Some great tips on planning your wedding, post Covid19

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Written by Wendy Wharton

Our clients are the very reason we love what we do. Meeting and planning the couple’s vision of their wedding is not only how we stay in business, but it is how we find enjoyment and fulfilment. We do destination wedding and event planning for the love of it.  No matter if you have just gotten engaged or have the venue and the theme, but need help with the logistics, or somewhere in between in your wedding planning journey, we’re here to help with timely tips on how to maneuver the new normal created by the coronavirus pandemic. If your wedding date is in the near future, and if you’re planning a destination wedding, we can help you.

We’ve put together this guide with expert advice and resources to help you navigate these difficult decisions. Bookmark this page, as you’ll want keep checking back for updates based on the latest information from experts,  World Health Organization.

Weddings are a time of love, for the couple and for their guests.  This is a time where hugs are plenty and hearts are full. We know that preventing person-to-person contact will be extremely hard. Depending on your date, by the time your wedding day arrives, we will probably be used to this new normal—no touching, handshakes, hugging, kisses, and keeping the 6-foot rule. All this aside, your celebration can be filled with love. 

While we have no concrete information dictating how everything will go exactly, we have put some ideas together to help you create your wedding and guest experience, take health and safety precautions and minimize contact on your wedding day, and still follow the rules to slow the spread.

How do you work social distancing into a wedding?

Number of Guests

Let’s consider the guest list first:

If your guests, parents or grandparents have to stay home due to the health risk, is it possible for them to attend virtually?

All of our destination have amazing mansions, villas, private clubs, beaches, restaurants, and attraction options that will offer you the ability to hold your event privately, with only your guests in attendance.  Renting a unique venue for your day will make it personal, decrease the safety issues and make your wedding the most memorable event of the year.

With international and interprovincial travel subject to limits, your guest list may be reduced organically to fall within any maximum capacity-imposed limits. 

Adhering to all of this will undoubtedly affect your pre-covid19 head count but it will give us a clearer path as to how we will still make this day special for you and your guests, both near and far.

For those unable to attend, live stream your wedding.

Video streaming isn’t a new idea and many couples organizing destination weddings have been using video chat apps like Zoom, Messenger and FaceTime to stay connected to one another and so building this element into weddings is only natural. Hire an expert to video all the action, record the session and set up a big screen in your venue to project your Zoom wedding guests during the ceremony, wedding speeches, and the dance party.  Imagine being able to see their faces as you say your vows. You can even share that wedding slideshow that your Maid of Honor created for you.

Change it up

Depending on the number of guests that can attend your wedding physically, there are a few innovative formats to consider:

Minimony: What in the heck is a “Minimony?”  According to Short for a mini-ceremony, this option is ideal for couples who want to proceed with a wedding ceremony now (either legal or symbolic) with just a handful of people in attendance, usually with the intention to postpone the wedding until the COVID-19 cloud has lifted and it can take place as planned. 

Micro-wedding: If your guest count consists of 20-50 people, consider planning a micro-wedding. Micro-weddings can be extremely fun because then you can really own your right to have your wedding your way. Live streaming for those that can’t come, you may have a little extra in your wedding budget to add extras to truly make the day special and wow your guests.  Maybe you add fireworks at midnight, or a gourmet menu complete with a saxophone or violinist accompaniment and then a live band for as the night wears on. Add a late snack, and sunset cruise or a group private excursion.  There are so many options, and then there is always the idea of just saving the extra money for the honeymoon, or a major purchase, like a house.

Ceremony Seating

At almost every wedding, seating is dependant on the size and configuration of the ceremony venue. Most weddings, no matter, conventional or destination, the format have always been to place the guests close together and near the front so they can hear.  The bride and groom stand together at the front, with the wedding party placed close beside them so that they all fit in the photos.

With more options than just the standard, your destination venue (beach, terrace, garden or park,) may offer more ability to spread out, however, if you were planning to have your ceremony outdoors or at the same venue as your reception, you may want to consider using another spot on the same property so you can maintain distinction of ceremony and reception and have your guests seated with distance if it is mandatory in your chosen destination.  

Reception Setup

Right on the heals of the family seating trend. – Having 1-2-3 long table settings for all the guests, with the guests sitting in long rows, like in the Harry Potter feasts.  Seating may look very different now, with table placement dependant on keeping distance.  The round or square tables will be making a comeback, and less people per table will be on the menu as well. If everything inside you cringes at the idea of round-tables, the next option would be using more smaller tables of 2 – 4 people per table. 

As the sweetheart table has been coming into focus of late, you will want to create that special place for just the two of you. Lastly, you will want to embrace the situation and use it. 

Catering Style

Buffets, cheese or charcuterie tables, sweets tables and appetizers, which have been popular options until 2020, are now considered unsafe options.  Instead, think of having a plated dinner, including, the appetizer, entre’ and dessert. If you just can’t see that working for you, a buffet can be best managed with servers placed at the buffet and serving your guests.  Another option could be a food truck, or food stations, to keep gathering in close proximity to a minimum.

Photo Props and Guest Book Pens

One of the biggest adjustments we will see going forward with all weddings, destination and conventional, will be the use of multi touch items. Things like serving utensils as we mentioned above, photobooth props or a guest book pen will be handled by almost every guest over the course of your wedding day. Solution?  Skip the props and opt for, or if you are crafty, an amazing backdrop for your photobooth. The same goes for the guestbook you can create a virtual one instead. There is a great app here through Wedding Wire: WedShoots app to build a collective wedding album and use the comments to express their well-wishes. After the big day, you can print out a photo guestbook for a physical keepsake.

Satellite Stations

When it comes to late-night celebrating, we encourage you to explore the concept of satellite dance floors and satellite bars to provide more than one space for your guests to bust a move or refill their drink. Not only will this serve as a health and safety precaution, but it will also allow guests to explore different entertainment experiences throughout the evening.

Wedding Photos

Let’s face it, the most important part of the weddings, besides the vows, is the photos and video.  These are your memories for a life-time and your children’s history.  They are a necessity, but how will they work during the new normal?  Obviously, the photos of the two of you will not be a problem, but bringing your wedding party into focus, and adding family, will take a bit of maneuvering. A top-notch photographer will have ideas, but there are some great ideas coming forward such as doing more natural photos, rather than staged portraits.  Things like the wedding party strolling together, or separated but all surrounding the bride and groom, can work and be beautiful.  We would recommend talking to photographers for their ideas before hiring.

With all these changes, we know that planning a wedding or event can even be more challenging, but we have so many ideas on how we can follow the guidelines and create a memorable, personal and special wedding experience.  We are experts in our field and we would love to chat with you about how we can provide you with a stress free and fun destination dream wedding.  Contact us today!!

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