As states start to re-open and ease in their Covid-19 restrictions, brides are looking for ways to have the wedding of their dreams safely. While some have opted to postpone, others have decided to go ahead with their weddings while incorporating social distancing guidelines. Wedding vendors are working with their brides to figure out ways to have a safe wedding while making sure it actually still feels like a wedding.
We definitely recommend looking at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on large outdoor gatherings and checking your local state guidelines. Work with your vendors to think of creative ways to socially distance in fun ways. Trust us, it is possible! Despite the changes in guest size and appearance, it does remind us of what a wedding means. It is a commitment to your partner and a celebration of your unwavering love. Having a party with a dance floor is fun and it is understandable to mourn the loss of what you initially envisioned for your wedding, but marriage is a beautiful thing to celebrate, even if the ceremony and reception look different now. At the end of the day, it is a celebration of both your love and nothing else.
So if you are not postponing your wedding, how can you have a wedding in a safe way?
Downsize your guest list
The first thing you’ll need to do is to downsize your guest list. You can (finally) have a good reason to uninvite your long distant relatives, distant friends and the colleagues that you had to invite just because you work together. It is understandable and for a good reason, so whomever you choose to uninvite, they’ll definitely understand. Instead, you can do a virtual live stream so they are still part of your wedding. Make a list of people you really want to have in your smaller and intimate wedding, those are the only people that should be there. The rest can enjoy the wedding in the comfort of their couch (and you get to save on the wedding costs).
If you can’t narrow your guest list and it’s still above the max allowed for your state, you can have guests come in shifts. Have some guests come for the ceremony and the rest come for the reception and party. Dividing guests into these 2 time slots means limited exposure and it allows those who want to head to bed early, an excuse to do so.
Have an outdoor wedding
Consider having an outdoor wedding! Having a safe wedding is much easier outdoors as there is more space for people to socially distance themselves and spread out. Fresh air allows for a lower risk of the virus spreading compared to indoors from air circulation. If you have trouble narrowing your guest lists, outdoor weddings would allow you to have a bigger guest list. Ask your guests if any of them has a nice backyard and you can consider having your wedding there (bonus points so you can save on an expensive wedding venue). Besides, nature is the best photography backdrop you need to have the picture-perfect wedding photo.
Custom Face Masks & Bracelets
Face masks are recommended by the CDC as a way to help slow the spread of Covid-19. Since it’s required, you can make it fun and beautiful by having monogrammed reusable face masks! Get custom face masks that match your wedding colors with your wedding initials on them and gift them to your guests - they’ll love that it is not only great looking, but it’s also reusable. It will be a very memorable photo opp to mark this season of life as well.
You can also have three containers of rubber bracelets: blue for “okay with hugs & high-fives”, white for “okay with talking but no touching” and red for “keeping my distance”. This is a cool idea if you want everyone to make their own choice to what makes them feel safe and comfortable during your wedding.
Temperature Checks & Getting Tested
Another thing to consider is to require your guests to get tested at least 2 days before the wedding to ensure that everyone there doesn’t have Covid-19. Especially if your grandparents are attending, this is a step that would ensure that not only are they going to be safe, but everyone else feels safe around each other. You can also have your guests get temperature checks during check-in as an extra precaution. The best thing that you can do for yourself and your guests is to help them feel safe so that everyone can have the best time during your wedding.
Hand Sanitizers & Cleaning Stations
The CDC recommends frequent hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds or hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can add hand sanitizers in the goodie bags and seating areas so everyone can sanitize their hands easily. Wedding venues are also adding sanitizing stations throughout the venue, so check with your vendors. Weddings are still going to be a celebration and now everyone will have clean hands!
Creative Seating Arrangements
Say goodbye to long banquet tables packed in a single small room or backing up from your seat only to hit the person behind you. According to the social distance guidelines, tables must be set at least 6 feet apart with no more than 10 guests seated together. You can group families and those that have been quarantining together during the ceremony and reception. The same goes for receptions, have a mix of tables sizes that allows for the same group to stick together.
More Plated Meals
Wedding dinners and cocktail hours will look different as well with fewer self-serving buffets to limit contact and sharing. Instead, plated meals will be the new norm. Work with your wedding vendor to think of creative and delicious plated meals that aren’t boring. Plated meals means fewer food wastage that can often happen with buffets, and it allows your guests to enjoy the experience of fine dining. During cocktail hours, opt for single-served plated appetizers instead of passed appetizers to limit contact and sharing.
No more open bars
If the state you are in doesn’t allow open bars, you can give your guests disposable small mini bottles of drinks in their goodie bags. Not only does this limit contact, it also prevents drink wastage. Imagine how much you’ll be able to save with this! Better yet, ask your friends to bring their own drinks. Just because there isn’t an open bar it doesn’t mean you and your guests can’t have fun.
A different dance floor
Another big benefit to having an outdoor wedding is being able to have a big dance floor! Dance floors and entertainments aren’t going anywhere, it’ll just be different and we have to be creative and adapt. You can have circles drawn 6 feet apart on the dance floor for dancing and everyone remains in their own circle. That’s the benefit of having an outdoor wedding! The open space allows for people to have plenty of room to distance themselves while dancing. You can group people who have quarantined together in the same circle so it still feels like group dancing. If your state doesn’t allow dancing at all, consider having a live band to play relaxing music to set a nice tone throughout the dinner.
The best way to ease your stress on the day of is to feel good about yourself! There is no better way to do this than to look your best on your day. As you’re saving a lot on the guest list, food, venue and an open bar, splurge and get the wedding dress, accessories and bridal shoes of your dreams! If you’ve been eyeing that gorgeous wedding dress for months, get it! And don’t forget to get a pair of comfortable wedding shoes that you can wear for 12 hours (yes, they do exist). Bella Belle shoes are made with the finest materials and extra thick padding so you are comfortable the whole day. Trust us, you deserve more than a $60 pair of shoes from Amazon.
Having a wedding in this era of social distancing is very possible and we encourage you to be creative and come up with solutions with your wedding vendors to make your wedding memorable, special and safe for everyone. Even if your wedding looks different from what you initially envisioned, it will be a story to tell to your children - that you had a wedding during a pandemic and had it in a safe (and fun) way. At the end of the day, a wedding is a celebration of love and that should be the center of it all. Don’t forget to pamper yourself, after all, you deserve it!