If you’re one of those people who has been planning their dream wedding since they were a child, you probably weren’t envisioning only having 28 of your nearest and dearest, no singing or dancing, and your guests wearing masks.
But this is the situation many couples now find themselves in, with an estimated 64% of weddings impacted by coronavirus this year. However, it is possible to get married during lockdown – you just have to find a new way of doing it – and you might find that you prefer a more intimate event, not to mention the money you’ll save.
So, whether you’ve had to cancel your original plans, or you’ve just got engaged and don’t want to wait, here’s what you’ll need to consider when planning a wedding during the age of COVID-19.
The good news is the law change that came into action on 14 September banning any social gatherings of more than six people, doesn’t apply to weddings, as long as they are held in a ‘COVID-19 secure venue’. That means that you can’t get married or have your reception at home or in your garden.
When you’re considering venues, talk to them about the health and safety protocols they have in place for weddings. You want to create a safe environment where your guests feel secure, but not one that feels clinical or lacks atmosphere.
Things you’ll need to consider are easily accessible hand sanitiser, having spare masks on hand for guests, good ventilation in the building where you are getting married and ensuring, through floor markings and one-way systems, that it’s possible to socially distance.
Your guests must keep socially distant throughout the celebration so you may have to give a little extra thought to your seating plans.
Seating, both at the ceremony and reception, should be arranged so that guests can stay a safe distance from each other. And rather than mixing it up, you should seat your guests in their own households or social bubbles. Also think about keeping elderly or vulnerable guests further away from younger people, who may mix more in wider society.
A semi-circle configuration of tables will allow guests to be socially distant but still feel part of the events.
The smaller things
Some wedding tasks however, won’t change. Picking out and sending your invitations, like the great selection available on online at Card Factory, is one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning. You might want to add a bit more information on there to help guests understand what to expect on the day. You’ll also be able to check out any prospective photographers’ portfolios (just remember they’ll count as one of your 30 people) and think about cake designs and music for your reception.
What to do if you need to postpone
Despite the best planning and safeguards, COVID-19 may still affect your wedding. Wedding insurers currently aren’t offering COVID-19 protection, but your suppliers and venues will likely have their own reassurances in place, such as the option to transfer your date. Talk to all your suppliers before you book anything to find out what their terms and conditions are.