Let’s talk about having a wedding during a pandemic and ways to safely celebrate your day without having to reschedule. This wasn’t H+T’s original wedding plan (thanks Covid) but it was absolutely perfect.
First of all, who thought this would be a blog post I would be writing in 2020?! “How to have a wedding during a pandemic” was definitely not on my radar going into this year, but here we are making the best of it!
The photos in this post are from Hilary + Thomas’ wedding day. The reason I chose this wedding to share with this post is because they were such great examples on how to be flexible with your wedding plans during this pandemic. They focused more on each other than what was surrounding them on their day and it was so special to witness.
PANDEMIC WEDDING TIPS
This pandemic has WRECKED the event planning industry. The way we have been doing things for our entire careers has been turned upside down and it’s such a time of adjustment for everyone involved. Us wedding vendors have been at a loss for what to do, how to handle it, and what to suggest to our clients. But after talking to some friends in the industry, I have put together a few suggestions for having a wedding during this pandemic.
From someone that has had Covid (a story for another time) it’s definitely worth it to make a few small changes to protect you and your guests from getting sick. A pandemic wedding isn’t ideal, but I understand that some people may not be able to reschedule. So below are some helpful tips to keep your day as safe as possible!
FIRST OFF, FOCUS ON YOUR MARRIAGE MORE THAN YOUR WEDDING.
I’ve said this before and i’ll say it again. Your marriage is WAY more important than your wedding day. Especially right now with so much unknown in the world, it’s easy to get hooked up on the details of your wedding day and focus more on that then on your person.
This pandemic is going to change some parts of the wedding day you have always imagined, but that doesn’t make it any less perfect. It’s okay to grieve those changes, BUT, at the end of the day don’t forget to remind yourself that you still have your person and your’e still going to be married at the end of it all.
And for goodness sake, don’t let this stupid pandemic ruin this season of life for you. It doesn’t deserve that kind of control.
PICKING THE RIGHT VENUE
The bigger the venue the better – even if you are only having 50 people at your wedding. You could also prioritize having both indoor and outdoor spaces to keep people spread out! Ive seen some wedding venues that have big garage doors that can be opened to have a seamless indoor/outdoor space. The more your guests can spread out the better!
Also, when booking a venue talk to them about what they are doing to keep their wedding clients and guests safe during the pandemic. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions to any of your vendors! We are prepared for it!
POSTPONE IF POSSIBLE
My biggest tip would be to postpone any big celebration if you can. For Hilary and Thomas, they still had their wedding ceremony on their original date, but they moved their reception to a later date because of the pandemic. There were only 20 people including their vendors at their ceremony, so it was easy for us to keep our distance from each other. This way, you still get married on schedule (especially important if you aren’t living together pre-wedding) but are also able to celebrate with all your family and friends when its safe again.
Talk to your venue and vendors. Most will be flexible with this idea because they also want to stay safe during this time. For Hilary, her venue allowed them to use the outdoor ceremony space for free on their original date and then just changed the venue rental to the new date for the reception!
SHORTEN YOUR GUEST LIST
This can be hard. You invited 150 people to your wedding and are now being told to cut it down (moment of silence to let the anxiety set in). BUT, in my opinion it’s all about how you approach it. Have an alternative option for people that cant be there in person. I know a lot of couples right now are live streaming their ceremony for guests that aren’t able to attend the wedding. This is great option to still make your family and friends feel included in your day!
As far as who to cut from the list, start with your older guests or people that are immune deficient – they will be the most understanding and will honestly feel relieved. Explain that you have to cut down on guests and that you think they would be safer staying home. From there, talk to people that have plus ones – explain that you have to cut down your wedding guest list due to the pandemic and ask if they would be willing to give up their plus one. Most people will be accommodating and want to help! At that point, just talk to people you know will be the most understanding. At the end of the day, if your family and closest friends are there, your day will be just as special!
If you are interested in live streaming your wedding, Panther City Media is a great option in the DFW area!
SUPPLY MASKS AND SANITIZER TO GUESTS
I’ve seen this done in such cute ways at weddings! Having “wedding favor” style gift bags with masks and mini sanitizers in them at the entrance of the wedding can be so cute! Or having custom masks with your bridesmaids names on it as a gift. I’ve even seen people have cute little cloth masks with a little bottle of sanitizer sitting at every seat of the ceremony or reception.
If you want to be extra careful, put up signs reminding your guests to wear the masks at all times except when eating is the best way to keep everyone safe.
HIRE SERVERS INSTEAD OF DOING BUFFET STYLE DINNER
Buffets are probably the easiest way to spread a virus, so it’s important to avoid them at all costs. Hire servers to serve dinner instead. By that I mean people in the back making plates and bringing it out to guests as they stay seated at their table. It might take longer for everyone to get food, but its worth it to keep your guests safe!
AVOID SELF SERVE DESSERT TABLES
Self serve dessert tables can be just as bad as buffet’s! Thinking of alternatives to open dessert tables can protect you and your guests. You could have individually wrapped cupcakes or cookies on a table or even sitting at each seat of the reception! If you still wanted to have a cake to cut with your husband/wife, consider purchasing a mini cake for just the two of you to share. Then have the venue store it in the back until you are ready to cut it!
LASTLY, BE FLEXIBLE WITH YOUR VENDORS
I know how hard it is to let go of the wedding of your dreams, but right now we are living in unprecedented times and your vendors are doing their very best to keep you, your guests, and themselves safe. We want your day to be as perfect as possible, so trust our weird recommendations during this time.
WANNA KNOW WHAT IM DOING DURING THIS PANDEMIC?
Scroll to the bottom of this blog post to read about how I’m navigating my business through this pandemic.