During pre-COVID times, wedding concerns like venue capacity had far more to do with budget and vision than with the health and safety of guests. It’s a different world today, but with some careful planning you can still find ways to safely celebrate your love.
As the vows say, marriage is in good times and in bad. It may simply require some flexibility and creativity to make your dream day a reality.
Enlist help from an experienced coordinator. If you weren’t planning to use a wedding coordinator, the pandemic is a compelling reason to reconsider. Keeping track of changing mandates and how they affect gatherings, crowd sizes and more is a job in its own right. Allowing your coordinator to keep tabs on the latest recommendations, and adjust arrangements with your vendors accordingly, may save a great deal of time and frustration.
Be realistic about your invite list. A year ago, it would have been unthinkable to create a tiered guest list and even consider making cuts even after invites go out. Today, that decision may be out of your hands. Rather than waiting until you get news that you’ll have to make cuts, take time now, with a level head and less emotion affecting your decisions, to segment your list. Determine who absolutely must be present as you exchange vows then expand in increments. Your coordinator or venue contact can help you determine thresholds (e.g., 25, 50 or 100 guests) based on the guidelines in your community.
Understand expectations. Vendors are required to enforce local guidelines, so ensure you’re clear on what measures they will implement on your day. This may include everything from masks and distancing to whether you’re allowed to use a dance floor during the reception.
Keep guests informed. If you haven’t already, create a blog or send out regular updates about wedding plans to guests. If circumstances require you to uninvite someone, be conscious of timing and give plenty of notice so travel can be canceled, if necessary. As the event approaches, be clear about expectations so guests can arrive prepared or bow out if they’re not comfortable with what you’re planning.
Make safety convenient. Providing masks, gloves and sanitizer can all go a long way to help make guests feel more secure at your event. A personalized hand sanitizer holder might even be a practical gift that guests can use and think fondly of your wedding day.
Forego traditions, for now. The pandemic won’t last forever, but while it’s still here, consider skipping high-contact traditions like photos that bring multiple households together or a receiving line where everyone is in close contact. One alternative is to plan a mini-wedding (or even elope) now, and save the bigger celebration for later, when everyone can honor your marriage more safely.
Find more wedding advice and tips for daily life at eLivingtoday.com.