As many couples are having to pivot their wedding plans due to the global pandemic, taking the right actions and adapting to the new normal has been a challenge. On top of the traditional stressors of planning a wedding the ever-evolving times are not easy to adapt to. The resiliency of couples during this difficult time has been quite inspiring, reminding us that love conquers all. As government restrictions are slowly being lifted and venues are starting to open their doors the reality is that we will see many changes including updated gathering guidelines and government protocols that will need to be followed for you and your loved ones to feel safe and at ease. It is important to hold onto hope and move forward, your wedding will still happen. Your day might not exactly as you previously envisioned, but it will be just as special and memorable. Love is truly not cancelled and here are some ways to celebrate both safely and in style.
Keep Your Guests Informed
Keeping your guests safe and informed starts with pre-wedding communications and it’s never been more important to stay connected. Now is the time to think past just sending a traditional save the date followed by an invitation as your guests will be asking for more. Keep ahead of the game by sending out digital COVD-19 updates, keeping your wedding website current with any changes; or including a lengthier details card in your invitation suite. Taking a few extra steps in thoughtfulness will be well received and will alleviate many questions heading your way throughout the final planning stages.
Take Safety Precautions
As venues open expect new safety protocols to be put into place including sanitizing stations, accessibility to masks and gloves, contactless greetings and lots of disinfecting. It’s important to be mindful of these changes and there are always ways to put unique touches given the circumstances. Consider customized masks or personalized hand sanitizers for your guests as a favour which will also add a fun touch to your wedding day details. This also may mean revisiting your menu style. Many couples that had previously chosen buffet or family-style may are switching to plated meals limiting food interaction. It might take a while for venues capacities to increase and it will come in stages—so this may mean having to scale back on your guest list. But do not worry, there has been plenty of excitement about intimate weddings and this may be a trend that’s here to stay long after restrictions are dropped. It’s the small changes that will make a huge difference but still will not take away from the beautiful day you have planned.
Update Your Wedding Layout
The truth is weddings are going to look different. Venues are adapting to create unique layouts that are functional and safe but still aesthetically pleasing. You may not have full tables, tables may be spread further apart, socially distanced ceremonies may take place and dance floors may be expanded. Start thinking of ways to plug your guests into your seating chart intent fully. Seating families within the same household together, creating a safe zone for elderly loved ones, the immunocompromised and guests that are travelling are great adaptions to your planned layout. Knowing people’s accommodations and comfort level will help greatly when thoughtfully finalizing your seating arrangement. Consider having your ceremony, cocktail hour or reception outdoors. The more airflow, the more comfortable your guests will feel. Government restrictions are loosening up quicker on outdoor gatherings so if you are looking for a solution to not have to scale back drastically on your guest list this may be the best direction for you. Not being in a confined space allows for social distancing to happen more fluidly. Here is your chance to throw in a creative idea like a ceremony in round which allows for more space and a great view of the couple while still feeling the love and togetherness.
Have Fun with the New Normal
If you move forward with your wedding during the pandemic, it’s time to get creative. Personal details have never been more valued, and a smaller guest list than anticipated gives you the time to explore creative options such as personal notes to guests or slide shows of loved ones who cannot be present and are celebrating from afar. For your guests that cannot be there in person to celebrate, live streaming your event allows them to attend from the comfort of their own home and not miss out on such a special day and makes one great keepsake. Drive-by parades have also been so popular and are a great way to show both love and support.
Through all the uncertainties there are a few certain things. Your friends and family are eager to celebrate you and will be so thankful to be there never taking for granted weddings and the circumstances will bring you closer together than ever social distancing and all.
Katie Gregg is the lead planner and founder of Katie Gregg Events & Co. Her wedding planning journey began two years ago, not long after saying ‘I do’ with her husband Chris; she discovered her passion for wedding planning and wedding media. Katie believes wedding planning is more than just staging and organizing an aesthetically beautiful event. It requires taking cues from a couple’s personal styles, incorporating details from their love story, and creating a thoughtful experience for them and their guests alike.