If you’ve had the chance of planning an event or wedding prior to COVID-19, you may have had a difficult time with your guest list. Who sits at what table? Is your venue big enough to distance big egos from one another? How big is your budget to accommodate everyone? For those of you seeking to plan during this pandemic, you face scaling down your event guest list during COVID-19.
If you ask any Event Planner, they will tell you that weddings struggle the most when it comes to scaling down a guest list. Most charities and corporate events require guests to purchase a ticket so this helps them manage the guest list. Now with COVID-19 running around as if it owns the place, states have drastically restricted how many people can attend events and weddings.
How do you go from being accustomed to 250+ guests to now having to deal with 50 or less? Where does one even start? Is there a app for you to plug in names and have it guess who should attend? What magic lamp will tell you who are the most important people in your life.
Quite honestly, there is none of that to help you. But, there are a few tricks you can consider especially for those of you considering a DC Micro-Wedding and do not want to postpone.
How to Pick Your Event Guest List During COVID-19?
Consider your family first
For sentimental events like micro weddings in DC, it makes sense that your family has the first option to attend. Many couples have large families and will quickly fill up the guests list. Those with smaller families have the chance to also invite friends to this intimate wedding.
The biggest benefit is to do a mindset reset. This tells your mind that this is a smaller event or wedding and that everyone cannot come. Yes people already know this, but so many still want to invite hundreds of people despite state rules stating otherwise.
Create A Set of Inivte Rules
Having a set of invite rules when you have to pick your event guest list during COVID-19 is a saving grace. I recommend developing a set of questions to consider as you think of names. If they answer no to those question, you may not want to invite them. Here are a few:
- Would this person bail me out of jail if it got to that point?
- Has this person ever been to my home or has invited me to their home?
- When was the last time I spoke to this person?
- Has this coworker ever engaged with me outside of work?
- Could I trust this person to house sit?
You get the point? Your rules can be whatever you chose them to be such as restricting those with preexisting conditions. The goal is to create a process that would help you eliminate who would not get an invitation.
Pulse Your Original Guest List
If after you have done the above and still have a big guest count, consider splitting your guests into Team A and Team B. For Team A, reach out privately and ask them if you were to move forward with an event or wedding, would they attend. Some people may decline due to so many factors.
Guests who need to get on a plane to travel may decline. Those who are asymptomatic may also decline. Even those who are in states that are still under a stay at home order, won’t be able to make it. You will want to know these things before solidifying your event guest list during COVID-19.
By this point, you should be able to scale down your guest list to fit the requirements your state has outlined. However, here are some additional things you must consider when you pick your event guests list during COVID-19.
Don’t Forget Your Vendors
When we talk about guest lists in the past, it never considered vendors. Those behind the scenes people who make your event or wedding happen. Now with COVID-19 affecting everyone, vendors may be considered a part of your guest count. It’s key that you check with your state to make sure what their rules are about this.
Let’s continue with the DC Micro Wedding concept for this next example.
If you are allowed to have a wedding with 50 guests. You have hired a vendor team of 10 people. A DJ, Planner, Photographer, Videography, catering, and florist. If your state deems that the vendors are a part of the guest count, this means you can only invite 40 people.
At this time, it will be really important to get guidance on this. It’s also important to make sure your vendors are not bringing extra people for a job one person can do. Keep in mind many vendors can set up and leave and not be counted as actual guests staying at the event.
Put on Your PR Hat
Many events and weddings were canceled with little reaction on anyone’s behalf. If you have elected to have a micro wedding or a smaller corporate event, you have to speak with everyone you previously invited.
It would be unfair for people who you previously invited to learn that you moved forward with a smaller event or wedding without them. Before that happens, call each guests that will not be invited to the smaller event. Inform them of your decision. No need to go into grave detail. Be clear and concise and avoid compromising.
Your guests should understand and if they don’t are they really worth inviting?
Trying to scale down and pick your event guests list during COVID-19 will not be an easy task. Personal feelings will need to be considered. Your state’s guidance will be the determining factor for many decisions. Safety above all is essential. Certainly everyone wants the best. It’s simply up to you to decide who to invite should you move forward with a wedding or event during COVID-19.