COVID-19 has caused the cancellations of wedding plans and receptions everywhere. You could reschedule your wedding, but if you and your significant other can’t wait to get married, then you don’t have to! With venues beginning to open with certain restrictions, couples can now hold wedding ceremonies.
In order to help you prepare, we’ve put together some recommendations on how to get married during Covid-19 and how to make your small ceremony feel just as special as the wedding you originally planned. From recommendations for where to have your ceremony to what to wear, we want this day to be one you never forget! Here are some covid wedding ideas, to help you plan the perfect ceremony!
COVID Wedding: General Recommendations
Research churches, hotels, or other venues near you to schedule your ceremony and find out what new requirements they have in place in relation to COVID-19. Your safest options will be outdoor venues such as local vineyards or parks. Make sure you give yourself some time before your scheduled date, as there may be a waiting list or specific times/dates that the location has for wedding ceremonies. Once you find out the number of guests that can attend, make sure to reach out to the people you want at your ceremony.
Getting the Perfect Dress
If your original wedding dress already came in and is the final dress you wanted for your wedding, wearing it to your ceremony is still an option! Getting your hair and makeup professionally done is up to you, but if you do, make sure you contact someone to get you glammed up ahead of time.
If you want to save your wedding dress and glam look for the rescheduled reception, then purchasing a simple white sundress or other inexpensive white dress for this day is your best option. You or someone who is attending your ceremony can do your hair or makeup for a simple and quick look. You can easily find local stores for dresses and women’s attire if you want to shop for a simple white dress for your ceremony.
Once you know where your ceremony will be, how many guests can attend, what your budget is, and if you are having any type of small reception/after party, you could start looking at transportation options that work for you. These options could help move your guests from a meeting place to the ceremony location, and then from the ceremony location to the small afterparty location. Choosing to offer transportation services is a personal choice. If you do, you can find these local transportation services very easily.
Looking into ordering flowers from a local florist for the big day is a great way to make this day feel similar to the one you had originally planned. You can order bouquets for you and for the attendants you have to support you at the altar. You could also pass out individual flowers to your guests in the pews as a symbol of thanks and appreciation of them being here on your day that looks a little different than you had planned.
Remembering your special day, especially the ceremony, is very important! Hire a local photographer to take professional pictures at the ceremony and at the small after party if you have one. If you are on a budget, you can always ask any of your guests if they want to take pictures. To facilitate this, offer disposable cameras on the tables at your gathering. Make sure if you do have someone who is not a professional take your pictures that you figure out if you want them taken on a nice camera or a nice smartphone camera.
Make-Do Reception Options
Having a small reception or after party after your ceremony is a great option to keep in mind to make this day special! With outdoor restaurants, indoor restaurants, outdoor bars, and indoor bars open in certain states, you can reserve those spaces for a certain number of guests to hold your reception. Make sure you check with local restaurants and bars about how many guests you could have at their space and about their rules due to COVID-19.
If you are able to reserve a space for a small reception, make sure you have food, dessert, and beverages for your guests. See what the restaurant or bar has to offer first, then you can always look into local catering companies and local bakeries to satisfy your food and dessert needs!
If you’re organizing a wedding reception while a state is enforcing social distancing, you may have to consider some new regulations. This is a special day, but it can also be very stressful. Here are some tips to take into account when planning and decorating your socially distanced wedding reception.
10 Tips on a Socially-Distanced Wedding Reception
1. State Regulations
The first thing to do when planning your wedding amidst the coronavirus outbreak is to check your state regulations. Some states such as Ohio are allowing wedding receptions of under 300 people, so be sure to research whether your wedding will be allowed and follow all safety guidelines. While having a coronavirus wedding isn’t ideal, making sure you are following all precautions is incredibly important.
Before you begin planning your socially distanced wedding reception, talk with your guests to check if they would feel comfortable attending a social gathering. It can be scary to step outside and back into society, so be sure that all of your loved ones feel safe enough to attend a wedding.
When choosing a venue, make sure there will be enough room for your guests and vendors to remain six feet away from each other. For example, if you are planning on having a big wedding, make sure there is ample room for a DJ, dance floor, photo booth, cake and gift tables, etc.
If the venue doesn’t provide their own catering, it’s good to confirm exactly how many tables, chairs, place settings, and glasses they have. Do they provide linens? How will they space out tables and safely serve guests?
Feeling safe is the first step to having a good time at your socially distanced wedding reception. You and your guests may be equally worried about safety during your wedding, so be sure to have hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, gloves, or face masks prepared for your guests. You can have fun with this and give guests decorated face masks or little hand sanitizer bottles as wedding favors!
Some venues that hold receptions have restrictions on what vendors that the bride can use. Make sure you find this out before agreeing to have your reception there. You don’t want to find a beautiful reception hall only to find out that you won’t be able to use your favorite caterer if you book there.
Now that we’re approaching summer, an outdoor or even indoor reception could be uncomfortably hot for your guests, especially if they’re wearing face coverings. You don’t want to be drenched in sweat at your wedding reception, so pay close attention to temperature when planning. And if you choose an indoor reception, make sure the venue is prepared for hot weather.
Ensure that all of your legal bases are covered when you are planning a wedding, even if you’re holding it in your own backyard. Depending on where you hold your reception, you may need permits to hold a gathering at a certain location.
9. Back-Up Plan
Staying flexible will keep you and your guests safe and happy during such an unpredictable time in our history. Be prepared to change your plans last minute, and make sure that you have a back-up plan if the pandemic experiences a resurgence or your state changes its regulations.
10. Have Fun!
It may have been a while since you’ve ventured outside or seen your family and friends. This has been a stressful time for you and your loved ones, so be sure to enjoy your time together and celebrate. You deserve it!
Of course, all these recommendations are just options for if you want to get married during covid-19. You can always have a reception at a later date if you still want all your guests that you originally invited to your wedding to help celebrate your marriage. If this helped you out, feel free to check out other blogs by Easy Event Planning for help with event planning and small businesses!
Contributors: Shannyn Apolaro, Amy Chiang, Anna Wertman, Darian Kukral, Natalie Davidson