How To Plan A Pandemic Wedding: Part One

Who else feels like 2020 hasn’t exactly looked the way we planned? 😉 I think that goes for pretty much all of us, especially for people planning big events–like weddings. So, I thought it could be helpful to write a blog series helping those of you trying to navigate wedding planning in a pandemic. Over the next few Tuesdays I plan to share helpful tips on planning a pandemic wedding. I’ve teamed up with Heather at Heatherly Event Design to write today’s post. While you’re at it, follow her on Instagram, too, because she shares new tips and updated information regularly! Not to mention, her floral designs are out of this world!

Before I really jump into this, I want to first make it clear that I am NOT advocating living in fear. The virus is real, and we need to (as always) be respectful of others and their boundaries. But fear and stress and constant, agonizing worry never leads to the best in anyone, and that is not the lifestyle I’m encouraging.

In North Carolina, Governor Cooper has extended Phase 2. From a legal standpoint, this means that, while wedding ceremonies have no limits placed on them, indoor receptions are supposed to be limited to 10 people. Outdoor receptions max out at 25 people, and face coverings are now required in public for everyone over age 11.

In light of all of that, one of the big challenges facing couples right now is deciding whether or not they should scale their wedding down or reschedule it altogether. A lot of couples are doing small elopement-style weddings now and planning a bigger celebration next year. I know that things are really feeling uncertain for a lot of us. So, today we start out with 8 questions to ask yourself to help you decide whether you should scale down or reschedule your pandemic wedding.

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8 Questions To Help You Plan Your Pandemic Wedding

  1. What is your guest count? If it’s over 50, can you cut it in half? If not you should probably look into a plan B.
  2. What about your vendors? Are they fully booked for the foreseeable future? Or could they potentially reschedule with you? What are their cancellation/refund policies? 
  3. What are the ages/health status on your top priority guests? Not to be morbid, but if you’re extremely close to your grandparents who are elderly and/or not in the best of health then you’re not only making a decision for yourself. At that point you’re also making a decision for them. Would being there be a risk to their health? Or, how will you feel if they decide not to come? 
  4. Is your venue inside or outside? It’s easier to maintain physical distancing outside, and you don’t have to worry about recirculated air. If it’s inside, can you move it outside?
  5. How do you feel about masks? Masks on your vendors, masks on your guests, masks in your photos, etc. If you don’t want any masks at your wedding then postponing may be your best bet.
  6. What safety measures are your vendors (especially the venue, the caterers, and bar services) implementing? Hand washing stations, masks, plated dinners vs. a buffet, hand sanitizer, etc.
  7. What sort of travel is required for you/your guests/your vendors? Is everyone within easy driving distance? Or are there guests who would have to fly and possibly even cross boarders (which may be closed)?
  8. What about dancing? Can you host the dancing outside and space people out? What other fun and creative ideas can you come up with for the reception? If you can’t have dancing safely, and you can’t imagine your reception without it then postponing may be the way to go.
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The Choice Is Yours

Ultimately the choice is yours, and, to be honest, it isn’t a choice I envy. Again, I don’t share this to incite fear or worry. But the fact remains that, legally, there are certain restrictions in place. So, think over these questions, and reach out to your vendors to see what they say. I’ve been in close contact with my couples who are getting married over the next few weeks and will continue to be. And I’ll be back here next week with tips on how to plan a safe wedding in the middle of all this, so check back then for more. 🙂

June 30, 2020

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Charlotte, NC Wedding Photographer