With expert wedding planner
Erin Joyner of Wonderfully Wed
COVID-19 and the subsequent federal “Shelter at Home” mandate took the world by surprise and rocked our entire US economy in an instant. One area that was greatly affected is the wedding industry. We personally rescheduled all of our Spring and early summer weddings to later summer and fall. During the mandatory quarantine, I spent a lot of time researching and thinking about ways that we could safely still have weddings and celebrate our couples while taking the utmost care to keep the virus from spreading.
So, the question on so many couples’ minds is, “Can I still have my wedding, and will it be a fun celebration or just weird with all of the new regulations?”
The answer is, “Yes, you can still have your wedding and it will only be weird if you make it to be”. Some may wonder how this could possibly be since it is a large gathering and people may be too close together. The interesting thing to me about social distancing is that I have observed that guests at a wedding reception naturally socially distance. They’re not really attending the wedding to meet new people, so they sit at tables with those who they came with. I’ve always told my clients that regardless of the weather, there are always people who like to be outside during the reception. There are some guests on the dancefloor, but they’re only going to dance closely to their date. Other than that, they’re pretty far apart.
To help ensure that people have room to spread out, though, you can do several things on a practical level. First, you should only invite 50% of your venue’s capacity. If your venue can hold 300 people, then only invite 150. Secondly, you should have more chairs than guests at tables. That way, people can sit with their families and/or the people they came with and tables won’t be too crowded. If you do those two things, people will have plenty of space to spread out.
Another thing that you can do to keep from spreading germs is to have plenty of hand sanitizer. Some venues are providing it for you, but even if your venue has it, you can order personal sized hand sanitizer and have labels made with your names and wedding dates. So you’ll automatically have a party favor as well. You can also have masks at your sign-in table so guests who did not remember to bring one can opt to use one at least during the ceremony.
Will you have to wear a mask during the ceremony? The Texas executive order states that masks must be worn in indoor public spaces. You’ll need to discuss this with your venue, and see what they are suggesting. The mask order will be something that is eventually lifted and you can definitely have your bridal party and officiant socially distanced from each other. But even if you do need to wear a mask on your wedding day, it will be an interesting story to tell your kids and grandkids someday.
All in all, if you just can’t see how you can possibly still have fun at your wedding with current guidelines in place, then I suggest you continue with a small, private ceremony on your wedding date, and then plan your large celebration at a later date when restrictions will most likely be lifted or looser. A few of our clients opted to do this and are so glad that they did. Or, you can reschedule altogether. That will be something you’ll need to discuss with your coordinator and vendors. However, the important thing is to not lose heart! This truly is temporary and vendors are creative and flexible and will all work together to make your wedding day fun, safe and memorable!
Venue | the Gin at Hidalgo Falls
Cake | Top That! Cake Designs
DJ | Downtown Event Services
Photographer | Valeria May/Polaroid Studio
Caterer | Global Catering
Rentals | Party Time Rentals
H+MU | Angela Karr
Bartender | Cocktails 4 U
Dress | Weddings by Debbie
Photobooth | Polaroid Studio