Planning a wedding in a normal world is tough. There are so many decisions to be made, family dynamics to work through, & an enormous amount of time, money and energy spent planning for this momentous day but then you throw in a global pandemic & danggggg wedding planning takes on a life of its own.
Remember that you're not alone right now. So many couples have been impacted, countless weddings have been postponed, and I know it's a challenging & emotional time for so many... including myself! Your fears & frustrations are so valid. So I thought I would take a moment to highlight a few Covid wedding trends, tricks & tips to help ease your mind during these uncertain times.
1. Stay positive & be open to the possibility of change. Change is bound to happen but it is so important to roll with the punches, embrace this new normal & remember the reason you are having this day isn't for the party but rather the public commitment of loving someone regardless of the ups & downs life throws your way (covid just happens to be an excellent test of this).
2. Don't let the restrictions scare you. With the rules & guidelines constantly changing, venues have turned into the "bad news police" sending out lengthy emails of "do & don't" for the wedding day. Don't let these emails scare you. When you see everything listed out it seems VERY overwhelming & may lead you to believe your wedding day won't feel "normal". Well I am here to tell you that is not the case! I have been to multiple (covid) wedding's & not one of them was diminished due to the new rules our world has put into place. The dance floor was still packed, people were still enjoying delicious food and cocktails in the company of those they love, and everyone is present to support & celebrate the start of your new love story.
3. Let your guests spread out. Whether you select a larger venue so guests can naturally spread out, by spacing out tables or simply by putting fewer at a table, allowing guests to have the option of social distancing themselves can be a simple way to keep your guests safe without drawing much attention to the current state of the world.
4. Hire a Planner. If you're postponing, hire a planner. If you're moving forward with your original date, hire a planner. It is hard enough dealing with the emotions regarding the changes that allowing a professional to handle modifying your plans, restructuring contracts, communicating with vendors, being completely aware of all the ever changing rules & guidelines, and executing the day so that it feels as normal & safe as possible for your guests can fall on someone else's shoulders instead of yours.
5. Host as much of your day outdoors as you can. Whether that is an outdoor ceremony, cocktails on a patio, or dinner & dancing under the stars, do what makes sense for you & your venue.
6. Provide sanitations stations. This can be as simple as sanitation packets at each place setting & a few sanitizer bottles at the bar & entrance. Covid or not, this is a good idea at any wedding.
7. FaceTime or livestream in any family or friends that can't attend. Many videography companies are now offering this as an upgrade option & it is definitely worth the investment so guests can still experience your ceremony from afar.
8. Wear masks when food & drink service is taking place to protect the staff who is serving you but if you want to take it off while talking with friends & family, be our guest!
9. At the same time it might be a good idea to embrace the mask mandate through customized masks for your wedding day with your wedding hashtag, new last name or wedding date on it.
10. Find a fun way for guests to show their level of comfortability in a subtle & unique way. This can be through colorful bracelets (green = hug me. red = stay 6 feet from me), boutonniere & corsages in different colors (pink flowers = hug me. white flowers = stay 6 ft from me), etc.
11. Switch food service from buffet to plated or if your heart (or budget) is set on buffet, ask the catering staff to assign someone to serve guests so that everyone isn't touching the same serving utensils.
12. On your wedding website include a "covid" section letting guests know any precautions you are taking to easy any worries that they may have. This can also be a great spot to update guests on any modifications that have had to be made.
We don't know when this is all going to end. The reality is this may be our new normal. So modify but don't cancel, love isn't postpone & a marriage isn't dependent on perfect conditions. The execution may look a little bit different, but the reason for the day still holds true and my best advice is to marry your best friend & enjoy the day to the fullest potential. The wedding of the year isn't the goal but the marriage of a lifetime sure is!
Photos: Uttke Photography & Design