I know you are probably sick of hearing COVID-19, right? It is all we have been hearing since the beginning of 2020. For those getting married in 2020, it was supposed to be a year of excitement and happiness and shortly after the New Year our world changed, and plans to celebrate a monumental moment with your closest family and friends became something that was bigger stressful than anyone imagined. The wedding and event industry saw cancellations and postponements galore, with no idea when this would all be over. While it does not look like our country will be seeing any less discussion of COVID-19, here in Virginia we are seeing a majority of the state enter Phase 3 of Reopening. So, what does that mean for weddings?
First, let me remind you that as you read this, One Fine Day Events is based out of Roanoke, VA and we serve about a 120-mile radius right here in Southwest Virginia. There are areas of Virginia, and in other states, that are in different phases. Also, every venue space and business may be following different guidelines so be sure to always double-check with those you have hired what their current policies are for their business and share any concerns you may have. Lastly, please note that some guidelines may have changed since publishing this article, so be sure to check current local guidelines and restrictions for any potential changes.
The good news for weddings is with Phase 3, social gatherings have been extended to up to 250 people. One thing you will need to consider is what your venue will allow. Under the full list of Phase 3 Guidelines (which can be found HERE), it does state that while gatherings can go up to 250 people, event spaces should still limit to 50% capacity. You will want to double-check what your venue’s capacity is and ask them if they will be having any limitations on guest numbers. It is still suggested that you only hold an event where you can easily socially distance. Some spaces make that pretty difficult to do, but not impossible. There will just have to be some clever configurations to work out with your venue manager and/or wedding planner. Keep in mind that you will need to consider your vendors in your guest count. Also, consider where they will need to set up? Will that change how you will need to arrange guest tables or where your vendors will be set up?
For your hired vendors, you will want to speak with each of them directly. If you have a planner, be sure that your planner is looped in on the conversation with each of these vendors as they will make notes of any specific requirements needed for your wedding. For instance, are you having a buffet at your wedding? If so, you will want to talk with your caterer to find out how they can work with you on ensuring that you and your guests feel safe during dinner. You could opt for additional staff to be on-site and have them serve guests as they go down the line. Or will you provide guests with gloves to put on before they start down the buffet line? Or will you simply ask your caterer to swap out serving utensils between tables being called? Speaking with your caterer will allow you to discuss what options are best for you and if there are any additional costs associated.
Even now, with social gathering limitations being lifted, there are a lot of things to consider about your wedding. One thing is your wedding photos. Most of the time when you are making your list of photos, there are multiple households or families cramming in together for one big family picture. You have to ask yourself, will all of those in the photo be okay with that? The only way to know for sure is to ask them. If they say no, then you need to ask yourself if you want to move forward with that picture missing a few or skip on that one particular photo completely? Will you be having temperature checks for your guests and providing hand sanitizer or extra hand washing stations? If so, who will be in charge of this? Will any specific signage related to COVID-19 guidelines be posted anywhere?
While it may seem overwhelming you can still have an amazing wedding day. The thing to focus on is that you are ensuring the safety of yourselves, vendors, and guests, which is something we worked towards and ensured pre-COVID. So talk with your planner and review what things need to be taken into consideration when moving forward with your wedding day plans. If you don’t have a planner, you may want to consider reaching out to one about Wedding Management (or what you may call Coordination) so you have a professional on your team to help you work through all of this and save some of your sanity. Happy Planning!