How to Have a Safe Wedding During the COVID Pandemic

It has been almost a year since our world changed due to COVID-19. Important events have been put on hold or canceled to keep us safe and healthy. However, we understand that the excitement surrounding your wedding did not change with a national slowdown. Wedding plans may just need to be adjusted or postponed to allow safe social distancing practices. If you are considering ways to still get hitched and keep others healthy, here are some ideas that will allow you to have both.

Go Virtual
Many brides are holding a small, socially distanced wedding with a virtual option for those who are uncomfortable or unable to attend. There are terrific platforms available to allow your guests to sign in and never miss a beat, right from the comfort of their own home. If you choose this path, send a link in advance and inform your virtual guests they may need to download software or an app in advance to participate.  Place your camera at an angle that allows the most coverage of you and the venue.  That way your online guests to capture the full essence of your event.

Stay Small
Whether you add an online option or not, micro-weddings are a safe alternative for in-person weddings. First, include those already in your close circle to eliminate exposure with people you have not seen in a while. You can also ask your guest to get tested prior to your wedding and wear a mask while socially distancing. Weather permitting, take the festivities outdoors and spread out. Open air is a safer alternative to indoor gatherings. A small intimate ceremony can make your nuptials feel romantic and sweet with those you love the most. Here are some ideas for small backyard gatherings if you want to keep things close to home.

Postpone the Celebration
If you have a dream wedding in mind, there is no reason to kiss it goodbye. Instead, consider getting married with just a witness or small gathering of loved ones and host a large event on a later date. This alternative will allow time for wedding venues to re-open at full capacity and people to celebrate without anxiety. If you need tips for sending postponement announcements, click here.

Tips for Sending Postponement Announcements

Curbing the spread of COVID-19 has been a hot topic for months. If you are planning a wedding right now, the stress of making changes to your timeline, catering to CDC guidelines, and debating difficult next moves (based on unknown factors) can be emotionally taxing. You have spent months on planning so the final decision to postpone your event it not an easy one. But if it is inevitable, here are some tips to get your information out to your guests in the most efficient way.

Where to start

Before you make an announcement to your entire guestlist, individually call your wedding party to give them a heads up. These folks are essential and may need to make travel adjustments quickly. More than likely, this is your close circle and their availability could help determine when you chose to reschedule.

Get the Word Out

Once your wedding party has been notified, it is time to let your guestlist know the change in plans. Begin with posting details on your wedding website. You may not have a reschedule date, but the more information you can share the better. Then, start calling friends and family while encouraging them to pass the information along to other guests they are in close contact with. Then begin emailing individuals to either give them a heads up or to confirm they have been notified by another source. It may be helpful to create an email draft and blind copy each guest to streamline this process. While you may want to call each guest personally, there may not be enough time to do so.

Divide and Conquer

This is a time when you and your fiancé must work together. You worked on creating your guestlist together, so take the names of those you personally added and begin calling, emailing, or visiting those guests, respectively.  Let your fiancé do the same with his list. Or, divide your list in half and start reaching out until everyone has been notified. If you work together, you will cut the notification process in half.

Paper Announcements

Now that you have tried to reach everyone on your guestlist electronically or in person, send a postponement announcement. This is essential for any guests who you missed or were unable to be contacted. Not everyone will visit your website, so this will eliminate any surprise. If you have a change-of-date, this is the time to notify every one of those details as a full invitation is not necessary. If you do not have a date change yet, let them know details are pending. Give your guests an electronic RSVP option rather than a paper trail this go around.

If you want to go ahead and tie the knot and plan a celebration on a later date, here are a few reasons why this option could benefit you.

 

Tying the Knot Before Your Wedding Day

I was surprised the day I showed up for my niece’s wedding only to find out that she had visited the courthouse a month prior to legalize her marriage.  Although the information was not public, I thought the ideas behind her decision were too smart to stay hidden.  Here are a few reasons why tying the knot before your wedding day could be a wise plan.

If You Must Postpone

Unfortunately, there are events out of our control that require weddings to be postponed. The world was shocked when businesses shut down for COVID-19. If you are in this situation and eager to say your vows, move forward with your “I do’s” at the local courthouse on the date you planned and celebrate with friends and family later. It can be devastating to give up your original wedding date, but this is one way to make the best out of a bad situation. You will have a unique memory of your wedding day for years to come.

Destination Weddings

If you are planning a getaway on the coast to celebrate your marriage, considering having a small ceremony at home for those who cannot attend. Perhaps you have relatives who are unable to travel for work or health reasons. They will feel extra special witnessing you legalize your marriage before you hop the plane.

A small ceremony at your local courthouse can also help eliminate hours researching and gathering proper documentation to get married in a different state; on top of assuring your license will transfer back home. Let your destination wedding simply be your dream ceremony without the added legal stress.

Nerves

Yes, the number one reason to go ahead and legalize your marriage it to simply calm your nerves. There is a lot of pressure to make your wedding day perfect. A year of planning, organizing details, and meeting with vendors can be overwhelming. As soon as you close in on the big day, it seems something inevitably will go sideways. There are too many details involved for all things to be perfect. A mix of creating perfection, remembering your vows, being the center of attention, and being inescapably pulled in every direction is enough to make even the calmest bride feel flustered.

A visit to the courthouse relieves a significant amount of pressure. Simply inviting parents or a couple of friends creates a more intimate and relaxed environment.  You can recite your vows without feeling like you are on stage and laugh at your mistakes. It is unbelievable how easy-going your wedding day can be if you choose to get pre-hitched. Just think of your big event as a party to celebrate your new marriage, not a day that must turn out perfect.

Once you finally reach the day of your big celebration, here are some tips to help keep you calm before walking down the aisle.