer at each dinner table so they are easy to locate and use. This will help communicate to them that you want everybody to take precautions and be safe.
Another great way to be sure that the people who will be attending know that you want them to follow safety precautions is to let them know ahead of time. Put it on your updated invite, post it on your wedding website or FaceBook event; make sure that they know they need to come prepared. Give people time to find a cute face mask that matches your wedding vibe, or even give them a link to ones you already approve of. (Like these cute lace masks) The more time you give people to prepare the better, and you don’t want there to be any questions either.
Keep Dancing to a Minimum
In case you didn’t realize… dancing is not really an activity you can do while social distancing, and since it can be quite the workout as well it’s probably something you should try to avoid at your wedding. As someone who lives for a good dance party, it definitely hurts my heart to even think about not dancing! But there’s other great activities that can take its place. Play some fun games with your guests, have a bonfire going, do some karaoke (you laugh but I’ve seen it!), hire live entertainment, and more! There’s a ton of ways to get your guests involved and enjoy the celebration without dancing.
I know our current situation isn’t ideal, and it’s never fun to have to change your plans for the night you’ve been dreaming of for so long. In the end, it’s not about a wedding. We’re here to celebrate your new marriage and the beginning of this new phase in your life. Focus on the things that are important and do the best you can with everything else. You can absolutely find ways to celebrate with your loved ones in a fun and safe way.