Admittedly planning a wedding during COVID has become all the more challenging. Wedding couples are still facing repeated impositions of restrictions because the pandemic doesn’t seem to want to go away. So many uncertainties have definitely resulted in many sleepless nights and stress levels have been hitting the roof.
While it is extremely difficult to predict into the future, the best way forward is to understand the risks and plan for them accordingly.
PLANNING A WEDDING DURING COVID? Here are 6 essential points to consider
Here are our 6 essentials to consider when planning a wedding during COVID:
- Be flexible with wedding dates and guest numbers
- Be well informed about and comply with current government rules and guidelines
- Communicate with guests regarding their wellbeing, with the possibility of live streaming for guests who cannot attend
- Consider digital options for Wishing Wells and Guest Books and alternatives to wedding traditions
- Ensure appropriate physical distancing
- Seek quality wedding vendors with flexible postponement and cancellation terms
1. Be flexible with wedding dates and guest numbers
Given the increase in demand for wedding vendors with postponements and cancellations of weddings, you may have to opt for a weekday wedding.
It’s no surprise that small intimate weddings have been a trend that is on the rise. They can be more casual, less stressful and feel more like you and your partner.
A smaller wedding allows for a deeper connection between the wedding couple and their guests. And today’s audience want to feel really connected to one another especially spending so much time in isolation.
The more intimate weddings allow you to focus more on the guest experience than anything else. There’s a real heightening of your guest’s experience where you can pay attention to all the smaller details with complete customisation. For example, amazing gastronomic delights with multi-course meals, beautiful table decor, or a stunning floral installation feature.
Moreover if you keep your wedding small, you’re less likely to have to un-invite some of your guests should restriction rules tighten.
An alternative is an industry shift to what is called the sequel wedding and that term of “wed now, party later“. This gives the couple the best of both worlds – an intimate micro wedding ceremony followed by a great big party in the future.
2. Be well informed about and comply with current government rules and guidelines
Keeping local with your wedding location will reduce the complexities of managing the risks involved with travel-related restrictions.
As corona trends are expected to stay around for a while, a COVID safety plan should generally be in place for your wedding. Check if your vendors such as marriage celebrant, venue and photographer are registered as COVID Safe and have an approved Weddings Industry COVID Safe Industry Plan.
For the most up-to-date information on government rules and guidelines of the following states:
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
Planning a wedding During COVID
3. Communicate with guests regarding their wellbeing with the possibility of live streaming for guests who cannot attend
In your invitations, ensure your guests are aware they should only attend if they are feeling well and do not have any respiratory or COVID-19 symptoms. If they have even mild symptoms or have been in contact with a known carrier, they must not attend.
Keep your wedding guests informed of any updates by having a wedding website. This helps to field any questions or address concerns guests may have about the day. For some ideas on how to create a wedding website, check out this article on brides.com.
Discuss options with guests particularly those with conditions affecting their immunity on the possibility of attending the ceremony and not the reception. There are lower risks of developing complications while attending the ceremony compared to the reception.
For guests who cannot attend, explore options with the wedding planner or venue to see if there is any possibility of live streaming the event. Many such services are now available (just google wedding live stream services [city]). For an example of what kind of services you can get, check out LoveStream.
4. Consider Alternatives to Wishing Wells, Guest Books and the Bouquet Toss
You will also need to consider the hygiene around the guest book. Any shared pens should be cleaned.
Or think of the possibility of a digital guest book that can be filled from home. For example, Wed.tv is a digital guestbook where guests can connect from mobile to wed.tv with the code you chose and send their photos and messages. Find out more about the service (which is free at the time of writing this post) from their website.
And if you’re an introvert and have never been a fan of the bouquet toss, now’s the time to ditch this wedding tradition! Instead you could split a second bouquet into several pieces to give to the important women in your life or use the bouquet as an arrangement to remember those who are no longer with you.
Planning a wedding During COVID
5. Ensure appropriate physical distancing
Areas to consider include:
- Seating Arrangements: Consider how many people you sit at each table and find out about the restrictions like maximum numbers per table from your venue. Seat guests from the same household next to each other
- Music – singing (including group singing), wind instruments, ensembles and other musical groups
- Dancing: while dancing restrictions are slowly easing, it’s probably worthwhile planning for a more open dance floor which has plenty of ventilation and space
- Traditions: Traditions like tossing the bouquet should be avoided or modified
- Photography: Consider having photos taken before the ceremony rather than between the ceremony and reception. Decrease the amount of time between each
- The microphone for speeches, announcements etc: ensure it’s properly sanitised between guests.
6. Carefully read your vendor agreements, in particular the postponement and cancellation sections
Seek experienced, well established vendors for reliability and consistency in quality if you have concerns whether they will still be in business come wedding date.
For your peace of mind (note that wedding insurance policies do not cover COVID-related claims), please make sure you:
- have written agreements in place with your vendors
- carefully read your vendor agreements, particularly the postponement and cancellation sections
- engage vendors who have as much flexibility as possible with postponements and cancellations.
So my friends, change is inevitable. And even when it’s difficult to find something of value out of the pandemic, we humans are super adaptable beings. We’ve become much more resourceful, we’ve become more creative. Plus flexible and open to the possibility of modifying our plans.
If you identify and address most if not all possible risks, and are able to transform your experience into something of value, then planning a wedding during COVID will be a more manageable process and less stressful for you and your partner.
PLANNING A WEDDING DURING COVID?
To help wedding couples planning their wedding flowers in times of COVID, I’ve decided to offer an additional wedding floral service for couples who require bridal party flowers on short notice, or are looking for an easy solution and are not fussed about specific flowers. Learn more about my COVID Wedding Floral Service here.