The pandemic has dramatically thrown us all for a loop. Of course, couples in the midst of planning their weddings have been hit particularly hard. While many have postponed their celebrations indefinitely, some have chosen to move forward with their weddings – they just might look a little bit different. If you’re considering moving forward with a socially-distant wedding, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Check Your Area’s Current Guidelines
Of course, be sure to check the current COVID guidelines for your area and state. Every location will have their own restrictions, such as limitations on the amount of people that can be at an event or where events can be held. This means that, if you’re going through with your wedding at this time, you’ll likely need to make some necessary adjustments to abide by these rules and keep guests safe.
Start Making Cuts to Your Guest List
This is one of the rare instances where guests will understand if you’re cutting them from the guest list! If you were planning for anything other than an intimate celebration, you’ll likely need to cut down your guest list to abide by local regulations. Once you know how many people can be at your celebration, start by making a list of your VIPs, and then seeing if there is room for anyone else. Don’t forget to count your officiant, photographer, and anyone else who will be present at the wedding who isn’t a guest.
After you decide on your final guest list, send an email through your wedding website letting guests know of the changes. Be sure to express your gratitude for their support from afar, and possibly offer an invitation to celebrate virtually, or to join you at a later date for a larger celebration – more on both of those options below.
Look at Outdoor Venues
Outdoor wedding venues are a safer option than indoor venues right now. In fact, some areas don’t even allow for indoor events. If there’s an outdoor space at your wedding venue, see if you’ll be able to use it for your celebration. If there isn’t, you may need to see if there’s another local outdoor venue you can use. You may even want to consider hosting your wedding in a private backyard space. Whatever you choose, be sure there is enough space for guests who aren’t from the same household to socially distance from each other.
Consider Which Vendors Need to Be Cut or Reduced
When planning a safe and socially-distant wedding, you’ll most likely need to cut out (or at least reduce the services) of certain vendors. Here are a few things you’ll need to consider:
- You may not be able to have a hair and makeup artist come in, which means the bride and bridal party will be responsible for their own beauty looks.
- If you were originally planning on a buffet, you’ll likely need to switch to a plated meal, with as few catering staff members as possible working to bring out meals.
- Your bartender may need to be cut, which means you might consider giving guests their own mini bottles of liquor and a mixer to make their own drinks.
- In order to reduce your guest count, you may need to cut the DJ, and instead go with a digital playlist.
There are a lot of decisions that will need to be made when it comes to your vendors, so review your area’s guidelines and decide what should be done for a safer celebration with less people around.
Create Seating Bubbles
In order to keep everyone safe, you’ll want to allow space so that different households can socially distance from each other. This may mean doing assigned seating not only for your reception, but for your ceremony, as well. While it’s a bit unusual, this extra step will help guests easily find their seats and stay a safe distance from each other.
Encourage Sanitizing and Face Masks
Be sure to encourage your guests to do what they can to keep themselves and the other guests safe during the celebration. To make it super easy for guests, set up hand sanitizing stations throughout the event space. You may also want to have a few disposable masks on hand in case a guest forgets to bring their own.
Be Prepared to Postpone
Unfortunately, matters can change quickly when it comes to COVID. It’s possible that you’ll need to postpone, even after putting plans in place for a safer, socially-distant wedding. Stay on top of your state’s regulations, and be ready to cancel your celebration if it becomes necessary.
Consider a Virtual Celebration
If you want to get married now but the logistics of planning a socially-distant in-person wedding are a bit too tricky, consider live streaming a small ceremony. You can have an intimate ceremony with your officiant and family members, and have a trusted friend running the live stream so that all of your guests can watch this special moment. This is a particularly good idea if you originally planned for a large celebration, or would have a lot of guests coming in from out of town. With a virtual celebration, everyone will be able to participate from the comfort of their homes.
Get Married Now, Celebrate with Everyone Later
Some couples are also choosing to do a super small ceremony now, but planning for a larger celebration with friends and family in-person later down the line when life returns back to normal. This is a great option if you want to get legally married now, but can’t imagine not celebrating with all of your friends and family. Don’t worry – if you do a small ceremony right now, you can still celebrate with your new spouse and your closest family members with a nice intimate dinner celebration after the ceremony.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with professional wedding vendors of all talents who can help bring your vision to life! Information about current COVID precautions at the show can be found here.
Georgia wedding vendors, as well as other wedding professionals across the Southeast, can contact us about opportunities for exhibition and online marketing with Georgia Bridal Show.