Dampened wedding plans in a typically flourishing summer wedding season has been many couples’ experiences in 2020. Brides and grooms around the world have been forced to postpone, cancel or significantly alter plans due to coronavirus restrictions, which undoubtedly has left many disappointed. The return of the wedding packed with attendees is unknown, but with a few small changes, anyone can have a stunning wedding celebration that captures a once-in-a-lifetime moment in a unique way.
Change to a Dream Destination or Outdoor Wedding
Scaling down your wedding doesn’t have to be a drag. A smaller destination wedding can add a special touch to your memorable occasion that will never be forgotten.
Where to go:
- Popular wedding destinations in the Caribbean are starting to reopen to tourism. But many countries and resorts have strict guidelines regarding coronavirus testing, social distancing, masks, and limited amenities, and off-resort excursions.
- If you still want to stay somewhat local, having an outdoor wedding surrounded by nature somewhere within driving distance is a short getaway that’s easier to self-plan.
Who to invite:
- A small wedding party is recommended for destination weddings, especially during this time. Keeping it to family members and possibly a few close friends is completely reasonable.
- If you are heading out of town, be sure to check with your resort to ensure there has been no alteration to their wedding services and check the maximum capacity of guests that will be able to attend.
- It’s recommended for local outdoor gatherings that you still have a controlled amount of guests and limit capacity to ensure social distancing guidelines can be followed.
- Traveling overseas means that your wedding party should be prepared to do a rapid antigen test either before or upon arrival at your destination.
- Some groups that are traveling together commit to a voluntary quarantine two weeks before trips in order to reduce the risk of testing positive for COVID-19 right before their scheduled travel date. Make sure to check the country’s tourism requirements and restrictions before booking as many have quarantine maps. See here for a Vermont wedding as an example: accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/restart/cross-state-travel
- Planning a more local outdoor wedding will save you the trouble of coordinating flights and having to do a potential rapid test upon entry. Water backdrops such as lakes or beaches, mountains, and forest escapes can all create stunning experiences for your special day.
Save on Money and Have a Blowout
Although limiting your guest list is never fun, the money saved can help you plan a blowout celebration that doesn’t cut corners on dining, decorations, and gifts for attendees that can make it. Smaller and beautifully outfitted parties can be a real treat for guests who will actually be able to interact with the bride and groom, which is challenging to do at big weddings. Splurging on elements such as striking floral arrangements, photography, or a decadent meal can make your time with friends and family exquisite.
Safety Tips and Social Distancing
A few tweaks to a traditional ceremony and celebration will keep your guests safe during your gathering. If you decide to stay local, you will need to check your state and county guidelines on guest capacity and face-covering mandates.
- An outdoor wedding ceremony and reception is ideal.
- Guest seating should be well spaced and at least six feet away from each family unit.
- Require your guests to wear a mask or face covering.
- Although difficult to do, discourage hugging, dancing, or shaking hands with members that do not reside together.
- If food is being served at the wedding, make sure that it’s not buffet style. Individually sealed portions are best.
- Have hand sanitizer, gloves, and face masks available for your attendees. You can even make a gift out of these essential items, and create themed cloth masks.
The Special Moments Can Still All Happen
The first dance, speeches, and music can all still be part of your big day. Dance partners should ideally be people who reside together, and as long as masks or face coverings are being used, singing and sharing stories can be a fun activity. Ultimately, a wedding is about harmony, and meaningful symbolic celebrations can take many sizes, shapes, and forms. Staying focused on togetherness and peace will make a celebration of any size a special event.