The COVID-19 pandemic has turned people’s worlds upside down; it has meant that people have had to postpone their weddings and then cancel the new dates.
Others have had to cut their huge guests lists down to just 15 people and hold a much smaller wedding than planned and then, of course, there’s the whole wedding industry which has been hit incredibly hard with venues closing and vendors going out of business.
If you are engaged and looking forward to your wedding, then there are some things you might have to change now since the pandemic. If you have already started planning your wedding, then you need to decide if you want to go ahead with a smaller wedding instead and plan around the new guidelines and restrictions, or do you want to wait until the pandemic has eased off and you can have the big wedding you’ve always dreamed of? The only problem with this, though, is that there is no way of no way of knowing how long life will be like this for so you could be waiting a long time for your big day.
While weddings can still go ahead, in most states, you can only have a limited number of guests, live singing is banned, and buffets are off the table. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still have an amazing day. There are loads of ways you can still have your perfect day and one of the best and most memorable days of your life while maintaining social distancing and keeping your guests safe. And, at least with a smaller guest list, you will have a bigger budget to play with, which means you can go all out on the things you really want to have, such as amazing food or a free bar. But where do you begin planning and changing for a COVID-19 wedding?
Update Your Invitations
If you had already planned your wedding and have had to reschedule, then you might want to send out some ‘change the date’ cards to update people with what is going on; even if you haven’t planned the new date, you could still send out a Postponed card to tell people that things are TBC and you’ll get back to them soon. Or if you have planned the new date, then you can send out a new invitation with all the deets on. Check out these Truly Engaging wedding invitations where you can find all these different options.
A great way to make your guests feel safe and to follow the guidelines in a cute way is to provide hand sanitizer. They’re going to need it as they’ll be picking up glasses, opening doors, touching chairs, etc., so it’s important to have lots of sanitizer on hand. You can remind people about this with cute signs saying ‘Spread love, not germs’ sign, you can get decorative pump bottles spread out all over the venue, and you could even give your guests personalized bottles of sanitizer on arrival, have serving staff pass around little bottles of hand sanitizer on trays like they would with champagne or you could put packets of sanitizing wipes in pretty tissue boxes.
To keep everyone safe and to follow the COVID-19 guidelines, you’ll need to keep your guests at a distance. There are some ways you can do this, which look pretty cute such as circular or semi-circular seating with spaced out rows of guests around the edge, and then you could have the couple in the center so that everyone has a good view. You can also assign seating just as you would for the reception, this way; you can keep family units and ‘social bubbles’ together and avoid seating vulnerable or at-risk loved ones near someone you know may be more exposed in a key worker role.
Provide Custom Masks
A face mask can be a great little souvenir for your wedding guests if you customize them, and they’re much better for the environment than disposable ones. Personalize them with your names and wedding date on, or get them made in the color of your wedding theme. There’s plenty of ways you can make them look like a normal part of the day.
Why Not Have A Weekday Wedding
If you’re going to be having a smaller number of people at your wedding, some of who won’t be working, then perhaps you could opt for a weekday wedding as it’s not going to be as big a deal as asking 100 people to take a weekday off work. The other benefit of doing this is that with so many weddings being postponed this year when you’re looking for 2021 venues and vendors, you may struggle to get what you want with the demand being so high. However, if you choose a weekday wedding, then hopefully you’ll be able to get the venue you want and the vendors and entertainment too.
Explore Different Types of Wedding
You know that your wedding is going to be different now so why not embrace that rather than try and do a version of the wedding you would have had, do something completely different, and make it your own. People are now planning ‘Minimonies,’ which is basically a mini-ceremony with a small group of loved ones, in person or virtually. This will be your wedding ceremony, just a mini one and you could have a mini version of your wedding cake and even a mini bouquet. You should do all the key things you would do on your big day; you should have your first dance and hire a photographer to take photos. Then your minimony can be followed by a big wedding at a later date, where you can either just have a reception with all your loved ones or have a blessing ceremony too.
Alternatively, you could have a shift wedding where you don’t need to cut down your wedding guests, you just have them arrive and leave at different times, so essentially they will come in shifts to keep the overall numbers down at any one time, which makes it easier for you to maintain social distancing and it means that if you have any relatives who have been self-isolating, they could come for the first shift. This way, you could also spend quality time with each guest, which you never get time to do at a normal wedding. Or you could opt for a Multi-day Wedding which includes festivities over the course of three days, meaning you can invite different groupings of guests to each day.
Don’t forget that you can also have virtual guests at your wedding or live stream the whole thing so that people who can’t be there can watch from their own homes. These guests can also record a message for a digital guestbook and share in your big day if you send them a little bottle of champagne and a wedding favor ahead of time.
Find Unusual Forms of Entertainment
As mentioned, if you’re going to have fewer guests, then hopefully, you’ll be left with a bigger budget to play with, and if you feel that you have to miss out on other parts of the wedding, then you could compensate with some fab forms of entertainment. While you can’t have a live singer, you could have a string quartet or a harpist during the day and then a jazz band for the evening. You could even have circus performers, like stilt walkers, acrobats, jugglers, or fire eaters, as there’s no need for them to be too close to guests but can still provide exciting entertainment. Then you could finish off with a fireworks display at the end of the night.
Make The Most Of The Outdoors
It’s going to be much safer for everyone if you can spend most of the day outdoors, so try to do this as much as possible. Look for a venue that has different outdoor areas, so you’re not stuck in the same one all day. Even if it’s a little colder, you can get firepits or outdoor heaters to create a cozy atmosphere.
Personalize Everything You Can
With less to think about and a little leftover budget, you can really spend some time customizing your wedding, and as you can’t get up close and personal with your guests, then you can show them how much they mean to you with little notes which you could write to each one and leave them in their places. You could also serve signature cocktails that include all your favorite spirits and flavors and give them fun and personalized names that your guests will recognize. Another way to get your guests involved is to ask them to suggest songs for your reception playlist or for your band to play on the night. Just make sure they get up and dance to it when their song comes on.
All you need to do is to think outside the box a little and be creative, and you can still have the most perfect day, even in the most unprecedented times and circumstances.