When you are in love and planning a wedding, COVID does not need to stop you from having a beautiful event, on your special day.
However, there are clearly more precautions and some creativity needed to plan that amazing day you’ve desired. So, our Team we together some tips to help you started planning the wedding of your dreams!
CN Catering in Dallas wants to help you have the wedding of your dreams!
#1) Create a Wedding Website to Communicate with Your Guests
The best way to navigate a successful wedding during the COVID pandemic is by communicating with your guests — consistently.
The most effective way to do this is by creating a simple site that provides the announcement, and a save the date message shortly after your engagement. We recommend The Knot which has a large array of inspiring designs.
You can also use the website as a way to keep the guest list to a minimum. For example, ask site visitors if they would be comfortable attending your wedding during the pandemic. There might be individuals who can’t attend due to an undisclosed health condition or for other reasons. Knowing these responses in advance will help you curate the invitation list.
#2) Ensure You’re Compliant with Guest List Considerations During COVID
Government regulations for public gathering sizes are subject to change. While there is hope that those guidelines will ease as more people receive the vaccine, there is no guarantee on what the exact group gathering restrictions will be. When creating your guest list for a wedding later this year, use the restrictions that are currently in place for planning purposes.
However, this doesn’t mean you should try to meet the maximum number of guests allowed in your locale. Attention should be paid to what is best for the safety of your guests and those attending. The Windsor at Hebron Park in Dallas provides a nice alternative as they have a separate chapel where you could hold the ceremony with just your closest family members. Then you can transfer out to one of the larger rooms to join the rest of your guests.
#3) Consider Virtual Options for Your Wedding Vows... Then it’s Reception Time
This doesn’t mean you can’t have a wonderful wedding to share with a large number of guests. A lot of couples are adding options for invitees to join their big day virtually. With a little planning, this can be a huge success, and platforms like Zoom make it simple.
For a virtual wedding component, assign someone to share a video of important moments like exchanging vows and cutting the cake with virtual guests. Another tip is for the bride, groom, and officiant to wear lavalier microphones so the audio is clear. There are lavalier microphones that are small and can be worn discreetly, so they don’t detract from wedding attire.
A fun idea is to have one location at the reception with a large monitor hosting the virtual guests. In this case, they can watch the festivities and can even be invited to join in a “virtual” dance. Encouraging members of the bridal party and other guests to interact with the virtual guests will bring everyone together in a very modern way.
Another option is to place a few iPad screens around the reception area with live feeds that will make your virtual guests feel like part of the action. Check with your venue staff regarding WiFi capabilities, and include them in planning the virtual component.
People are now accustomed to sharing and interacting on video platforms. They will likely appreciate being safely included in your big day.
The Room on Main in Dallas is an elegant venue that will be ideal for this type of setup, and they offer an audio/visual package.
#4) Multi-room Venues with Patios for Your Wedding
Venues with multiple options including multi-rooms, and/or with patios are becoming very popular through Covid. Some event spaces, like the Hall on Dragon located in the heart of the Dallas Design District, offer both options. Locations like this allow you to divide aspects of your wedding event so guests aren’t indoors the entire time, or don’t have the option to freely move into broader spaces. Accordingly, selecting venues where the flow amongst the guests can occur with people using both spaces, and ensuring everyone is safe and socially distanced is increasingly preferred.
If your reception venue is indoors, work with the catering staff to create seating arrangements that allow for proper social distancing. For an indoor meal, table service may be the best choice during these times, rather than a buffet.
The industrial ceilings and open feel at Howell and Dragon in Dallas allows for a dining set-up inside that doesn’t feel confined. Spaces like this are great choices for an indoor reception during COVID.
Many couples are now planning seating arrangements that cluster “pods” of family members together. While it’s always fun to mix up a crowd at a wedding feast, the safest choice for your guests right now would be to avoid this practice.
If your heart is set on a pre-ceremony cocktail reception, ask your event coordinator for suggestions on how to safely host one.
Also, while receiving lines are a tradition at many receptions, there is a challenge during COVID. Consider alternatives and educate your guests beforehand. Setting a protocol for alternatives to hugging or handshaking in advance will help prevent awkward moments at the event – especially for the bride!
#5) COVID Protocols for your Wedding Guests
On-site rapid result COVID testing is becoming more common at weddings. It is something to consider if it’s within your budget. Assigning or hiring someone to do temperature checks before entering the event is also an option. People are coming to expect these types of precautions at events.
Notify guests in advance if you expect them to bring their own masks. Also, let them know if you have special requirements for the mask types. Providing masks as party favors is becoming popular at weddings. If your wedding is a formal affair, consider a simple mask with a monogram. Or, if your wedding is casual, select masks with themed prints. Masks are a way to add some of your personal style to the event.
Ask your event coordinator about providing hand sanitizing stations throughout the venue. Small bottles of hand sanitizer are a party favor that is always appreciated.
Some couples are opting to call on a friend to act as the “social distancing director” at the reception. Someone with a fun personality can make this an entertaining part of the event, while still addressing the need for social distancing.
Finally, remember the most important part of your wedding is not overshadowed by any pandemic. Your friends and family are happy to celebrate your union! Everyone understands weddings may be a little different right now, but they can still be unforgettable celebrations.