I had much different blog post planned for today, however with current events impacting so much of our day-to-day, it is important that I address the elephant in the room known as COVID-19.
How exactly do you plan a wedding during a global pandemic? This is new territory for me but as a wedding planner, it is being thrown at me and I’ve got this. If you are currently planning a large wedding of 250+ guests, or a destination wedding, the answer is you don’t. You have a social responsibility here, and we are all learning a bit about social distancing. At this time venues are cancelling, so you postpone a year and with certainty your guests will understand.
If you are having a smaller wedding, you can look into postponing which may come with some expense depending on the venue, caterers, florists, etc. If you have wedding insurance, this may be covered, check your policy. If you plan to go ahead anyway there are several things to consider:
Be prepared that many guests may choose not to attend, in most cases this could be upwards of thirty percent. Make sure you consider invited friends and family that are over 60 and/or have a compromised immune system, reach out to them, if they choose not to come, let them know it is okay. This is where a videographer or streaming service may come in, yes it can add expense, but if it is important for grandma to see you walk down the aisle, it is worth every penny.
Wash your hands! If you are going to go ahead with a party of any kind, make sure hand washing is accessible. You can rent proper sinks so guests can wash their hands easily and you can have hand sanitizer stations at every entrance and exit. Small sanitizer bottles would make an excellent favour that could be placed at every table. All favours should be prepackaged and ready to go on a table near the exit and not on top of the place-settings.
Make sure you look into what precautions your vendors are taking to maintain health and safety, particularly with food, beverage, and rented items. Now is the time to eliminate the buffet, it is worth paying extra for a plated sit-down dinner. It is okay to ask your caterer what they are doing to maintain food safety - are they using proper gloving techniques? If you are renting, glassware and linens, those items can be thoroughly cleaned, backdrops and props for photos and decor may present challenges. How often is the limousine you rented thoroughly cleaned? Ask the questions and if the answers don’t satisfy you, switch to a vendor that is on top of it or go without.
Like the buffet, ditch the receiving line, the only two that should be hugging and kissing are the newly weds. Likewise, toasts should be done in the air and there should be no clinking of glasses. Water and wine glasses should not be pre-poured and not left out on tables. Consider renting a stunt cake or display cake to sit out in the room and having a small one for bride and groom to cut while the kitchen takes care of a sheet cake in the back. Guests enjoy cake and icing and aren’t worried about fancy fondant.
At the end of the day, your wedding is going to be one of the most memorable days of your life, you don’t want it to be overshadowed by pandemic. You also have a certain social responsibility when it comes to these matters. Whether you go ahead with your plans or postpone depends on your comfort level. Just be considerate of your own health and for the health of those around you.