Whether you are planning a small wedding or a large family ceremony, safety measures have become an important component of the party planning process.
In the wake of COVID-19, wedding planning has experienced dramatic shifts. During the height of COVID 19, the “pandemic wedding” or “COVID wedding” was a unique (and sometimes frustrating) event. Many nuptials were postponed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Even today, safety measures are a critical consideration for any family events, including outdoor weddings.
Make your big day safe and enjoyable with our handy safety guide for wedding plans.
Safety Measures for Weddings and Other Wedding Events
Your wedding vision may not have originally included concerns about health and safety aspects for your wedding guests. As COVID continues to present challenges, engaged couples have risen to the occasion by creating events that protect the health of older guests, while maintaining the spirit and feel of a great wedding.
The Centers for Disease Control and health officials in the San Francisco Bay Area recommend the following measures to stay safe and to minimize risk during your special day:
- Have sanitizing stations ready for guests. Hand sanitizer has been proven to curtail the spread of dangerous bacteria and viruses. You can even have sanitizer available at guest tables, at venue entrances, or anywhere people come into contact with one another.
- Requiring proof of vaccination status or a negative COVID test within 48 hours of the event. Vaccinations and testing are relied upon by the vast majority of cities, states, and government agencies to keep people safe. While required proof of vaccination or a negative test can impose restrictions on your guests, the important thing to remember is that this is done to prevent the spread of illness.
- Temperature checks before entering the wedding venue. Elevated temperatures are a telltale sign of illness; by checking each guest before entrance, you help to ward off any potential health threats.
- Plated meals to replace self-serve wedding banquet options. Eliminating self-serve foods can curtail the spread of viruses. Your vendor team can help you set up the ideal menu for your reception.
- Minimize the guest count. Big, lavish weddings are simply impossible if you want to protect the health and safety of guests. As COVID 19 and the Delta variant continue to pose significant challenges, paring the guest list down to close friends and family makes sense. Your reception or party can be more intimate… And you can always host a blowout party once the threat of illness has passed.
Working with a Wedding Planning Professional
Option 1: Wedding Website – Websites that cater to wedding plans offer helpful tips and ideas for couples across the country. These websites often stand in for a formal planner if budget is a primary concern; helping couples to save money while creating special events for the attendees. Many of these websites provide safety rules for couples that are concerned about illnesses like COVID-19.
Option 2: Wedding Planner – Wedding planners are a great option when you want to create a truly memorable event. You can discuss details about safety considerations, specifically for the site where you want the event to take place, and many more factors that influence the quality of your nuptials.
Wedding planners can also help you secure the services of a safety-focused photographer, set up dance floors (with sufficient space for guests to dance separately), and add safety features to your nuptials. Be sure that any contract negotiations include safety considerations based on the most recent health guidelines.
Safe Wedding Ideas
The wedding industry has responded to the COVID 19 pandemic with creativity, humor, and flair. Wedding websites across the web have posted fun and creative safe wedding ideas, allowing many couples to enjoy their special day while following the precautions laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and local health officials. Here are some of our favorites:
The Drive-In Wedding – Creative wedding planners took inspiration from drive-in movies to host special events for couples. The drive-in movie combines an outdoor space, an inflatable movie screen, and amenities like food trucks. One wedding live-streamed the ceremony to guests who could not attend in person. The large screen allowed guests to maintain social distancing while still being able to get an intimate view of the ceremony itself.
Custom Masks – Indoors or out, protective masks have become an essential accessory for people concerned about spreading the COVID-19 infection. Some enterprising couples had masks made to match wedding outfits using the color palette and design elements from the ceremony. Guests each received their own mask, and the simple idea helped to a support safe and enjoyable gathering.
Creative At-Home Weddings – Numerous couples have decided to host their nuptials at home. The vision behind this is home-based ceremonies allow couples to better control their health and safety conditions, without relying on an unknown venue. Typically, home weddings are held outdoors, making it easier to keep guests separated safely. Your deck can become a dance floor, and seating arrangements can be made to protect family members from contact with strangers attending the ceremony.
Alternative Wedding Location – If you are a couple who enjoys the outdoors, an outdoor ceremony held in a unique place can help minimize contact between guests while creating a memorable event. COVID ceremonies have taken place at beaches, parks, botanical gardens, dog parks, and more. As with any wedding planning, check with local health officials and venue managers for specific safety guidelines.
Virtual Nuptials – As COVID spread around the world, virtual communications tools became everyday necessities for millions of people. Thanks to video streaming platforms like Google Meet, Facetime, Facebook, and Zoom, couples could send out a virtual invitation to a virtual event and live-stream the ceremony from the comfort of their own home. You can even include a virtual champagne toast with attendees! While the virtual wedding may not be as intimate as a live wedding, this approach a helps to keep people from coming into close contact with one another, especially for weddings that involve special guest that have higher-risk.