The pandemic has put every plan to a halt. Many people have to postpone certain big events in their lives for several months to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19.
However, there are some things that just cannot wait any longer.
Some people are choosing to get married this year despite the global public health situation. In most places, weddings are permitted, but limitations have been imposed to prevent the spread of the virus.
What should brides and grooms expect in their pandemic wedding? What can they do to minimize the risk of infection between attendees?
What Does the Government Say?
In the United Kingdom, the virus is still spreading exponentially every day. With over 1.5 million total cases, the government has imposed a set of rules to ensure that everyone can follow the minimum safety standards recommended by public health experts.
Earlier this year, when infections started rising and threatened the healthcare system, weddings and civil unions were banned. Up to 73,600 ceremonies were affected.
Now, weddings and civil unions have been allowed in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
In Wales, up to 15 people in indoor settings and 30 people in outdoor venues are permitted.
In Scotland, areas in Level 0 can have up to 50 attendees. Those in levels one, two, and three can invite up to 20 guests. People in Level 4 can only have 15 guests in attendance.
In Northern Island, the allowed number of people is 25. However, receptions are barred.
Knowing what is allowed in your area can help you plan your pandemic wedding more seamlessly. You would not want to pay fines or, worse, get your own guests kicked out of the wedding and reception venue because you invited too many people.
Expect Meetings and Negotiations via Zoom
It is unsafe to go out and meet people outside your household. That includes the suppliers for your wedding. Lucky for you, however, you do not have to go out in order to make arrangements for the big day. You can have the negotiations, as questions, and make requests via video conferencing apps like Zoom and FaceTime.
For most people, this is more ideal because they can meet as many suppliers as they can in one day. They do not have to travel far to speak to managers and organizers. Everything is done virtually and in the comforts of your own home.
Bridal salons all over the world are already hosting virtual consultations to assist couples planning to get married this year. Brides can even try wedding dresses at home and then send it back for alterations or replacements.
No Handshake and Hugs
Distancing is expected at the ceremony, so do not feel bad when your guests stand slightly farther from you as you walk the aisle or say hi to everyone. There will also be fewer chairs in a table and a larger space in between seats in order to ensure distancing to minimize the risk of infection.
You should opt for a plated menu rather than a buffet. This way, people no longer have to stand in line and touch utensils that many others have used before. The waiters will be the only people allowed to stand and walk around.
Going to the bar for a glass of wine or champagne should be limited, too. People who are inebriated are less likely to follow distancing rules. However, do not forbid guests from getting a drink. Parking a beverage cart near each table, with its own bottles of drink, will stop attending from needing to stand up from their seats and interacting with other people from another table.
Live from the Wedding
You have to significantly reduce the number of guests that you will have at your wedding, but that does not mean the people you care about and care about you should be left out. Make the ceremony available for streaming via Facebook or YouTube. Guests can dress up, too, and be part of the wedding while still maintaining a safe distance. With borders closed, not everyone can attend anyone. Give them a chance to celebrate with you by live-streaming your wedding.
You can still receive gifts and you can send party favours to your virtual guests through the mail.
Weddings during the pandemic will look different from how you imagined your big day is going to be like. However, at its core, it is still a celebration of love. Plus, you are handed a unique opportunity to be creative and have a wedding ceremony that no one will be able to forget for the rest of their lives.