Lydia and Jason, we are so happy for you! Your wedding was the adapted plan of Covid…and we made it work! It was so beautiful, just like your marriage will be.
They initially planned to get married in a church, but like another wedding this fall (Lyndsey and Tanner), this couple chose to have both the ceremony and the reception in the same space (DeSmet Event Center in DeSmet, South Dakota). They chose to have a smaller reception and make the safety of guests a top priority. Here are other ways you can make your wedding safe during Covid. We’re about to share 10 tips for keeping your wedding safe and socially distanced, much like Lydia and Jason did, so you focus more on the important stuff — like cultivating your marriage while still celebrating safely.
- Make the safety of your guests the top priority.
While it is hard to plan a wedding differently than you had once envisioned, it is important that you keep the health of your guests in mind. Your plans may change, and they may change many times over the course of your engagement. For the health and safety of your guests, follow along with the updated CDC guidelines and your local regulations. This will ensure your guests feel safe when attending your wedding in-person.
2. Adjust the wording of your save-the-dates and wedding invitations.
While some of your guests will feel safer to attend than others, a great idea is including wording that makes your guests feel like they have the option to not attend your big day. This could be something fun and witty like: “You are cordially invited (or not) to the wedding of _______.” Go into detail on your invitations how you respect their decision if they are not comfortable attending your wedding. If utilizing live-stream technology such as Zoom or Skype, you can include 3 options for your guests to check on the RSVP: I will be attending in person, I will be attending via Zoom, or I am unable to attend.
Are you postponing your wedding due to Covid? Here are some wording options for that too.
3. Utilize technology.
Thankfully, we are living in a world fueled by technology. Although some guests will not be able to attend, you can still live stream your nuptials for all guests to watch. There are many options on live streaming your event. You can use something as simple and free like Zoom or Facebook Live, or you can contact your photographer/videographer about their ability to livestream your event. The options are endless when using technology to include your entire guestlist!
4. Provide face masks and hand sanitizer.
We all know the way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is by wearing masks and washing your hands. First of all, it is smart to beforehand ask your guests to follow CDC guidelines by wearing masks. However, the opportunity to personalize facemasks and individual bottles of hand sanitizer can but a fun twist on the weird times we are living in. Face masks and hand sanitizer may not be the typical party favor, but they will be memorable and useful.
5. Consider the benefits a smaller wedding.
The 300-person guest list you originally made may not align with CDC guidelines and local venue regulations. While it is hard to pick and choose who gets to attend, it is important to do the ethically right thing when getting hitched during a global health pandemic. It might not be what you had planned, but there are tons of benefits of hosting a small wedding.
- Cuts on costs.
- Whether it is dinning or seating, hosting a smaller event will help you save on funds that you can use to buy a home or go on your dream honeymoon.
- Creates a more intimate event.
- You will have more time to spend with the people who mean the most to you.
- Eliminates some stress.
- Your day will be focused on what’s really important — the celebration of you and your fiancé’s commitment. Consider a micro-wedding, an elopement, or a pop-up wedding for smaller options. Hitch can help you with all three options!
6. Look into a plated meal.
While self-serve buffets are now a thing of the past, how will dinning look? Discuss with your caterer about offering your guests a platted meal instead of a service line. By having your guests seated during dinner instead of walking to the service line, you will stop the unnecessary spread of germs. A handful of waiters/waitresses can serve food in a safer and more timely matter.
7. Ditch the traditional guestbook.
A typical guestbook tends to have a crowded area of people waiting in line and touching the same pens just to simple write down their names and a quick note. Instead, consider unique “guestbook” options that can be placed at each table. This can be something as simple as a card at each table setting, or as unique as having guests take polaroid photos of themselves and signing them. This way, guests will not have to gather around a shared space while touching the same pen over and over again.
8. Use seating charts.
While creating a seating chart is extra work, it is a great option for eliminating the cluster of people trying to find a space to sit. You can arrange family members to sit at the same table (safely since they probably all live in the same household). You can also opt for smaller/bigger seating options depending on the family size. If utilizing a wedding website, you could post the seating chart beforehand so guests know where they will be sitting before arriving at your wedding reception. Seating charts allow a more intimate and personalized reception while also providing your guests with a safe space!
9. Look into alternative entertainment.
It is custom for wedding receptions to have a wedding dance, but it is not the safest option for our current times. Although music can and should still be incorporated into your reception, consider hiring entertainment that allows guests to stay seated. Alternative entertainment is sure to make your big day unique yet memorable event for your guests AND allows for a safe celebration.
Some alternative entertainment options are:
- Dueling Pianos
- Live music (with limited dancing)
- Professional dancers
You can make your wedding into a scheduled show for you and your guests. The possibilities are endless when it comes to entertainment. Dare to think outside the box!
10. Enjoy the process.
Although your wedding may not be the large soiree you were once planning, does not mean your day cannot be just as special and elegant. With a smaller guestlist you have the ability to spend additional money on food, entertainment, and décor. The guests in attendance are sure to be the ones you love most. At the end of the day, the celebration of your love and commitment to your fiancé is what is most important. Be thankful for your health, have fun planning the minimized day you have always dreamed of, and remember that this too shall pass. Your wedding day is sure to be one of the best days of your life, roll with the new normal and don’t dwell on the could-have-been.
Then, look how beautiful Lydia and Jason’s wedding day was! Hitch Studio served the snacks, they had hand sanitizer at every station, and we set up plenty of extra tables to allow people to socially distance. Happy planning for YOUR safe and amazing wedding day! Best wishes always, Lydia and Jason!