COVID-19 has drastically changed the way people live. Within just a few months, the virus spread in more than 100 countries, forcing the WHO to declare it a pandemic.
The situation heavily affected many industries, particularly events planning.
Travel bans, social distancing, restrictions in events and mass gatherings, and temporary closure of establishments (particularly hotels, restaurants, and venues) have made planning a wedding a lot difficult and in many cases – worse.
Thankfully, vaccination efforts are starting to lower the number of cases. Restrictions are easing too. More and more people are starting to plan events once more as long as they comply with the health protocols.
If you’re pushing through with your wedding this year, this checklist is for you. Make sure to apply these in your wedding planning to avoid any problems and ensure the safety of everyone, especially your guests and loved ones.
Limit the Number of Guests
Currently, CDC does not provide actual numbers to define “large” and “small” gatherings. Check with the local authorities in your area (or the place where you wish to wed) if they have set a specific figure.
The size of your wedding will mostly depend on your venue of choice. In most countries, venues can only operate with 50% capacity. Meaning, if a hotel or venue can host a wedding of 100 people before the pandemic, today they can only accommodate 50 people.
The surreal reality of pandemic weddings comes in the fine print. Coordinate with the local authorities first, whether you are having the reception in your backyard or at a different location or venue.
Communicate With Guests Before the Event
Some or most of your guests haven’t attended a pandemic before.
Make sure to set proper expectations. When you send out wedding invitations, include a note reminding them about the health protocols that should be observed during the event.
These include wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing, and the like. It’s better if you can already designate chairs for each guest beforehand to avoid crowds.
Keep an Open Line With the Vendors
Planning events can be difficult for vendors too.
The key is to constantly communicate with your event planner, venue, and vendors. Some of these companies are likely operating in a limited capacity or fewer working hours.
Know about their protocols, SOPs, and other policies. Make sure to check the contract for important things like cancellation, rescheduling, or rebooking.
When shopping for wedding essentials like dresses, accessories, and custom made jewelry, consider coordinating with sellers online or via phone call.
Whenever you have to physically examine the product or item, arrange for an in-person meeting with the vendor to avoid crowds in their office or shop. Surely, they will be more than willing to accommodate you.
Encourage Physical Distancing
Consider planning for unique seating arrangements. An outdoor location is ideal for a pandemic wedding because you can arrange the seats the way you want. Plus, you have a bigger space to keep the distance between guests. Not to mention the fresh air.
During the wedding ceremony, consider moving to soft seating where families are on sofas or banquettes, socially distanced from other groups or households.
At the reception, you can have the same household together, with a max of 6 people per table.
Hand Hygiene, Respiratory Etiquette, and Face Masks
While your guests are likely bringing their own COVID-19 essentials to your wedding, it’s still important that you have all of these available in the venue.
After all, isn’t it nice to have all your guests wear the same custom facemasks that match the theme and style of your wedding?
Don’t forget to distribute reminders (written on cute stationery) about health and safety. Designate hand-washing stations and place hand sanitizers and alcohol in different areas, particularly near high-touch surfaces.
Whether you’re having meetings with your event planner or vendors, communicating with your families and guests, shopping for your dress, or conceptualizing your wedding theme – modern technology provides a safe and convenient way to get things done.
Whenever possible, talk to people virtually and only meet them face-to-face when necessary. If you want to invite more people to your wedding, consider hosting a virtual wedding.
Alternatively, you can live-stream your intimate wedding so your friends and relatives from other places can still attend, despite travel and event restrictions.
Things are different now and we never know when we will go back to normal.
Planning a wedding is no easy feat and the pandemic makes it even more difficult.
Thankfully, there are things we can do to pull off a beautiful wedding ceremony amidst restrictions. Make sure to follow these tips for a safe, healthy, and memorable occasion.