As we’re entering the next phase of wedding planning during COVID, couples are more hopeful in the ability to host the wedding of their dreams without disruption. Even with the vaccinations becoming widely available, it’s still tricky to determine the right direction. Do you wait for everyone to be vaccinated? Is this a requirement for guests to attend your wedding? Do you request mask be word at all times? The questions go on-and-on.
Couples today are faced with some of the same constraints experienced by those who wed in 2020. But the industry has evolved and event professionals everywhere are working hard to help guide you through a great planning experience. The common preventative measures put in place are the use of sanitizer stations, face masks, and physical distancing procedures, but we’ve gathered a few more tips that are also relevant today.
Not only are we offering these tips as planners, we’re also brides-to-be experiencing this firsthand!
1. Read the Contracts
This is advice we offer at all times, but it’s especially important while planning a wedding during a pandemic. Many venues and vendors have updated their contracts to include additional protections for their companies but may have also included language that is COVID specific. You should carefully review the entire contract and understand their cancellation and rescheduling policies. It’s also important to know the payment schedule and if any deposits will transfer over to a new date.
Tip in Action: One of the reasons my fiancé and I chose our venue was its flexibility to reschedule within a year and not lose our deposit should the venue not be allowed to open. We have the ability to use the space without a guest minimum, which allows us the versatility to host an intimate or grand affair.
2. Consider a Boutique Hotel for Your Room Block
If majority of your guests need rooming accommodations, start with a boutique hotel. There are many compelling reasons why you should choose a boutique hotel but in this case let’s focus on the size. Most boutiques will have a smaller footprint, public spaces, and fewer rooms available. With safety and the well-being of your guests being a top priority, this is a benefit to having more confidence in the cleanliness of the property.
Tip in Action: We have secured a room block at a property with just over 120 rooms. Our sales manager has been pretty flexible with offering us a courtesy hold of 30-rooms per night with the flexibility to add more as needed. This is above the normal average of only 10-15 rooms for a courtesy block. With the need of 75+ rooms for our guests, we hope to fill up majority of the property.
3. Create and Fall in Love with a Backup Plan
By now, you’ve probably heard of many COVID-friendly wedding iterations to choose from in order to keep your original plans. The most popular one is the, “host a small or intimate ceremony on the original date and have a large celebration the following year.” This is a great idea that has many perks! A back up plan does not have to feel like an after thought or a disappointment. Actually, it gives you the ability to enhance your guest’s experience and provide more customization to suit you as a couple.
Tip in Action: The ceremony location for my wedding is a covered peristyle, so the first consideration is to host both the ceremony and reception in this space. It’s not ideal because there are no restrooms, but we could rent the luxury portable bathroom trailers as an option. We’ve come far in our planning but haven’t quite finalized the back-up plan.
There are still many things to consider during this pandemic that couples did not experience years prior. Ask lots of questions and leave it all on the table. In addition to protecting your decisions, remember again that your family and friends’ safety is of the utmost importance.
Not all wedding planning tasks are fun, but we want you to stay motivated and excited. Check out our Wedding Planning Playlist to help you knock out those to-do-lists!