It's now June 2020 and we’re sitting in our homes having to consider the possibility of postponing your wedding. It is hard to imagine your friends and family having to wear a mask, carry around hand sanitizer and refrain from getting “too” close to each other while they greet one another with an elbow bump instead of a hug. And although this could hold true for some events, it does not need to hold true for yours.
So, if you are one of the couples that have said, “Party On!” Let us help prepare you and your guests for a safe wedding, so we all can feel comfortable together while celebrating your love!
a series of blogs for couples planning their wedding during the covid-19 pandemic
written by a group of professional planners
While it may seem like regulations regarding COVID-19 are changing from sunrise to sunset (it’s because they are!), it’s still important to understand your local city, county and state social gathering rules. Each Venue and Private Estate will operate under different guidelines, so ensure your Wedding Planner and Venue Coordinator are updating you on any BIG policy changes (keyword: BIG).
Are they still allowing buffet service? Are guests allowed to sit together during the ceremony? Do you need to keep family units grouped together? Will they require a health screening prior to your wedding? Gather the information that has to do with “guest communication” so you know how to communicate these new policy changes to your guests.
I understand this is added stress to your wedding plans but try not to pull out your hair out and try not to contact your planner daily; instead, I recommend following-up either weekly or bi-monthly in order to stay productive and eliminate any anxiety from the day-to-day changes.
BUT WHAT IF I AM MOVING MY WEDDING TO A FAMILY OR FRIEND’S BACKYARD?
Private properties are not being held to the same government social gatherings guidelines as some commercial venues – but this does not mean we should risk the health & safety of our guests. And although there is a little more freedom to relax on a private estate, you should still communicate these considerations to your loved ones.
The best thing to remember in this situation, is that we are all experiencing this together. And although it may seem even the closest people to us have opposing feelings, we need to take them into consideration and provide options. So, depending on how you choose to move forward with your wedding, you need to allow your guests the option to back out if they no longer feel comfortable attending (and please remember to send them a party favor!).
Call your guests that are most at risk, such as grandma and grandpa, and have an honest conversation with them. But for the other guests, you can choose to include an additional details card in your invitation suite, direct them to your wedding website with a page designated for this or even create a Facebook group page for your friends and family to join. Either way, try to make it as easy as possible on yourself.
What Information Should I Include? My thought is this … No one wants to be surprised on the day-of your wedding. So, the more information we can share with our guests, to make them feel more comfortable upon arrival, the better!
Here are just a few more of my suggestions:
a. Are you requiring masks? If yes, will you be providing your own for guests to wear?
b. Are you or your venue requiring health screenings? If so, please write the instructions they will need to follow including what the will result will be if a failed screening takes place i.e. guests are not permitted onsite if they have a fever of 100.4+ (Will there be security onsite to turn away guests?).
c. Will guests be required to wash hands upon entrance to the venue?
d. Will there be disposable gloves provided in restrooms or a restroom attendant to wipe handles down?
e. Will family units need to sit together?
f. Are hugs to the B & G welcomed? I know this seems so silly, but some of your guests might actually question this. So, if you have some limitations on what you and your fiancé are comfortable with, please don’t be afraid to express them in a polite manner.
g. Will they have the option to self-park vs. valet?
The truth is, there will be some common areas your guests touch, like your guest book for example, and you’ll need to ensure those areas are kept clean and you are able to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Consider placing hand sanitizing stations along with cute signage throughout the venue, in areas that will attract a large number of guests. Or as another example, you can purchase custom pens for guests to keep after they sign your guest book or provide disposable gloves for guests to wear before they sign – but I strongly recommend signage encouraging guests to wash their hands / use the sanitation stations throughout the evening. And if you have an emcee, have them get in on the fun and remind guests to do this.
Are you planning on doing a wedding toast? If so, ensure your Emcee has disposable microphone covers and can wipe down the mic in between each guest’s speech.
Restroom’s naturally have a higher volume of traffic – so it’s so important to keep this area clean. Please ensure your venue or house, is well stocked with hand soap and paper towels. Ensure there’s a restroom attendant wiping down the doorknobs and other highly touched areas.
This is on the top of most couples mind and probably the most unsettling of safety precautions. Unfortunately, dancing and social distancing don’t go hand in hand, so we have to be a little creative. I still believe it’s possible for you to share your first dance with your husband or wife but I do suggest keeping group dancing to a bare minimum unless it’s possible for all your guests are wearing masks.