Although COVID-19 has made planning a wedding more difficult, it hasn’t put an end to the festivities altogether. With a slight modification of your expectations, you can still host the wedding of your dreams. To help you get started, learn about your options when it comes to planning a wedding during COVID-19. Plus get some helpful tips on how to host a safer event, for you and your guests.

Check Your State Laws

Should you decide to host your wedding despite COVID-19, it is important that you consider your local and state laws. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, group gatherings such as weddings should consist of no more than 50 persons. Federal guidelines suggest no more than 10. These numbers may vary by state, as may the ability to host gatherings at all. States will continue to re-open in phases, which may or may not impact events. In addition, it is recommended that you adhere to local mask requirements, and encourage your guests to do the same. The bottom line: do your best to keep everyone safe. Be clear with your guests about your expectations in regards to safety at your event.

Your Wedding Options

To start planning a wedding you first have to determine the type of wedding you want to host. All things considered, a traditional wedding is not the best option right now. The following type of events are becoming widely popularity, for reasons from safety to convenience. Pick one that aligns with your, and your fiancé's, personal preferences!

A Microwedding

Photo by Wild June Photography

A microwedding is a scaled down version of a typical wedding. There are usually no more than 50 guests. The ceremony should be relatively simple, with a laid back and intimate reception to follow.

A Minimony

Photo by Kelly Benvenuto Photography

A minimony, or mini ceremony, is a wedding that consists of you and a select few guests. Often no more than 10 people. Couples often host a minimony with the intention of hosting a large reception at a later date. 

Eloping

Photo by Sarah Linda Photography

Nowadays, elopements are the planned private exchange of vows. Usually at a photogenic destination and with a photographer on hand. Some couples will choose to host a reception to celebrate with friends and family.

A Virtual Wedding

Photo by Hector Aviles Photography

A virtual wedding is when a couple and their guests join for a ceremony via a video call. Virtual weddings have the lowest risk for the spread and contraction of COVID-19. Note however that this type of wedding is not yet legal in every state. 

Planning Tips

  • If possible, host your event outdoors. This will allow more room for your guests to maintain a distance of 6 feet from one another. If you cannot host your event outdoors, carefully select a venue that will allow everyone to maintain a distance of six feet. It is important to note that some states have different limitations for the size of a gathering depending on whether it takes place indoors or out.
  • When creating a seating chart limit the number of people who will sit at each table. A round table can typically sit eight. Instead, create a setting for six. This will allow for people to remain at a safer distance from one another.
  • For the comfort of your guests, invest in additional sanitation efforts. This may include hand sanitizing stations near high traffic areas like restrooms and entryways.
  • Avoid or limit the number of guests you invite who would need to travel from out of state. Instead, provide a link that out of state guests can follow to watch your ceremony live. Alternatively, invest in a videographer and show your wedding video at a future reception.
  • Get creative with furniture layouts. Stagger seating so that no one is sitting directly in front of another person. Place lounge areas outdoors and further apart than normal.
  • Remind your guests to practice social distancing and hygiene with easy to read and fun signage. 
  • Avoid paper materials, such as programs and menu’s, that usually get passed around. Use large, easy to read signage instead.
  • Avoid a buffet dinner. Invest in a seated plated dinner, or try to find a caterer who can deliver the food in individual pre-packaged containers. 
  • Keep the celebrations short. You can always host a reception at a later date with more guests!

Despite changes to the industry, you can still host a memorable wedding. If for any reason you feel that you cannot achieve everything that you want in a manner that is safe, simply postpone. There is no harm in moving or pushing your wedding day back to accommodate your plans. After all, you only get one wedding day!

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