Stylus Weddings Guide to Pandemic Era Weddings Part 1

The Stylus Weddings Guide to Pandemic Era Weddings: Part 1 COVID Wedding Guide – Engaged Couples Planing How To In A Pandemic Planning Your Big Day During a Pandemic

Whether you’re planning an intimate, formal wedding with a handful of close friends and family or a lively, casual event with hundreds of people from every part of your life, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly impacted the way you envision your big day. 
We understand where you’re at- you want to make sure your wedding lives up to your wildest expectations and that you, your fiance, your wedding party, and every guest stays healthy and happy before, during, and after your event. You also want to avoid family drama about pandemic disagreements while keeping everyone focused on what truly matters- the first breathtaking moments of your marriage. 
With COVID-19 rates falling in North Carolina, we hope the pandemic will soon be a distant memory. In the meantime, there are steps you can take to increase safety and decrease pandemic anxiety at your wedding. Luckily, your Stylus Weddings DJs are here to help you navigate the details! 
Set the Tone For Your Big Day
We all have different expectations and comfort levels related to COVID-19 precautions, vaccinations, and social gatherings in the pandemic age. You get to decide what works best for you and your fiance, but don’t forget that others can’t read your mind. 
And don’t assume that your spouse-to-be has the same expectations and feelings about these things as you do. Have a conversation with your beloved early to avoid misunderstanding and conflicts between the two of you or with your wedding party and guests later on.
Once the two of you are on the same page, it’s time to set the tone for your wedding party and guests. Be clear and upfront with your expectations. And always remember that the act of setting boundaries isn’t letting people down or stepping on their toes. It’s keeping everyone as safe as possible so that you’ll all be able to celebrate other big days together decades into the future. 
Be Prepared for Big Feelings
Even though setting boundaries isn’t personal, it’s likely at least a few of your wedding guests or wedding party members will have feelings about them. Remember that others may or may not share your views or comfort levels related to COVID-19. They may have had different experiences with loss, work requirements, or life changes over the past two years that influence their response to your plans. 
Most people will accept your decisions and not say a word, but you may have one or two people that make a fuss. There’s no need to argue, just remind them that you love them and want to include them if possible and refer them back to your expectations. They have to decide what’s best for them too. 
You or your fiance may have your own feelings about others’ responses or choices. Keep in mind that other people’s boundaries and actions are theirs alone. Unless they tell you otherwise, these things aren’t a reflection of how they feel about you or your wedding.
Wedding Invitations, RSVPs, and Other Communication
An easy way to include COVID-19 related boundaries and expectations early on is to include them with the wedding invitation. Invitations can be worded to include these elements, an insert with more information could be added to the envelope, or you could include a statement or card directing invited guests to your wedding website where you describe your expectations in more detail. 
If you know that you only want vaccinated guests at your wedding and reception, consider including that in the wording of your RSVP. For example, you could say something like:
_________ number of fully vaccinated guests attending
_________ regrets
This makes it clear that vaccines are required without any need for discussion on why vaccines are required or whether the invited guest is or isn’t vaccinated. 
As the big day approaches, set up a way to communicate with your wedding party and guests to remind them of expectations. This also gives you a great way to communicate any last-minute pandemic-related changes. This could happen on your wedding website (don’t forget to offer help to older relatives and others who are not tech-savvy), with an email list, a text thread, or a phone tree. Whatever method works best for you is a good choice.  
No matter how good your communication is, be prepared to field a few questions about COVID-19 precautions at your wedding and reception from well-meaning family and friends. We’re all getting used to being around others again. Some people may be extra nervous or cautious. If someone asks a question that’s answered on your wedding website or invitation insert, gently direct them back to that resource. If someone asks a question you haven’t answered yet, consider adding the answer to your wedding website. If one person has a question, chances are another person is wondering about that same thing. 
No one wants to think about it, but it’s a good idea to have a plan in mind for how to contact and inform wedding guests after the event too. You need to be able to reach people quickly and easily in the unlikely case that someone who was at your wedding tests positive for COVID-19 shortly after. Carefully planning the details of the day in advance will hopefully mean you never have to put this part of the plan into action. 
Venue Considerations
Even if you don’t care if guests are vaccinated or not, check with your wedding ceremony and wedding reception venues to see if they have a vaccination requirement. The venue may require proof of vaccination or have other COVID-19 related requirements (like a temperature check at the front door, a recent negative COVID-19 test, an indoor mask requirement, etc.). It’s important to pass this information on to your wedding party and invited guests as early as possible. 
If you’re worried about how some invited guests might react to you and your fiance setting boundaries about vaccination or testing- choosing a venue that requires vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test may help you keep the boundaries you want while also taking the spotlight off of you. 
Outdoor venues are also a great option for reducing risk. Plus, many outdoor wedding venues provide stunning views that can add even more beauty to your day and provide a phenomenal backdrop for your wedding photos.
Planning from a Distance
If you and your spouse-to-be are being extra careful about social distancing, there are a lot of ways you can make venue and vendor plans from a distance. Many wedding venues have added virtual tours of their space on their website. Other vendors- from caterers to wedding cake bakers- are often happy to send you pictures of their work or answer your questions via phone or email. Stylus Weddings makes it easy to plan your dream ceremony and reception from the comfort of your home through our easy-to-use client portal with online music and event planning tools. We can also help you plan for the right lighting, photo booth, order of events, and more without needing to be in the same room.
Don’t Forget Your Budget
Adding elements to your wedding to increase safety during the pandemic may impact your budget. Don’t forget to factor in things like hand sanitizer, masks, signage, or other safety elements (more on those below) when adding up the numbers
Be Aware of Local COVID-19 Rates and Restrictions
Throughout the wedding planning process, it’s a good idea to keep up with local regulations and restrictions related to COVID-19. Keeping an eye on any big jump in infection rates may also be helpful. Up to date information for the state of North Carolina can be found on the state’s COVID-19 Information Hub or you can view more local information on each county’s webpage. If this feels like too much to take on while planning the rest of your wedding, ask a member of your wedding party to help. If any new regulations, restrictions, or concerns come up, send the information out to your invited guests ASAP. Communicating these changes can be especially helpful for guests planning to travel a long distance to attend your wedding. 
Make a Plan and Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Making a plan to help protect yourself, your fiance, wedding party, and guests from the risk of COVID-19 will help the day go by smoothly and happily. However, as we’ve all learned over the past two years, none of us knows what lies ahead. Hopefully, any bumps in the road will be minor. But if big bumps do come along, know you’ll have the phenomenal Stylus Weddings team behind you to smooth the way. And at the end of the day, you will be married. Whether things go exactly to plan or not, you’ll know you’re loved and will have a great story to tell!
Prepping Your Wedding Team
Masks may not be traditional wedding attire, but they can still show your style and personality. Many bridal shops are now selling coordinating masks for the whole wedding party. You can choose masks with coordinating colors or masks that help the wedding party stand out with the words “Mother of the Bride,” “Flower Girl,” “Best Man,” and so on. Some wedding couples have even made masks a part of their ceremony- taking off masks that say “Bride to Be” and putting on a new mask that says “Mrs.” after the vows, for example. 
While planning your wedding ceremony processional, wedding reception introductions, and reception seating for your wedding party, think about the comfort level of your wedding party. Some members of your wedding party may feel more comfortable entering alone instead of in the traditional pairs. You could also consider having a VIP section with smaller tables instead of one large banquet table during the reception to add some distance. If all members of your wedding party have frequent close contact outside of your wedding, this will likely not be a concern. If you aren’t sure how others feel, ask! It’s better to have a conversation during the planning process than being surprised by an unhappy wedding party member on your big day. 
If you plan to hug a lot of people on your wedding day, consider extra social distancing for the week or two before your event. If you’re not vaccinated or have had a recent possible exposure, it may also put your mind at ease to get a COVID-19 test right before the big day. 
Working with Your Vendors
Vendors often have their own COVID-19 policies and procedures. Ask about these during the planning process and check in with them about any extra measures they’re taking to decrease risk while still providing awesome service. At Stylus Weddings, we are helping to keep you, your fiance, your wedding party, and your guests safe by upping our sanitation game, wearing masks, washing our hands frequently, using hand sanitizer when away from a sink, and following all local safety guidelines and restrictions. Your Stylus DJ will also help your day go smoothly by coordinating with your venue staff, photographer, wedding coordinator, and others to keep everyone on the same page to create the wedding you envision.
We’d love to be an active part of your wedding planning! Let us know about your questions and concerns. We can’t wait to help you build an out-of-this-world experience for you and your guests!
Don’t forget to check out part two of our pandemic wedding guide! For help in realizing your best event, in North Carolina, or beyond, reach out to the Wedding Event Entertainment experts at Stylus to help make your experience something worth being excited about – no matter the challenges!

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