One of the hardest things we have all felt in the world of weddings is the loss of control. With state and local officials possibly making changes at a moment’s notice, unfortunately, no one can predict what will happen. However, weddings are carrying on. Couples are choosing to continue the celebration, whether for financial or emotional reasons, and I’m here to say they can take back some control. How can they do that? Well, they can take the lead.
1. Accept we are in unprecedented times and you are no longer planning a normal wedding.
This is so hard and NO ONE wants this to be happening. No one wants an event that feels scary either. The sooner you can do this and wrap your mind around the concept that you as the client are ultimately responsible for decisions that affect people’s safety at your event, the more time you have to consider options to help your guests feel more comfortable and help them to celebrate and have fun while still being safe.
2. Read the ordinances and understand what are requirements, what are guidelines, and check with your vendor team on any other ideas you might want to use.
In Texas, read the Open Texas Checklists for state mandates and check with your local mayor and county judge for additional regulations in place. Check out the CDC for additional suggestions. Your vendor team should have plenty of ideas if they are staying on top of what is happening in the industry. Discuss these as a couple and with your family to help come to decisions for your wedding. Making these decisions together and asking everyone to support them will help you avoid going back and forth with each individual and their opinions. Getting everyone on the same page is probably the hardest part. Remember though, this is YOUR wedding, so while you want to respect input from others, you are the ones responsible for your event and your decision wins.
3. Communicate with your guests on what is happening.
They want to celebrate with you, I assure you. But they don’t know what to expect unless you tell them as they most likely have no idea what regulations are in place and they are not privy to your conversations with your team. Your guests will be more able to make a decision on attending once they know what plans you are putting into place and what you expect of them. The safer they feel, the more likely they will attend. You can do this by putting it on your website, emailing, and/or texting them. If you haven’t sent your invitations yet, we highly suggest adding a request for their email for updating them, whether they are attending or not. This way, if you offer a way to attend virtually, you can send them information on how. You can also communicate with them easily should new regulations pop up. You can do this by adding a line to your rsvp card or adding it to your website to collect during the rsvp process.
- We suggest adding info to your website on regulations and what your venue, catering staff, and others are doing to make your event safe for everyone.
- Either a week or two before your wedding, we suggest emailing everyone attending what they can expect on the wedding day. For example, there will be an area for those at risk, that they need to bring their own mask or that you’ll have bracelets to indicate their comfort level when interacting with others. Also, tell them what fun things you have planned like dance-offs at their table. Let them know it’s still a celebration and you expect everyone to have a great time.
4. Decide who will be enforcing the rules on wedding day.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of finger-pointing going on right now on who is responsible for what. Many venues, security, and vendors do not want to be the “bad guy”. However, you can take the lead here and designate someone you trust to be your “COVID Monitor”. This person can be someone from your family or a good friend that can help make sure everyone is being safe while they have a good time. They can make sure that your plans are being followed, the DJ makes announcements as needed and everyone is comfortable. This allows you to be present and enjoy your day but also puts a friendly face in front of your guests when it comes time to remind them to wear their mask or to give someone their space. They will absolutely respond better to someone they know than they would to a security officer or staff member. While we would hope all guests would follow the signage you’ve placed out or the announcements of the DJ, some will forget and some, unfortunately, may make it an issue. Worst case scenario, if they do make a scene and will not work with your Monitor, your Monitor can then ask them to leave and security can help escort them out as necessary.
5. Check in with your guests after the wedding.
Follow up with your guests the week after the wedding and let them know you appreciated that they attended and ask about their health. If anyone does get sick, please make sure to contact your venue and vendor team ASAP so they can make sure their venue is safe for their next event and vendors can get tested so they do not pass it on to others. You can also communicate with your guests if they should watch for symptoms or get tested.
We always want our couples to feel in control of their event and that has been so hard for them these past few months. We hope these suggestions help all couples take back a little control and empower them to plan a fun but safe event for them and their guests.
Feel free to contact us!
Wendy Kidd, Owner & Lead Planner at Each & Every Detail