What Might a Wedding Look Like Since COVID-19

We all hope that life will return to normal soon, but for now the coronavirus has changed the way we live, including how couples celebrate their nuptials.

Recently, couples have been marrying with only a few, if any, guests present, but the wedding industry hopes that larger weddings will soon resume. As the government passes down new rules and restrictions for large gatherings, wedding and event professionals are working out the details of how these reimagined events will need to be organized. Here is an overview on how couples should modify their weddings:

Getting Ready Prior to Ceremony: Provide extra space so your wedding party can spread out.  Masks are suggested.  Food should be individually wrapped rather than served buffet style.

Ceremony:  Social distancing will be the king of event etiquette.  Chairs will be placed farther apart, or if marrying in a house of worship, guests will be separated more than usual in the pews. Couples may want to offer sanitizing wipes to guests.

Cocktails: Guests always look forward to the open bar (which usually has a line) and those delectable themed food stations and passed hors d’oeuvres.  While caterers are still waiting for clarification from the CDC and local health departments, they are considering their options.  I have heard ideas such as passed hors d’oeuvres with a clear plastic dome over the food, attended food stations with plexiglass barriers, and small plated hors d’oeuvres for each guest.  The bar may have six-foot markings on the floor to keep distance between guests, as done in grocery stores.

Reception:  A space that would normally hold 300 guests will now only hold about 150. This is a result of a new CDC guideline that recommends all tables be placed six feet apart. Additionally, fewer guests will be permitted to sit at a single table. Buffets will no longer be permitted, only plated service.  Servers will all wear gloves and sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the venue for guests. Again, it may be a good idea to offer guests a packet of sanitizing wipes.

Dancing:  We all hope that dancing together to our favorite tunes will still be part of every wedding reception.  After all, the celebration of a wedding is a time to party, right?  Bands and DJs are working to come up with options so that guests can party and still keep a safe distance from one another.  The traditional dance floor in the center of the room is the first choice but for those who may be uncomfortable dancing with everyone else, there may be smaller dance areas available.  These smaller dance areas will become available between tables since tables will need to be further apart.

There are still a number of things to work out, such as photo booths, will they be safe to use? What about masks? Will everyone be required to wear one?  And then there is dealing with the drunken guest who has lost all sense of social distancing.

A wedding planner is needed now more than ever to oversee the details.  Tulip Hill Weddings is staying on top of the new procedures and protocols so that we are ready to answer your questions and plan your wedding!

Photo credit: Sandor Welsh Photography