Since March 2020, we have seen our fair share of disasters unfolding because COVID-19 decided to give the world an early Christmas gift. There was no place where the pandemic could not reach and that included ruining weddings for couples globally. Debates over deposits and wedding insurance became hot topics and a reality said check mate. While COVID-19 has no plans to free us anytime soon, couples are still asking for COVID-19 wedding tips.
It’s rather difficult to plan for the future when we have never experienced such a pandemic. Do we start back inviting guests? Should we even bother having a wedding? What safety net is there? So many questions and so much uncertainty still lingers.
Even with all of the chaos, couples still want to get married even if it means having a micro wedding. Because of that, we have come up with 11 COVID-19 wedding tips you may have not considered.
11 COVID-19 Wedding Tips
Figure Out if You Will Get Your Deposit Back
When it comes to deposits we have read horror stories following the shutdown of venues across the world due to COVID-19. Mainly because a lot of work went into planning the weddings before the pandemic. This has raised the question of can couples get their deposits back if they decide to plan their wedding during a pandemic and later decide to cancel.
What we are doing for all of our DC micro weddings in 2020, is laying the foundation of the wedding and waiting until 45 days out. At that point couples have the chance to move forward or to cancel. Because weddings are more intimate, we have enough time to execute if couples move forward and our vendors and venues are onboard with this strategy. If couples don’t move forward, we give a full refund. Couples should also be aware that some companies may not give back full deposits if a certain amount of work was executed before they decided to cancel.
Consider a New Way of Seating Guests
To keep guests safe at weddings, we have changed how we do our seating charts. Take the ceremony for example. Instead of doing a theatre style seating arrangement, we are asking couples to determine which guests are arriving from the same household. We then group them into a seating section.
Those who are the only person in their household, we simply seat them alone. All sections maintain 6ft distance from the other. For the reception we keep this same arrangement where each household is at their own table. For those arriving alone, we then group them at larger tables with no more than 4-5 people. Washington, DC has now mandated that all guests must wear a face mask/covering unless drinking or eating.
Don’t Overlook The Physiological Affects On Guests
For guests who have reservations about attending, we’ve had a honest conversation with our couples. When it comes to uncertainty, we rather guest who are nervous to remain home than to arrive and be stressed, frantic, and possibly jeopardize someone else or the entire wedding because of fear. We do offer them the virtual experience where we have the ability to deliver favors, specialty food, and even a mini cake to them to help be a part of the live wedding they are watching. Small guest lists are still ok.
Outdoor Weddings Is The New Black
We highly recommend an outdoor wedding in 2020. For outdoor weddings during warmer times of the year, we recommend opting for an early morning wedding and turn that into a brunch reception, if desired. Couples also have the option of an evening wedding as it tends to be cooler when the sun has set. Adding outdoor fans with a mister option also helps to cool guests. We also recommend garden weddings as these environments tend to come with large trees that can offer shade from the sun.
For outdoor winter weddings, we don’t recommend them as wind is much stronger during the winter and may force people to huddle together to stay warm increasing the chances of COVID-19.
Turn Educating Your Guests Into A Social Night
To make attending a wedding fun, I have recommended creating an educational exercise. Games like Bingo works well. The couple has COVID-19 FAQs and as guests land on each space, it can have a question. Once a person wins, the winner can read off each question and the couple answers this out loud. This is best played via a virtual call with all invited guests. It turns education into something more fun and reduces stress around attending a wedding.
Figure Out Contactless Food Options
Many people have stated to not have a buffet at a wedding and for the most part I support this. However, a buffet where guests are not serving themselves is also an option. Allowing a server to prepare the food and beverage verses the guests is the best option. This also means that fiberglass or some sort of barrier must be in place between the food and the guests to prevent possible contamination.
For couples on a budget, this may be a better option verses the labor costs that comes with a plated offering. If couples go the plated route, it’s worth considering each table having the same server and that the server is not going from table to table. While this may increase labor fee to have more servers, it does reduce cross contamination.
Bars Are Officially a Faux Pas
Anyone offering alcoholic beverages at their wedding should eliminate all bars where guests have to go and order a drink. Allow a server to receive orders at a guest table and bring those drinks to the table. It’s also important that the server stays at the table the entire time and doesn’t service other tables to avoid roaming from one table to the next.
Turn Destinations Into Staycations
At this time we are not recommending destination weddings in 2020 and for the first half of 2021. Many countries still view the United States with trepidation. The European Union restricted access. Other countries like Mexico, Maldives, and Turkey are also shunning Americans. With the continued growing death rate due to COVID-19, it is not wise to make such plans not knowing what else may change in the coming months.
Considering Abandoning Your Wedding Party
Under normal circumstances, the wedding party was a coveted opportunity for best friends. Now, with intimate weddings, simply being in the room is what counts the most. It is not necessary for couples to have large wedding parties. In fact, we discourage it because it’s large groupings of people who are not in the same house hold standing next to each other. Also it’s quite difficult to have five or more people in a wedding party with six feet of separation and trying to capture that in a photo. The best option is have no more than one per person if you must.
It Might Be Worthwhile Not Hiring A DJ
This may be the only time we would recommend not hiring our favorite DJ Kurtis Cross. For music we are recommend string instruments for the most part. We have a couple that has hired a Violinist to play during the ceremony and then using a play list with a speaker for the reception. Since it’s still risky to have dancing, this is what is comfortable for them. If couples do decide to allow dancing, we recommend that they consider projection mapping that creates six foot circles on the dance floor that are also 6 ft apart from the other circles to maintain physical distance. Then you can hire Kurtis to keep the party going.
Postponing Your Wedding Might Be A Good Idea
For some couples we are recommending that they postpone their wedding. Some couples really want certain elements that are not possible at this point. Because of that and us not wanting to compromise what they want, we recommend to wait until 2021. This isn’t for all couples, but if what we are being asked to do seems too risky, then we recommend waiting.
It is key that all couples take a little more time to think over these COVID-19 wedding tips. We recommend that you think beyond your traditional wedding experience and consider guests experiences more. We are a high risk environment and the more safety precautions you can think of the better. Please remember the last tip. If it seems to be more than what is possible, consider pushing your wedding date back.
Need more than these COVID-19 wedding tips? Contact us.