As you all know COVID-19 has changed everyones life. I won't be the first to say that wedding photography during COVID-19 has been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever experienced. There are so many different things added and subtracted from your planning and from vendors services. If you’re reading this blog, please know that THIS IS A NO JUDGEMENT ZONE. My intent is to help those who are already planning on moving forward with their weddings to do so in a way that is as safe as possible.
There are so many reasons why people are continuing to get married right now: one partner may be being deployed, a venue may not allow them to reschedule, a couple may need to start their family soon and can’t wait a year, their date may be sentimental, a parent may be terminal — the reasons are countless. You don’t need another person telling you what to do with your wedding, so I’m here to help by providing tips and recommendations to keep your guests safe during coronavirus, should you decide to still host your wedding during the pandemic!
Coming from my personal experience, I’ve photographed/photographing elopements, micro-weddings (or mini-monies), and full size weddings safely in 2020 and I’ve been SO proud of these couples taking the proper care and safety precautions while celebrating the big day. And before you ask: Yes! I’ve been following all the rule and regulations that a vendor needs to take for safety precaution of myself and everyone around me. I have made the personal choice to still work during this period because simply put: I support my couple’s decisions, I promised to be there no matter what, and I need to pay my rent and feed my family.
WEDDING PLANNING DURING COVID-19
Here are some safety precautions tip for wedding during pandemic:
Check all your vendors as well as guest to see if they have temperature at the entrance
Washing station and Disinfecting
Keep a hand washing station at the entrance of you wedding venue for all you guest and vendors to wash their hands for 20 sec rules. You can even keep hand sanitizer on each table as well as on each stations that you plan to have on your wedding day. This will encourage people to sanitizer and wash their hands.
Encouraging guests to get proactively tested and quarantine as much as possible before wedding.
Knowing many people end up being asymptomatic but still contagious, there is always a chance someone could be a carrier without knowing it. Many large cities have free drive-through testing that doesn’t require a referral from a doctor if there is a chance you were exposed to COVID-19 (which basically every single person who has left their house during this pandemic could have possibly been exposed, therefore qualifying you for testing). It’s also important that after being tested, guests quarantine themselves to avoid being exposed post-testing and they can be confident their results are accurate. Even if ONE guest finds out they’re positive and must skip the celebration, that is increased safety for everyone. Simply Googling: “Free Drive-Through Rapid COVID-19 Testing in YOUR CITY” will give you the results you’re looking for.
Holding festivities outside.
The open air allows guests to distance more easily and eliminate the problem of germs being circulated in an enclosed space.
Designing a floor plan around family groups.
A wedding I photographed recently had ceremony + reception seating organized by family groups, allowing people in the same social bubble to sit and celebrate together (which is normally how people behave at weddings, anyways) + gave distance between each group. There were small polite place cards on tables and seats to indicate where people are assigned to. Also, after seeing tables 6-10′ apart, I realized that it is not a big deal! It appeared normal visually. It’s so nice for guests (and caterers) to have space to walk through, when usually reception layouts are way too crowded.
VIP seating for at-risk groups.
If you have at-risk loves ones who insist on attending your wedding, you may want to provide an additional layer of protection for them by creating a seating area specifically for them to maintain even more distance.
Colored wristbands or buttons that indicate how comfortable guests are with social contact.
This allows guests to indicate whether or not they’re maintaining their distance or are comfortable being closer/shaking hands/etc. This could be as simple as a wristbands at the entry with a color-coded key! RED= “Celebrating from afar”, YELLOW=”Comfortable around others, but no touching”, and GREEN=”Fully comfortable around others.”
Fashionable face masks for all your guests.
After personally witnessing weddings where guests wore masks most of the day, I was so grateful to see it didn’t take away from the fun, joy or meaning of the day. I know masks are a touchy subject, but they truly are one of the easiest way to increase safety. I love the idea of custom masks in your wedding colors, with your wedding date, or your initials/monogram.
Coordinate with your caterer to have plated meals instead of a buffet, this will allow people to keep their distance and avoid cross contamination of food and germs!
Breaking up the celebration throughout the day.
You can do a pre-ceremony luncheon for your older/more at-risk guests, host everyone outside for ceremony/cocktail hour, and then the younger guests stayed for the post-cocktail hour dinner/dance party.
Guest list reduction + live streaming.
This is still a respectable option to help reduce the number of people gathered in one place, and to provide an option for guests who aren’t comfortable mingling with everyone. Guests are being more understanding now than ever when guest lists need to be reduced (even if they were already previously invited) — I’ve seen so many guests tuning into live-streaming or Zoom weddings (or on IG or YouTube), posting on social, and celebrating from afar!! Everyone is just so grateful to have something positive happening amongst all this crazy!
Have you seen additional ways people are doing safe wedding planning during COVID-19? Comment them below, I’d love to add to the list!
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I am available to take booking for engagement sessions and 2021 Wedding! Contact her for more detailed pricing or do check out my website www.vkphotographystudio.com