by: ELD Team

You may have noticed that weddings have started happening again, but they’re a little different due to current Coronavirus regulations- what we’re calling socially distanced weddings.

Now, I’ve mentioned here before that my sister is planning a wedding for this November. She is actually choosing to do a small wedding this November, and will do the big celebration in November 2021. So, needless to say, I’m 100% in this world with you all. In preparing for her small wedding this year, I have been working with her wedding planner to figure out what we need to do to ensure a safe, socially distanced wedding.

It’s no lie- there are definitely a few tricks and tips to having a socially distanced wedding. So I’ve turned to the vetted and verified professionals of The V List to ask them for their recommendations based on the weddings that they have performed over the last few months. Why not hear it straight from people who have been there already, right?! 

Tips for a Socially Distanced Wedding via TheELD.com

WORK WITH A PLANNER

Working with a planner can help navigate the logistics of the day. They will keep on top of changes in local/state regulations, and help you keep your sanity. Even if you didn’t already have a planner, I’d recommend looking into one for a reschedule/downsize.  -Ashley, Ashley Gerrity Photography

EMBRACE THE CHANGE

Weddings are going to look different for a while, so rather than trying to still plan the same wedding in the midst of this incredible uncertainty, embrace the changes and focus your energy on what matters most: marrying your best friend. Intimate weddings are often the most memorable! -Sarah, Sweet Sarabelle

ADD EXTRA GETTING READY TIME INTO YOUR WEDDING DAY TIMELINE

I’ve done a handful of smaller bridal parties. I’m setting myself and lit up away from people, adding in extra time per service to efficiently sanitize in between each client but also give myself a moment to drink some water and breathe without the mask on (no one is around when that happens). I’m also offering to do eyes only for clients that don’t feel comfortable taking their mask off for full face makeup. Also! Tip for mask wearers. Drop a couple of tiny drops of peppermint essential oil on your mask the night before you are going to wear it. It makes your face smell good and it feels like you’re breathing in cooler air. Cuts back on the face mask sweat! -Shani, Perfect Day Beauty

BE THE HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS

Remember that you are HOSTING an event and as much as it is your day, as the host you are beholden to the comfort and safety of your guests. To that effect, I definitely recommend considering having cute masks available to all guests, providing hand sanitizers, or wipes as favors. I know no one wants to think of masks as holding them back from the wedding of their dreams, but it also is a sign of the times and part of what the memory of 2020 weddings will be. -Ashley, Ashley Gerrity Photography

KEEP YOURSELF SAFE

Bring a mask and carry hand sanitizer around in your wedding day purse. And use often! -Mikkel, Mikkel Paige Photography

Tips for a Socially Distanced Wedding via TheELD.com

Image via Rhiannon Bosse, photo by Giving Tree Photography

LOVE IS NOT CANCELLED

A change of plans can still result in a meaningful, beautiful, and intentional celebration! Love is not cancelled!

Consider how you can take each and every part of your celebration and make it pandemic-friendly but still special. A lower guest list and venue change are huge ways to do just that but we you can also do things like require masks on vendors anytime they are indoors, personalize charcuterie boards for a seated cocktail hour, serve drinks to order via a cocktail waitress instead of a walk-up bar, and serpentine tables for dinner to allow for ample space between parties / households without restricting conversation or intimacy. (To see how these recommendations were brought to life, go here.) -Rhiannon, Rhiannon Bosse Celebrations 

YOU CAN STILL HAVE YOUR DREAM WEDDING IN 2020!

While tables were spaced out more than normal and there were added safety protocol (plexiglass at food stations, individual appetizers, no communal drinking stations, staff wearing masks and gloves, personal water bottles, etc.) when it came to food and beverage, the atmosphere has been the same joy filled atmosphere that we are used to with “normal” wedding days.  -Dana, Dana Cubbage Weddings

KEEP IT SIMPLE AND SAFE

Encourage hand sanitizer and masks for everyone’s safety. I felt SO much better being around that many people when it occurred verses the ones where it didn’t. -Paige, Paige Mercer Photography

HAVING A SMALLER, MORE DISTANCED WEDDING CAN BE GLAMOROUS

If anything having a smaller wedding can open up room in the budget for bigger treats! I just got back from a destination wedding where the florals were out of this world, the food options were lavish, and the welcome bags were filled with enough treats to get me through the entire weekend! Keep in mind that people have been having intimate celebrations forever, they’ve just become more of a necessity in 2020 for many couples. Smaller weddings can help you focus on what ACTUALLY matters and allows you to be with the people who are most important in your life. A wedding day is a success as long as two people, who are madly in love with each other, wind up married before the day is over! -Ashley, Ashley Gerrity Photography

YOU CAN STILL HAVE A BALLROOM WEDDING!

All the tables were very spread out and limited capacity and masks were required in the public areas. The dance floor was larger than normal to give people their own space. Flatware was rolled in the napkins and water glasses had covers on them, both to reduce open exposure. At the end of the day, we still celebrated the couple’s love and everyone was safe and had fun! -Caitlin, Plan It Event Design & Management

TAKE A FEW EXTRA SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

In addition to masks and hand sanitizer, consider a served buffet and spaced out tables with fewer seats. One of the weddings we did was originally supposed to be 200 when we started planning and was reduced to 45. We did assigned seating for the ceremony so that everyone could stay in their family “pod” groups. For myself personally I am staying masked up and avoiding interaction as much as possible with the guests, and have reduced staffing to a minimum which means I have worked weddings by myself which has worked out OK.-Robyn, Red Letter Event Planning

DO NOT SCRAP THE PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER

I know that downsizing can be a disappointment, but you still will create memories that you WILL want to look back on. It is a once in a lifetime experience and a part of your story. Plus, with a smaller wedding, you may be able to spend more time on wedding portraits. -Ashley, Ashley Gerrity Photography

 

Even just in hearing their advice, I feel SO much better knowing what kind of changes can be made for a socially distanced wedding. I personally am loving the idea for personal, individual charcuterie boards in lieu of mixing and mingling during cocktail hour. And, the idea to have glasses covered also made me think that it could be a good idea to have some kind of indicator for each guest’s glass- whether a wine glass marker, or something a bit more special.

I hope that these suggestions will help you as well if you’re starting to think about ways to have a socially distanced wedding!


See more of our Coronavirus Wedding resources



by: ELD Team

Deciding on what steps to take for a Covid-affected wedding has been one of the most frequent questions I’ve received over the last few months. The truth of the matter is, there are SO MANY variables and SO MANY unknowns- there really is no way to truly know or predict the future (anyone else think that we would’ve been in a better place by now?!). This is also something that my own family has been navigating for my sister’s upcoming November wedding. So needless to say, I get it. 

So when Sarah of Kindred Weddings and Events shared her thought process with me, I knew it was something that might be helpful for others. It’s a mix of identifying your wedding expectations and determining what is more important to you, and it’s brilliant. So, without further ado, take it away Sarah! 


HOW TO DECIDE ON NEXT STEPS FOR YOUR COVID-AFFECTED WEDDING

SARAH BLESSINGER, KINDRED WEDDINGS AND EVENTS


HAS COVID-19 CHANGED YOUR WEDDING EXPECTATIONS?? I hope it has!! I know so many couples are facing some new realities as public gatherings have been paused. Weddings, as they were, are not happening. However, you have OPTIONS that still include getting married. Now, it’s all about wading through the sea of expectations and riding the waves of your values!

You’ve probably felt that weight before when making any wedding planning decision. The desire to make everyone else happy with what you choose. When making decisions, we feel pressure to choose one thing over another because of expectations. These expectations can come from within, or from outside of ourselves.

Looking at this in terms of the wedding planning process, you may have certain expectations of what a wedding should cost based on your experiences (or lack thereof) with planning large life events. You might also have an expectation of what a wedding day should feel like based on what you believe or others have told you.

Outside expectations may come from friends and family members who mean well but tell you things need to be a certain way for your wedding to be a real wedding. Their expectations might also create fearful thoughts and worries that run through your mind, as you don’t know how someone else will respond when their expectations aren’t met. These types of expectations are also all around you in the media. Movies and reality tv shows depicting “perfect” wedding days and a bride getting everything she wants because it’s “her day”. 

How to decide on next steps for your Covid affected wedding via TheELD.com

When our inner expectations and outer expectations conflict, it can be easy to allow decision fatigue to settle in. There are three camps that you might fall into when reacting to making some big decisions.

Maybe it feels easier to sit and wait it out until a specific answer is clear.

Or you may feel the desire to let someone else make the final decision.

For others, they may decide to disengage their own expectations.

In our society today we can see all of these as very valid responses to the pandemic outbreak and the sudden halt of the wedding industry. If we look a little deeper at our natural responses, they can also teach us what we really value in the scenario. 

 

Sit and Wait it Out


Your expectations started somewhere. They come from deep within. Sometimes those expectations can be tossed aside easily, and other times it’s all you have to hold on to and you won’t loosen your grip. Holding out hope for the best possible outcome can create moments of tremendous growth in ourselves and our relationships. 

Let Someone Else Decide


Like many couples in this uncertain time, you may feel like your decision-making power has been wrenched away from you completely. There’s always someone new telling you what you are and are not allowed to do at this time. Rather than getting upset and pointing fingers, you might see this as a gift. An out. A scapegoat of strange sorts. Your plans are going to change and maybe that will be for the best- whether for your relationships, or your wedding as a whole. 

Release Expectations


We have been conditioned from a young age that sometimes things just don’t go our way. But still, we tend to focus on the things we can’t control in life creating strife and stress. Conversely, focusing on what you do have control over can absolutely release you from expectations that weigh you down. 

 

Let’s funnel this concept of releasing expectations into the new set of decisions today’s engaged couples are facing. In the case that your originally planned wedding cannot or may not happen, you will need to process and create a new plan based on what you value the most

Take a look at the sliding scale I created as tool below. You will see three categories – Experience, Time, Money. Each of these concepts is a value type that most couples will have to wrestle with as new decisions are made about their wedding day. Depending on where you fall on the value scale, you can begin to uncover the best next steps. 

How to decide on next steps for your Covid affected wedding via TheELD.com

Let’s take a look at Experience first.

If the most important thing for your wedding day is being able to celebrate with everyone exactly the way you originally pictured it, you value the full traditional wedding experience (or your original plan). In this case, you might choose to pause planning and reschedule your wedding to take place at a later date when travel and spending money are commonplace again. 

Next up, is Time.

If your wedding date has significant value to you, your biggest concern and motivation will probably be keeping the exact same date. You may opt for getting married in your living room or family backyard with minimal preparation and possibly no family or friends present. This is an example of valuing your time over the traditions of getting married.

Thirdly, let’s take a look at Money.

If you’ve already invested your money in your dream vendors, and you still want to do everything possible to work with them, maybe you shift your view of a wedding day around. Think about the value created in focusing on your marriage foundation, instead of focusing on a specific wedding day. In this case, you could decide to keep investing money and plan a dream elopement or intimate wedding for when small gatherings are allowed. By choosing to refocus on a different aspect of your wedding day (your relationships), the process (wedding planning) is outshone by the outcome (being married).

 

There are also multiple variations on many of these “expectation outcomes”. For example, valuing Time and Experience. You may right now value getting married quickly, but still want to celebrate all of your relationships and their impact on your journey to marriage later on. Many couples are opting to wed in living rooms, backyards, or the courthouse (if they are open). This process can be quick and efficient. But they are still planning a larger celebration to include their friends and family in their life change sometime in the future. Maybe it’s a vow renewal on their one year anniversary or a big dance party without the fanfare or traditions. 

An example of valuing Money and Experience: I know some couples have had to make the decision to postpone their wedding day because their finances have taken a huge hit in our current economy. They won’t be able to make payments while unemployed or on furlough. They also know they do not want to create hardships for their guests who may need to choose between health and finances as well in the coming months in order to travel across states to attend. It would break their hearts to not be able to celebrate fully with their guests in masks having to stay 6 feet apart. They have put value on Money and Experience in their specific circumstance. 

As an intimate wedding planner, I have been hearing from a record amount of couples recently who desire to still have a wedding day the second it’s safe to gather in small groups. They understand the health and financial implications facing our world right now and are willing to do something a little different. A small wedding could be anything from gathering 10 family members together on a cliffside in Big Sur, to spending a weekend together in a bed and breakfast reminiscing about life’s adventures and sharing marriage advice. These couples know the amount of time spent with their guests is of utmost importance, and they want to create the most amazing experience possible. In a situation like this, they are placing value on Experience and Money

 

When you value an experience, you expect everyone to be present and to have a good time.

 

When you value time, you expect to have what you want when you want it

 

When you value money, you expect to pay for something only when it meets all of your needs and desires

 

You can absolutely value ALL THREE THINGS – this is not an if/or situation! But digging deep into what it is you value about getting married can help you uncover the best way to proceed forward. 


PS: For even more, head over to Sarah’s website for a guide about How to Postpone + Downsize Your Wedding during COVID-19! 

 

About the Author

  • Intimate wedding planner and designer serving Southern California. Be it creating a logistics layout, or checking off items in a timeline I find so much joy in helping couples navigate the process of planning. My goal is to cheer you on, make planning easy & enjoyable, and provide you with an experience that leaves you feeling invested in & loved on so you can spend time loving on your special people. ​ I'm a born & raised Cali girl, and call the San Fernando Valley home now with my two best friends - my nerdy & extremely patient husband Jeremiah and our snuggly kitty, River (who acts more like a dog!).


by: Lauren

It’s no secret that planning a wedding during the Covid pandemic has proven to be quite stressful. There are SO MANY unknowns for everyone involved. Which is why we’re doing our best to keep you updated with what wedding professionals are experiencing and recommending to their own couples so you can gain the knowledge you need to make educated decisions. 

Today we’re sharing a glimpse of what our friend Adair of Dairing Events, a Jacksonville wedding planner, has shared on her own blog. Below we will give you an abbreviated version, and we strongly recommend you go read her full blog post for all of the details and even more information. 

Take it away Adair! 


What To Do When Planning a Wedding During Covid via TheELD.com

Whether you are newly engaged or anticipating your day in a few months, chances are you have been anxiously watching the news and wondering, “What the heck am I supposed to do?”

You are not alone friend. There are hundreds of thousands of people in your shoes asking that same question.

The truth is, no one really knows what to do.

Being a Wedding Planner in North Florida, I compared it to a never-ending hurricane watch. That was the best thing we could compare it to but it is incomparable. With a hurricane, we can see it coming, anticipate it’s arrival, hold on tight while it hits, and the day after, open our doors and assess the damage. Unfortunately in the case of Covid, we have been holding on tight since March with no real end in sight.

Don’t read that last line like a death wish, because it isn’t. Covid will be around for a while but nothing (as of now) is stopping you from celebrating. Our country is slowly reopening and the idea is that we can begin opening our doors an inch at a time, too.

I am writing this note to you today because I feel as though we all feel better when there are goals for us to achieve and tasks to check off. I am a HUGE list writer. So here is a list and a guideline for of all you who are planning a wedding during Covid.

 

1. Change your mindset and create new expectations

At some point in time, big weddings with huge guest lists became some sort of a sign for ‘status’. That status means nothing to Covid because it literally touches everyone from rich to poor. So change your mindset and create a new range of expectations for your day.

Who is telling you that your wedding now has to be in a backyard, can’t be formal or black tie, that it is now an ‘elopement’ because it is under 100 guests?

You can still have a beautifully, elegant, wedding day with gorgeous flowers and rentals, and a photo booth, you just may need to lower your guest list to achieve those things. Bonus: by lowering your guest list, you’ll save money! Since when is saving money a negative thing?

 

2. Make a new guest list

This is crucial. My best advice to all current planning couples is to make a guest list that is no more than 50-75 people (including them).

Why? Because that is typically the core group that would include their wedding party, their spouses, parents, close family members. The people you are probably already quarantining with. This is an achievable number that everyone can agree to because the fact of the matter is, if you want to get married on the date you have chosen, you have to make some sacrifices.

NO ONE WILL QUESTION WHY THEY WERE NOT INVITED.

This is quite literally your get out of jail free card.

You know those coworkers you feel like you ‘have’ to invite? NOPE. Your parents’ friends who you only see every summer? NOPE. Your future husband’s weirdo college buddies that he talks about nonstop but you haven’t actually met? NOPE.

STOP putting so much pressure on yourself to match these unrealistic ideals of what weddings ‘were’ and START setting yourself up for success and create what realistic ideas your wedding will be.

Click here to read more about what to do about your guest list, even if your wedding is in 2021. 

 

3. Contact your venue

This may seem like a no brainer but the truth is, couples have been sitting on the idea of postponing their weddings until it is too late OR have been avoiding the conversation of ‘what will my wedding look like because we want to move forward?’.

Having this conversation doesn’t mean you are giving in- it means you are preparing yourself for any possible outcome. You will become so much strong mentally and emotionally once you start allowing yourself to have these conversations.

Contacting your venue needs to be your highest priority because they are like the bus driver. They open the door to let you on and open it to let you off. Click here to find out what questions you should be asking your venue in this instance.

 

4. Reach out to guests and make them aware of the precautions you will be exercising

The easiest way to do that is to include what I have been calling a ‘Covid Card’ in your invitation suite. It can explain what steps and precautions the venue will be implementing, how you and your future spouse are feeling, and of course encouragement.

If you are working with a custom stationery designer, lucky you! They will be your biggest ally. With your smaller guest list, request less invitation suites. If you have already paid a deposit and the new expectations mean you will be spending less than anticipated, ask them to utilize those funds in a couple of different ways.

Click here to see what one of Adair’s couples used on their “Covid Card”, as well as ways to have your stationery designer utilize any extra money you’ve paid. 

 

5. Speak to your vendors

There is a “chain of command” when contacting your vendors and I encourage you to move from your highest investment first. Think about it this way: talk to those you *must have* for your wedding day to be a success first.

I have created a simplified way of getting out information and to streamline communications with all of your vendors.

Click here to see and learn more about ways to communicate with your vendors, as well as what the “Chain of Command” is.

PS: Please understand that many of your wedding vendors are small business owners and will not have the ability to return any non-refundable retainers that you agreed to upon signing their contract. 

And if you do have to postpone your wedding OR change your plans last minute, you can also learn about what to do in that situation here in the full post.

 


 

Thank you so much to Adair of Dairing Events for sharing her excellent insight with us! 

As we’ve said many times before- this is such a new, unique situation that everyone is experiencing. But please know that you are not alone. Your wedding vendors want you to get married. One thing I’ve noticed that some might not realize is that even if you choose to just go to the courthouse for your original date and postpone the party to later, you can always ask some of your originally hired vendors to be a part of it! Florist, photographer, videographer, hair and makeup- you don’t have to make the day that you say your vows any less special than it should be. <3 



by: ELD Team

Intimate and chic collide in this Long Beach wedding captured by V List Member Photography by Belinda Philleo! Jefrrel and Chad had a ceremony with close friends and family on the sand where they first met (how sweet is that?!). The boho modern ceremony backdrop from Serenade of Flowers was the star of the details. We love the unique diamond shape covered in lush tropical florals. The statement pieces doubled as decor for the sweetheart table for their reception at The Grand Long Beach. Scroll to see all the pretty and save your favorites!

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Vendors who made it all happen…

Photographer: Photography by Belinda Philleo // Florist: Serenade of Flowers // Chairs: Celebration Party Rental // Reception Venue: The Grand Long Beach // Signage: Jessica Cotton // Invitations: Minted // Cake: Great Dane Baking Company // Hair + Makeup: Parlour Eleven // DJ: COEO Events // Dress Retailer: Jaclyn’s Bridal // Dress Designer: Stella York

Exclusive ELD Vendors

Like the post above? Here are the Every Last Detail vendors that participated making this post beautiful! Featured vendors are hand picked and approved by Lauren. Get more information by clicking on them below: