While most happily married couples will agree that their wedding day was one of, if not the best day of their life, planning a wedding can be a stressful experience. And along with the usual stressors that come with planning a wedding, like sticking to a budget and navigating any family drama, there’s also COVID19 to think about these days, bringing with it a new list of concerns for couples including protecting the safety of your loved ones on the big day. Studies have found that wedding guests expect extra safety procedures in place when they attend a wedding, and some people might not feel comfortable attending your wedding without certain COVID19 safety protocols in place. So, what can you do to make sure that your wedding is more COVID19 secure?
You may want to only invite people to your wedding if they have had both doses of the COVID19 vaccination to protect yourselves, your vendors, and other guests. While the COVID19 vaccination does not mean that you are completely immune from catching the virus, it can lessen the severity of it and reduce the likelihood of infecting others. Along with this, some vendors might only be willing to work with you if you have COVID wedding vaccination requirements in place for your wedding. Setting vaccination requirements can be tough, especially if you know that there are certain people in your life that you will not be able to invite. Greenvelope has some good tips for wording COVID wedding vaccination requirements in your invitations along with any other COVID19 related rules that you will expect guests to follow.
By now, we are all aware of the importance and effectiveness of wearing a mask when around others, so most guests do expect that they might be required to wear a mask during a wedding, expect for when eating. You may also find that most vendors will also wear masks, including waiting staff and bartenders for your reception. Encourage guests to bring their own masks to the event, but it’s a good idea to have some there on hand for guests who have forgotten to use. You can either get a pack of basic, disposable masks or have some customized masks made especially for the wedding day.
Distance the Seating
Although the rules on social distancing are beginning to relax and it’s no longer as important as it once was for people to stay away from one other, it’s a good idea to keep the distance between guests in mind during your wedding. Seating people too close to one another can increase the risk of somebody catching COVID during your big day, so try to keep guests that do not live in the same household at a suitable distance both during the ceremony and reception. To encourage social distancing at other points aside from your ceremony and reception, you might want to use floor markers and other signage to help guests stay at a safe distance from one another without missing out on catching up with each other.
Make Sure Hand Sanitizer is Available
Throughout the wedding day, it’s a good idea to make sure that good hand hygiene is encouraged. Everybody regularly using hand sanitizer throughout the day can make a real difference to the COVID19 safety of the event. Make sure that hand sanitizing stations are set up at various key points throughout your venue such as entrances and exits, and place hand sanitizer on the tables. You might also want to have some signage made that you can display to ask your guests to use the hand sanitizer.
Limit the Dance Floor Capacity
Dancing is often a key part of any wedding celebration; however, it can be difficult to social distance on a dance floor. Because of this, some couples are doing away with this wedding tradition and only dancing with each other for the first dance and with close family members rather than having the dance floor open to everybody. However, if you don’t want anybody to miss out on dancing, you could have the dance floor restricted to a certain amount of people at a time, so that it doesn’t get crowded and begin to pose a health risk.
Ask Guests to Test
You can ask guests to take a lateral flow test before attending your wedding to confirm that they do not have COVID19. Lateral flow tests can be obtained from most pharmacies and are fairly easy to take. By now, most people will have taken at least one! With a lateral flow test, your guests can know in minutes whether or not they have COVID19, and anybody who tests positive can avoid attending your wedding, helping to keep it as COVID-free as possible. However, bear in mind that if somebody has COVID19 but is in the early stages, a test may still be negative. So, it’s important to also implement other safety measures just in case.
Discourage Close Greetings
While your guests are likely to be happy to see one another at your wedding, it’s a good idea to discourage close greetings like hugs, kisses, and handshakes. However, this is down to you and your guests – many people have decided that they are willing to take the risk, especially if they have had both doses of the COVID19 vaccine and have recently tested negative.
Know the Symptoms
It’s a good idea to reiterate the symptoms of COVID19 on your wedding invitation. Ask your guests to avoid attending if they experience a new cough, fever, a loss of the sense of smell and taste, and other symptoms of COVID19 prior to the big day. Bear in mind that some COVID19 symptoms are similar to that of allergies or the common cold, so encourage guests to take a test if they have any new symptoms that may be concerning.
Along with all the usual stressors of planning a wedding, couples these days also have to deal with COVID19. Thankfully there are several things that you can do to keep your event COVID19 safe while still being enjoyable for everybody.