As some states are opening up, some couples are reevaluating what their wedding might look like in the age of COVID19. Many couples have rescheduled their weddings hoping that this disaster will be over when they finally share their vows in front of friends and family. Other couples are moving forward and, when available, taking the leap into matrimony despite the added compliance mandates. If you live in a state that is open and planning on hosting your wedding during COVID19, here are some safety precautions you should consider for your big day. Please note: we are not medical professionals or epidemiologists. Furthermore, double check your state and local governments for the most up to date information and mandates.
Guest Count. Some venues have a capacity limit being enforced and you might be required to cut your guest count. Whether by choice or force, consider reducing the amount of guests anyway. Start with the most vulnerable and those out of state that might have difficulty traveling.
Social Distancing. Have your ceremony and reception layouts set you up for success by limiting the number of seats at a table and have them spread out the mandated 6ft. Get creative with your layout!
Seating Chart. Along with your layout, set up a seating chart by placing the guests who have been quarantining together during the last months at the same table. This will help you and your vendors understand and enforce certain parameters.
Face Masks. As of now, they are required and it can’t hurt. When people are gathering in these situations it is better to be safe than sorry. Although some states have exceptions (religious ceremonies, when eating/drinking, acceptable social distance, quarantined family etc), guests should absolutely be wearing a mask if they venture to the dance floor. Consider having personalized masks available when guests enter the building.
Temperature Checks. Ask your venue, or supply your own, and check the temperatures of your guests. It may take a little longer to file into the building, but worth the extra safety precautions.
Check in. Have guests sign a check in sheet and provide contact information in case they all need to be contacted. Another smart option is to use a QR code for signing in.
Lines. Mark the floor with tape where guests may be standing in lines to get food or drink to encourage social distancing.
Let’s Eat. Consider a plated meal with servers or a double wide buffet line (again, with servers). The more distance the better!
Screening. If available, have clear partitions placed at the bar and buffet line. Your venue, caterer, or bar service may have some available. If not, they can be easily constructed.
Vendor Flow. Check with your venue and ask what protocols are in place for outside vendors and contractors. If need be, have them sign a waiver taking responsibility for their health and safety procedures.
Reminders. Make sure that the venue has signs around the venue to remind guests of protocols. Also, have the Emcee announce periodically throughout the evening gentle reminders. You may also consult with the venue or have extra staff members kindly monitoring guests to ensure compliance mandates are met.
Wash up. Have the venue place hand sanitizer stations throughout the building. This too would be a great gift for your guests.
Wipe it down. Hire a staff member or ask the venue if they can have a few people who are consistently sanitizing heavily used surfaces and the restrooms.
Heads up. Send out a notification to your guests letting them know the protocols they can expect when they arrive at your wedding. This is a good time to remind them that if they aren’t feeling well to stay at home. Consider setting up a Live Video Feed of your ceremony for those loved ones that can’t attend.
This list is not extensive, but it is a great place to start! It may seem like a daunting undertaking to host your wedding in the midst of COVID19. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you are married to the love of your life and are ready to start a new life together, in sickness and health. For more information and ideas on Covid weddings and planning, check out these additional articles.