Love In the Time of COVID: How to Plan a Post-Pandemic Wedding PART 2
You planned your wedding, watched COVID sweep in, and made the decision to keep your 2020 wedding date. You know there are some things that will be different, but what?! This is the only wedding you’ve ever planned!
Here are a few things to be prepared for and some tips to navigate them.
Your guest list:
Normally we expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 70% of the guests you invite to actually attend your wedding. If you’re getting married through the end of 2020, you may be a little lost on what to expect as far as your guest count goes. Here are some considerations to make: As you’ve heard, older adults are at greater risk as far as COVID is concerned. Your grandparents may not be comfortable attending (or traveling to) your wedding, for example. The same applies to any guests who live out of town. If the majority of your guest list is traveling from out of town or abroad, you’ll want to consider this too. Same goes for people with medical conditions, small children, a first responder or medical professional in the family, etc.
The solution? Offer an alternative. Set up a live stream of your wedding ceremony. Maybe even hire a videographer to capture the day if you hadn’t already planned to. Let people know how they join you from a distance. If you’re really bummed about a particular guest, consider sending them a little something to join in the celebration and feel included. For example, grandma can’t be there with you? Send her some flowers, dinner from a local restaurant, and a bottle of champagne with a note letting her know how much she means to you. (Bonus points for supporting a small business here!)
Safety and Sanitation
Were you planning a family style dinner service? Consider that changing it to a plated dinner or an attended-buffet may be the best choice for your guests. Seating fewer people per table might help too. Safety and sanitation are going to be at the forefront of peoples’ minds for a while and you’re going to see some changes as a result. Your venue will likely have sanitizing stations and the staff at your wedding may be wearing masks or gloves for example. Handwashing is big – maybe you want to print some monogrammed linen-like disposable napkins for the bathrooms. Surfaces will be sanitized throughout the space as the night goes on and dancing may not be the most popular activity, meaning your wedding may end a little sooner than planned. The fine print
You signed a contract with a minimum catering/bartending cost, or a non-refundable deposit, and now that your guest count is lower than planned, you have some dollars to make up for... try not to dwell on money lost. Instead, call it self-care and bring on the upgrades! You might be able to add a craft cocktail to your bar package or a course to your meal. Maybe you were eyeing a more luxe place setting or bigger centerpieces. You’ve decided to make this your day; make it one to enjoy!
You’ve lost a vendor
It’s a distinct possibility that one of your vendors will not be available for your date. Reach out sooner rather than later to check in if you’re going ahead with your date and don’t hesitate to ask them “are you doing okay and prepared to go through with our wedding as planned?” In the event that you find yourself having to find a new vendor, take advantage of the very best resources you have: your other vendors. Start with your venue. They’re the one providing the space for everyone else, and have been working for months to reschedule weddings with couples and their vendors who are still up and running. You can also consider the vendors that you have the closest relationship with. If your caterer has been closely in touch through your whole planning process and you trust them to give you good advice, ask for some recommendations. If you need help beyond that, consider hiring a wedding planner or coordinator to help. After all, you’re planning a wedding, which can be stressful enough all on its own. If you’re overwhelmed, a wedding coordinator may just be the missing piece to put your mind at ease so you can focus on the end goal, your wedding day: the beginning of your marriage!