This has been one crazy year. It’s been tough on the couples having weddings in 2020 and the couples starting their wedding planning. I’ve seen a few couples cancel their wedding, tons of people postpone their wedding, and pretty much everyone has had to change their wedding plans somewhat. I’ve been back photographing weddings since May, so I thought I would share some Pandemic Wedding Tips with everyone.
Top 10 Pandemic Wedding Tips
First, let me say that I know everyone is in a different situation. What might work for one person might not work for anyone else. The tips are going to be pretty general, so they can be applied to all situations.
1. Talk to the people most important to you
Before you make any big decisions, talk to the people most important to you. These are the people you really want at your wedding and want to please. Find out how they are feeling about the whole situation and if they have any worries. Will they show up at the wedding if you have over 50 people? Will they expect everyone to wear a mask?
Once you have an idea what everyone thinks, you can start making decisions. You might not please everyone, but at least you tried talking to them first.
2. Talk to the Venue
Whether you have booked a venue or are still looking, you need to talk to them about what they plan on doing. Will the be strictly enforcing all of the rules and regulations? Do they have any extra rules?
The biggest thing with venues is the distancing, masks, and max number. Those things can really affect your wedding. See how they plan on dealing with each one.
If you find that your venue is going to be ultra uptight, you might consider changing. You could find a venue that’s more open or even do your wedding on private land.
3. Talk to the other Vendors
It’s important that you have conversations with your other vendors as well. Each one will be doing things differently. Will they continue working during the pandemic? Will they be enforcing strict rules? Will any of this stop them from doing their best job? Do they need anything else?
It’s better to find out early in there are any issues versus finding out later. Most likely your vendors will be prepared and have adapted at this point, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
4. Give People Options
The best situation is one where you give everyone plenty of options. The first option would be plenty of space. Have enough room for people to spread out so they don’t have to be close to others if they don’t want to. At the last wedding I did, they had an outdoor area, so people could be away and feel safe.
Another big option is letting people know it’s ok not to come. Most people will feel obligated to come, but they might be afraid. Tell them it’s ok, so they won’t feel guilty or forced into coming.
5. Have Two Different Dates
For some, it’s been too difficult making everyone happy, so they end up having two wedding dates. The first one is usually on the original date and is a small ceremony. This let’s them save their date and allows the closest people to be there. Then, later, they have a wedding reception. This is the time to have fun and more people will be there.
The only real downside is that having two dates means more planning and probably a bigger cost.
6. Live Stream the Wedding
One thing that we have been doing a lot lately is live streaming. This is a great option because it let’s people stay home, but they can still feel involved. They can watch the wedding as it happens and even comment, all the while feeling safe at home.
Live streaming can be done in a few different ways. The easiest way is to use a phone. You can hop on the Facebook app and go live. If you want something nicer, you can pay a professional to use multiple cameras and high quality sound.
7. Be Flexible
If we’ve learned anything during the pandemic, it’s that we all need to be more flexible. Things don’t always go the way we planned and things might change drastically in a short span of time. If you are set on your ways, you are going to get super stressed and be unhappy. Focus on the big things and don’t freak out every time something changes.
8. Be Understanding
2020 has been a hard year on everyone. We’ve all been stuck doing things differently and learning to adapt. Most people are stressed out and scared. Just be understanding of what other people are going through, the same way we try to be understanding of what couples are going through.
9. Let people make their own choices
I believe weddings are about being with people and having fun. A lot of the restrictions these days make that difficult. It’s hard to have fun with a mask on your face as you stand 6 feet away from people. I know a lot of people might not agree with me, but I think you should let people make their own choices.
If people want to wear a mask, they can. If they don’t then don’t. If they want to dance, let them. In my mind, they are taking a risk. The people that are that concerned can either not show up or stay away from them. In the end, people are probably going to do what they want to do anyway.
10. Postpone to 2022
If all of this just sounds like too much to you, then I suggest you postpone to 2022. By then, I sure hope things will have cleared up, and you can go back to inviting everyone and doing all the normal wedding things. If 2020 has taught us anything, though, there are no guarantees.
I hope these 10 Pandemic Wedding tips have been helpful. I hope all of you get to have your perfect wedding, but if not, focus on the big things like the fact that you are getting married.