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?!
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
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!