Getting Married During Covid-19 – A How-To Guide of Having A Wedding During Coronavirus
You’re engaged and you had the most magical plans to get married in 2020, and then COVID-19 happened. Are you still getting married during COVID-19? Have you had to postpone or cancel your wedding already, because of COVID-19? Do you have little time left to make tough decisions about whether or not to proceed with your nuptials, elope, or cancel your wedding completely due to the uncertainty of COVID-19? You’re not alone!
Many couples are facing these tough decisions of not knowing if they should cancel their wedding, elope, and who to invite to their new “COVID-19 sized” wedding, if they decide to have one or live in a place that allows gatherings. We’ve done our research, and have some ideas and answers for you. First thing’s first…CONGRATULATIONS you’re engaged and in love! Now take a deep breath, we are here for you.
Think about what is important to you and your significant other soon-to-be spouse. Write down a list of pros and cons about continuing with your wedding plans during COVID-19, postponing them until you can resume the original big dream wedding plan, or eloping. Whatever you do…do not cancel getting married! The virus is not a “sign” so don’t even go there. Talk to your partner about what is most meaningful to you and them about this wedding. Is it marrying the man/woman/person of your dreams? Is it having all the family together (again)? Is it having the most elaborate, boujee, extra and exquisite decor? Every person and couple has their own motivation for having their wedding. Once you both agree on what the most important part is…ask yourselves “is that still possible now?” Better yet…
Hire A Wedding Planner
Wedding planners have been working arduously to come up with creative ways to still stay in business and helping you still figure out how to make that wedding of your dreams work, is one of them! They will also be well versed on all the regulations in the area, which takes a load off your plate. Most likely they will already know which venues are open to hosting events such as your magnificent matrimonial celebration. Wedding planners may even be open to just consulting and helping you make the best decision. So before you cancel your wedding plans, find out from the experts what is still possible in your area. Maybe you travel outside your county, or state that has just the right permissions for your big day.
“Honey I shrunk the Wedding”
No matter what state or county you live in, we’re pretty certain you can’t have that 350 guest (in-person) wedding of your dreams that you’ve been planning since you were 12, because we’re in in the middle of this COVID-19 global pandemic. So now what? While it may be a total let-down, there is a bright side to all of this. Your partner still wants to marry you, and you don’t have to worry about the stress of tracking 350 RSVPs now.
Weddings are still happening, even during this COVID-19 pandemic. They’re just not happening at the full-scale, and to some this is actually a relief! Scaling down means less expenses, which means more money for your future honeymoon whether it’s a staycation, a road trip, or a future travel destination. Or maybe you use your saved money to put a down payment on a new house, vehicle, a ring upgrade or (our favorite) a creative photo shoot!
Many couples are taking advantage of nature or taking COVID-Friendly road trips during this time when things are less crowded, to do incredible photo shoots at magnificent locations! We think it’s such a great way to remember your love for one another, through this challenging time for all.
If you choose to scale down, here are some things to consider.
- Understand how many wedding guests can attend: Check with the local county guidelines, and keep checking on their COVID-19 gathering restrictions. While each state has different restrictions, in some states it varies even from county to county. These are changing as things improve (or don’t in some areas) so you want to make sure you’re staying up-to-date with the mandatory guidelines for gatherings and events during COVID-19.
- Keep your guests informed! It’s great to reassure your guests of all the safety precautions that you are taking as well as that of the venue for the ceremony, reception or the hotel that guests may choose to stay at. Wedding guests might be hesitant to accept an invitation to a gathering, during a pandemic because they’re afraid of the risk. Help them make an informed and educated decision by sharing what everyone is doing to keep them safe. In addition to sharing COVID-19 Safety measures that will be in place, be sure to set clear expectation for each guest as well. Let them know what they’re responsible for. For example: “Guests will not be allowed admission without a mask. Forgot yours? No Problem! We’ve got your covered!” (There’s a fun wedding party favor idea!) Whether you require masks, mandatory hand sanitizing, temperature checks or waivers to be signed, inform your guests and be sure to tell them upon initial invitation, upon confirmation of attendance as well as in your final reminder about the wedding. Reiterate by having a sign with the rules displayed at the entrance of the venue. These can also be made to match your wedding invitation, or wedding theme…if we can’t change what’s going on we may as make it look pretty!
- Make your list and check it twice! If you are limited to a specific number of guests, start a discussion with your partner about who really needs to be included, in-person at your wedding. Who are your ride-or-die friends who even in a global pandemic would never miss this big day? Don’t worry about the person with FOMO (fear of missing out) or the person who just wants to be invited only to say no. Let’s not waste precious resources… this is your wedding! Make your list, check it twice and then send your save-the-date for your COVID-Friendly wedding! Your save-the-date can have a pre-rsvp with options like “I will only attend if ______”, “I wouldn’t miss it!”, or “Cannot attend, in-person.”
- Become an Internet Star! Well okay maybe it’s not a public event that will go viral, but we do recommend having a livestream or video conference of your “COVID Wedding” as an option for the people who didn’t make the cut, and for those who were invited and cannot attend your wedding, or are choosing not to for any other reason. You can do this via social media platforms, or video conferencing. There are pros and cons to each style of virtual sharing, so decide if you want to be able to see guests as well (maybe record it and watch after?) or if you just want a feed of people seeing your wedding, that allows comments.
- Do you have immunocompromised friends or family members? Consider creating a “wedding experience” suite for your more delicate family and friends who have been cooped up during COVID-19, but wouldn’t miss your wedding for the world. You can create this experience one of two ways, if it’s just a couple of people, get a separate room at the venue with comfy seats, decorated just as you would inside the ceremony or reception space and provide them with a live video feed of your ceremony. The second way is to send your guests, a “wedding-in-a-box”! Send them their own touches of decor, to match your beautiful wedding venue, and a link to the livestream. If you are doing a video conference wedding option you can also have monitors in the room, so that other guests can see the virtual guests.
- Skip the guests… Perhaps the safest way to have a wedding during COVID-19 is to have no guests, and only live stream your nuptials! You can set a later date for a “promise to party” in the future when it’s safe to epically do so.
- For the most extravagant of brides… you may be interested in a hybrid wedding. Where you have some guests attend, others “attend” your wedding as cardboard cutouts, or even more extra via flatscreens with themselves “in-person” via video, while they watch you and the love of your life take your vows, on the video call.
Elope & Insure the Future
If you’re certain you want the 350 guest, in-person wedding that is sure to be the talk of the town for years to come, and are willing to wait however long it takes but don’t want to postpone marrying the love of your life…elope! Elope in a remote location, with some amazing photos creating the most picturesque memories, and choose a future date for your perfect wedding. However, before you go and elope, make sure you are aware of everything you need to make it count! From an officiant, to licenses, witnesses and any other credentials. We also recommend a couple of besties to help with mini-wedding details, taking behind the scenes photos and of course being your hype team!
Once you have your photos, make the big announcement with your favorite one! Be proud to celebrate your love! If you already had your wedding date set, you can consider sending “change-the-date” cards to all your original guests, even those that RSVP’d “cannot attend”. We also recommend getting insurance on any paid services, details or venues. By the time your wedding celebration comes around (hopefully) the pandemic will be behind us, you will be even more in love with your spouse, and you won’t get cold feet about getting married!
You got this!
No matter what you choose to do, you are loved and that’s a big WIN in our book. Hold your partner close, keep your lives moving forward, and smile from the heart. One day you’ll look back at this time and say “Wow we made it through a pandemic!”
Getting Married During Covid-19 can be daunting – but just trust your professionals and be careful and you’ll be great! Be sure to follow CDC guidelines.
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