Celebrations and COVID-19. Indoor Wedding During a Pandemic Part 1: Ceremony.
While it’s already a challenge planning for a wedding, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new hurdles for couples and wedding organizers alike.
But months into the pandemic, what we know is that even a world-wide pandemic won’t stop us from celebrating and sharing special moments with our loved ones. That is why a lot of couples have opted to host their wedding virtually or to continue to hold their wedding in-person with strict health and safety protocols in place.
** IMPORTANT NOTE: Do check with your local government and public health officials about any guidelines, protocols, policies and/or regulations that you need to meet if you will be holding an event. **
If you’re planning to hold an indoor wedding soon and feeling overwhelmed, we’d like you to know that we are here for you and that you’re not alone. With our amazing wedding/event planning team and with safety protocols considered, we’d like to share tips and ideas on how you can celebrate your special day during these times.
We divided our tips into a two-part article:
—Part 1: Ceremony
—Part 2: Reception.
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Seating is an important thing to consider when you’re hosting a wedding or any event. As the WHO recommends social distancing, it’s vital that your guests keep at least 1 metre (3 feet) apart at all times. So, you would have to plan and modify the seating during the ceremony to maintain physical distancing. As you do this, ensure that you are working closely with the people you are seating together to advise them of the seating plan before hand. If you can seat together people that live in the same household, the better.
** Again, you should check with your local health office on the proper protocols to follow for social gatherings. Here in Toronto for example, the Public Health’s guidance requires guests to maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) and limited indoor gatherings up to a maximum of 50 people. **
You can also consider having ushers (or signs if you’re capped with no. of people!) to guide your guests to their seats and ensure that proper social distancing is observed especially at an indoor wedding ceremony during a pandemic.
Another major thing is that you can also assign specific times for them to walk in to the venue so they won’t be bumping into each other, also this eliminates a “high traffic” area. Give a good 10 minute window for each “table group”. As crazy as it sounds, having a digital clock by the door is helpful so guests can use a universal time and they can wait in line/car as necessary.
An easy option would be to limit your wedding party with just your Maid of Honor (MoH) and Best Man (BM). Or, if you’re going to have a couple more bridesmaids and groomsmen you can just have your MoH and BM walk the aisle and have the other members of the wedding party stay in their seats. If you’re hiring a wedding coordinator, they will assist in queuing your wedding party as they walk down the aisle to maintain the recommended physical distance especially at an indoor wedding during a pandemic.
The goal for a safe indoor wedding ceremony during a pandemic is to prevent or help guests refrain from touching or having contact with the same items. For the wedding rings, what we suggest is that you and your partner will keep each ring in your pockets/ so that when you need it, you were the only ones who touched the rings. This will prevent different people from having contact with the rings (e.g. from your ring bearer/ best man to the event organizer, to the officiant), just less touching/exposure in general!
PLACE REMINDERS + ASSIGNED STATIONS
As your guests may get excited on socializing and forget about following safety protocols at your indoor wedding ceremony during a pandemic, it would be helpful if you provide them with reminders on how they could safely go about “mingling” with each other; which is basically with a mask/face shield and 6ft. apart!
You can place signs reminding guests to maintain physical distance and frequently sanitize their hands. Signs like this one will help a lot.
Stanchions will literally keep them away from each other. Having these rented will be very beneficial.
Stations for masks and sanitizing; as well as floor markers. You can even take a step further by actually using mini sanitizer bottles as place cards!
You can also have some videos/collages playing on a screen to keep their eyes glued on something, since mingling closely is not an option.
If you opt out of hiring a wedding planner or coordinator, but need extra server, set-up help and/or bartender, there are staffing companies like Staff Shop, where you can hire help directly and not worry about other things needed to be executed on the day of the event. Always remember to not underestimate the work and hours needed, as well as things that are still to be done on the day-of your wedding, even if you have everything planned already.
SAFETY PROTOCOL EXTRA TIP: Together with having your guests and yourself wear a mask and practice social distancing, you can also rent stanchions together with signs, to ensure physical distancing is practiced. To take things further for extra safety, you can also rent clear dividers (you can also decorate it!) that you can put in between tables. Another option is to provide clear face shields that they can still wear, should they need to take the mask off to eat and/or drink. Adding extra preventative measures is always a good idea. Remember we are at an indoor wedding during a pandemic.
The COVID-19 has forced all of us to embrace the new normal and adjust the way we deal with things—and that’s also true with organizing weddings. What we suggest for your wedding day is to not stress yourself and just focus on sharing the special moment with the love of your life while keeping in mind health and safety protocols to prevent the virus.
DISCLAIMER: We’ve rounded up suggestions that are pandemic friendly. Please note however, that it is still your responsibility to practice safety protocols, Covid-19 event guidelines and constant hygiene, and if need be, consult your local public health professional and abide by your government mandates. We do not guarantee that your event will be 100% safe, as all safety practices are ultimately up to you and your guests, especially for an indoor wedding ceremony during a pandemic.
Still in the process of planning your wedding? We can help through virtual consultations (available worldwide and the initial consultation is free!), to assist you in building concepts and overall design, whether it be mood board building, or assisting with step by step guides for your set-up. You can also download our complimentary wedding planning binder here to help you get started!
We are a team of designers, planners and creatives; working together to create tips and guides using our expertise and experience, to help you plan, design and execute your wedding, event or celebration.