Buckle Up, It’s Going to be a Long Ride
So, you and your partner have decided to move forward with your perfect “pandemic wedding.” You may be asking yourself, “where do I even start?” I was asking myself the same thing – though that was a full year before the pandemic started. Haha! Pandemic wedding planning isn’t too different from the regular deal, but it does come with its own quirks. We personally take COVID-19 very seriously, so we made sure to keep our wedding coronavirus-friendly. Here’s your checklist for success:
8.) First, Be Patient
As if we weren’t all already stressed enough, the pandemic throws in more obstacles and inconveniences than you’d ever assume. You’re going to run into restrictions, extended time tables and delays, and a lot of other fun stuff. Take a DEEP breath and get ready for the rollercoaster.
7.) Plan Big, Go Small
Chances are, wherever you live there are restrictions on how big your guest list can be which can be frustrating. We embraced the “micro-wedding” concept and the sooner you do, the sooner you will find yourself loving every little detail of the day you’re planning. Remember that fewer guests means fewer mouths to feed and thirst’s to quench, so you can go bigger in other areas!
6.) Flowers, Photos and Food – Oh My!
Figuring out your vendors is a standard step for any wedding, but you may find during the pandemic that many have changed their policies and services to accommodate safety guidelines. Reach out early and get an idea of how their requirements fit into your day. If your vendors do not ask you first how you’re enforcing covid safety, you absolutely should. The last thing you want is to get into an argument with your hairdresser because she refuses to wear a mask. Also, be sure to ask if there are any covid related fees. Some vendors are including new fees to cover their safety supplies and due to the increased risk of getting sick.
5.) Establish Your Pandemic Wedding Support
Most brides and grooms have a handful (or more) of people they can rely on and plan to call upon with wedding stuff. That’s great. During a pandemic, I can guarantee you it’s going to be a lot more stressful with varying opinions on what is and isn’t safe. Early on, identify who you can trust to help put the foot down and ensure guests are respecting covid-guidelines. Knowing that someone else on your team is responsible for this will take a lot of stress off your plate.
4.) Be Realistic in Venue Selection
The gorgeous church you have been dreaming of may no longer be an option. In fact, many venues have made their restrictions so difficult to work with the expense of a traditional venue may be more headache than it is worth. Assuming your wedding will be 50 people or less, consider alternative venues. We chose National Forest land as it allowed us to follow the county’s “outdoor event” guidelines and we didn’t have to worry about venue obstacles. Plus, it was less than $200!
3.) Plan Your Reception Ahead
It’s easy to not think about how the reception will play out if you’re having a small wedding as we did. In hindsight, I wish I had spent just an ounce more time thinking about the itinerary, set up and layout. We used our VRBO for our small dinner of 10 people since it already had a nice long table, but that may not be the case for you. We needed more seating, in the end, it was too crammed – I wish we had brought an extra table to add more seating. Additionally, we used a private chef but didn’t outline any timeline which turned a 2-hour dinner into a 5-hour dinner. By the time the main course came, we were starving! Do what you can to organize this piece of the evening.
2.) Check for Restrictions
You’re going to need to check several areas for any kind of COVID related restrictions. These include:
- State restrictions on gathering
- County restrictions on gathering
- City restrictions on gathering/venue restrictions on gathering if using a traditional venue
- Check with vendors for any specific restrictions or accommodations they will need
I encourage you to check these different restrictions pertaining to gathering every couple of weeks. One month you could be fine to have 20 people and the next, you can only have 5. It’s best to make sure all your guests know things could change and to be flexible as well.
1.) Stay Safe, Have Fun!
It’s up to you how careful you want to be with your guests, most states offer some form of free rapid testing for COVID and it would not be unusual to ask your guests to get tested within 72hrs of the wedding. Additionally, we chose not to invite our grandparents on either side out of an abundance of caution.
Having a small, covid-friendly affair doesn’t mean you have to lose any of the magic of your big day. Ours was everything we could’ve wished for and yours will be too! Focus on what’s most important to the two of you and you can’t go wrong. For the full story on our perfect pandemic wedding, head here.