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Celebrating in Safety: Tips When Planning Your 2021 Wedding

Sadly, COVID hasn't magically disappeared yet. As we prepare to host gatherings, these are the covid modifications every couple (and company) should consider implementing.
By: 
Julianna Gaytan

While living through a crazy time, there are still moments of joy that should be celebrated. Your wedding day should be one of them! With the pandemic still in everyone's mind, it can be easy to feel scared or worried about how your big day might be affected. Fear not, as experts from the wedding industry have shared their tips on how to make the proper modifications to celebrate in style and still follow proper guidelines and safety protocols. Read below to check out some great advice you can implement into your gathering!

Smaller Gatherings
Moriah Block, of Bellagala,  A'BULAE,  Bavaria Downs and Van Dusen Mansion, says "Our biggest COVID wedding advice is to lower your guest count. Although we love a big wedding, there are many pros of a more intimate wedding including; more room in your budget for those extra things on your wishlist, more quality time with those attending, & more time with your new spouse. Those that know you best will be there, and that makes it even more special!"



Comfortable Distance
There are different fun and unique measures that couples can take to ensure their guests feel comfortable. As Union Depot describes, "A great example of customizing a wedding with COVID procedures in mind is installing a stoplight wrist-band system so guests can non-verbally convey to one another what their comfort level is when it comes to social distancing measures. By involving the client in finding solutions to host safe and successful events, both parties can feel confident in the measures being taken.” See the image below for an example of this that can be implemented when your guests first enter your venue!



Prepare for Changes
Taking a look into the maximum capacity of your venue and your guest list is also a crucial step when planning. Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery's event manager Cynthia Strauser advises couples to "Go into planning with the mindset that change may have to happen. This will help lighten the impact of stress! Reference your venue spaces' maximum capacities and according to their amounts start planning with an A,B and C guest list." Get those invitations out, and be prepared for last-minute changes. 



Getting Personal!
Personalized details always add a touch of uniqueness. With a smaller guest list, you may be able to splurge on special touches for your big day. Marques Miller, Lancer Catering's General Manager at Braemar Golf Course, notes that this can be done via personalized care packages, monogrammed bottles of wine, silver frames, upgraded flowers, and treatments.  While this alone may leave a lasting impression on guests, Miller notes that a precautionary trend is on the rise to ensure comfort and health, stating, " We're seeing a trend of smaller guest tables and sweetheart head tables." This can be important if there are guidelines/rules that are in place around only seating people with others in their household. This can also create a more intimate and cozy vibe, perfect for small and romantic celebrations. Finally, Miller suggests that if it is possible to have your featured cocktails or bubbly butler passed during dinner, it will lead to less congestion at the bar and more social distancing. 



Building Intimacy 
If you feel like postponing any major celebrations with friends and family due to the pandemic, Abby Hanson of the St. James Hotel shares an idea that couples might opt for: Consider hosting your reception on your one-year wedding anniversary date. Keep the ceremony intimate, really emphasizing the day on you and your partner. This will allow you to potentially have more guests and fewer restrictions during your actual celebration, while still partaking in the joys of your marriage.  You could also opt for an elopement and have a small gathering for your ceremony and champagne toast/cake only. Photographer Alexandra Robyn has photographed these types of smaller and intimate events, and they are filled with romance and charm. 



Communication is Key
If you opt to use a wedding planner, communication will be key! As Marc Anderson for the Lafayette Club reminds, "Protocols have been changing at the drop of a hat and while we remain aware of these changes, some things are beyond a venue's control. Keep your eyes on the big picture and work with your wedding planner to ensure the safety of you and your guests is not only met but exceeded!” 



Moving Forward!
Of course, the pandemic shouldn’t put a pause on all your life plans & have refocused some of that wedding planning energy into home buying. If you find yourself pushing back your wedding a few more months or another year, but not wanting to pause your life plans - that is totally normal. Paige Gibson Homes notes that moving forward in your relationship and life might include looking for a new home together! It's so common for engaged couples to buy a house at the same time as planning their dream wedding. Don’t pause and keep moving forward with your dreams as a couple. Your big day will come.

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