Stylus Weddings Guide to Pandemic Era Weddings Part 2
The Stylus Weddings Guide to Pandemic Era Weddings: Part 2 COVID Wedding Guide – Engaged Couples Planing How To In A Pandemic (part 2) Today is the Day!
By the time you get to your wedding day, you’ve put in countless hours dreaming about and planning for your ideal day. You want your day to be full of joy, fun, and memorable moments. And, most importantly, you want it to reflect the style of you and your soon-to-be spouse and the beauty of the life you are building together. That is no easy task- even without a pandemic. But it’s a task worthy of time, attention, and care. The events of the past two years have highlighted what’s important and why we all want and need to celebrate love and connection.
We covered a lot of the basics for pre-planning the wedding you envision while keeping safety in mind and avoiding potential unwanted drama in Part 1 of The Stylus Weddings Guide to Pandemic Era Weddings. Now we’re turning our attention to the day itself. A day we know will be one of the best days of your life!
Welcoming Your Guests
With all the work you’ve done before your wedding day to make everything flawless and safe, your wedding guests will arrive at your venue ready to celebrate. Their minds will be at ease knowing that you and your soon-to-be spouse have been planning with their comfort, safety, and happiness in mind.
Adding elegant or clever signage at your wedding venue outlining your safety precautions and expectations lets you feature your personality and style while reminding wedding guests of what to do (and not to do). It shows that you care and take your guests’ health and safety to heart- what a great way to spread love on a day that’s all about celebrating just that! Signs can be placed in the parking area, outside the venue, just inside the entrance, or anywhere people are likely to gather.
Before using tape or other adhesives to post signs, check with venue staff about their policies. If you have questions about the optimal placement of signage, venue staff or your Stylus Weddings DJ can help. Your DJ can also announce your expectations or point out the locations of other resources (like hand sanitizer stations, etc.) to your wedding guests if you’d like. During the planning process, your Stylus Weddings DJ will talk with you about your preferences to ensure they are supporting your vision for the day.
A safety station with masks and hand sanitizer is a great reminder for all guests to be careful. It can also be a comfort to guests who may be anxious about being in a crowd. Large hand sanitizer stations can be set up around the venue. Or you can hand out small custom bottles of hand sanitizer featuring your names and wedding date.
Custom masks can also make for a great wedding favor. The masks can be understated with a small monogram in the corner or boldly display your wedding # across the front. Both options show off your style and add to the fun of your wedding day and wedding photos.
Many of your guests may have additional personal boundaries not covered in the expectations you set before your wedding. For example, some wedding guests may be very happy to sit with and talk to others, but not want any handshakes or hugs. Adding a wristband station and asking wedding guests to pick one as they enter lets them set their own boundaries without the need for any awkward conversations.
A simple stoplight wristband system can clearly broadcast a wedding guest’s preferences and make them feel more comfortable, allowing everyone to relax and celebrate together:
Green- Talking, handshakes, and hugs are all welcome.
Yellow- Talking in a close group is great, but I don’t want to touch.
Red- I’m happy to be here, but please stay 6’ away when we talk.
Your Wedding Ceremony
This is what you’ve been waiting for! As your friends and family gather to witness your vows and celebrate your new union, you want to be focused on your big moment. You don’t want to be thinking of all the details that go into creating a safer and comfortable environment for your guests. A little attention paid to the particulars of your ceremony before the big day will let you focus on what’s important- starting a new chapter in your life with your soon-to-be spouse by your side.
Seating during the pandemic era can be challenging, but there are great options for maintaining social distance while still providing everyone with a great view of your wedding ceremony. Wedding venue staff can show you options specific to the layout of the venue. And your Stylus Wedding DJ will also ensure that every wedding guest will clearly hear your music, vows, and “I do”s with the best sound equipment for your preferences, venue, and budget no matter how far apart guests are sitting.
If COVID-19 restrictions keep some of your invited guests from attending your wedding ceremony in person, consider including them through live streaming or by recording the event. Even if you can’t get everyone in the same place, you can still include all the people who matter the most.
Honoring loved ones who have passed during your wedding ceremony shows care for, connection to, and gratitude for all who have guided you along your path. One option is to dedicate an empty chair in the front row and place an item that reminds you of your loved one on the seat. You could also play a song with significant meaning or read a poem to remember those who have passed during your ceremony. Adding all of the loss of the past two years to the personal loss of a loved one is a lot. Expect a powerful wave of emotions and keep the tissues and extra hand sanitizer within reach.
Congratulations! It’s official! As you, your new spouse, and your guests arrive at your wedding reception, everyone will be ready to socialize, eat, and celebrate. Remind guests of your COVID-19 expectations with additional signage and a safety station greeting them as they arrive.
Like the ceremony seating, wedding reception seating can also pose a challenge. But you don’t have to figure it out alone! Enlist the help of your wedding reception venue staff to help plan the layout. When thinking about reception seating, you may want to seat guests with people they already have close contact with. Or you could let guests choose their own seats to be as close to or far away from others as they are comfortable. There is no right or wrong answer- whatever you decide, your guests will appreciate you taking their comfort into account.
Plated dinners and drinks served at the table instead of buffets, family-style dinners, or an open bar may help decrease risk and increase guests’ comfort. Providing extra hand sanitizer at each table is another thoughtful way to lower risk and add convenience for your wedding guests.
Delivering drinks directly to the tables at specific times throughout the reception may cost less than having an open bar. And it could also help prevent those who may be inclined to drink a little too much from getting to a point where they are less likely to respect your COVID-19 related expectations or other wedding guests’ personal boundaries.
If the idea of a traditional reception line makes you nervous in the pandemic era, consider greeting wedding guests at each table. Your Stylus Weddings DJ can help announce your plans and manage the fun and flow of the event for other guests while you make your rounds with your new spouse.
The toasts and speeches at your reception will likely make you laugh and cry and may even give you some new stories to tell after your wedding. The team at Stylus Weddings will make sure every word is heard. They will design the perfect flow for all aspects of your wedding reception- announcing your entry and the entrances of your wedding party, introducing featured dances, and guiding the feel and energy of the event. Plus, they’ll be taking care of all the technical details in the background so that you can relax and party with your new spouse and guests.
Setting up your wedding reception dance floor to maximize space and create a feeling of connection while keeping safety in mind is absolutely essential these days. Your Stylus Weddings DJ is a master at creating both the sound you want and the flow and design you need. Customized lighting design from Stylus Weddings can be a powerful tool to build the mood you want for your wedding celebration. Lighting can also guide wedding guests to or away from specific areas of the dance floor to keep them safe, happy, and dancing.
When you’re planning your reception, talk with your Stylus Weddings DJ about traditions that are important to you. Like all other aspects of your wedding, COVID-19 safety concerns may cause you to rethink which traditions to include or how to include them. For example, instead of throwing the bouquet, you might present a small bouquet to someone who’s hoping to catch it while giving a short heartfelt speech about your hopes for them and their future. Keeping extra hand sanitizer or clean and dirty pen cups next to your guest book is another way to encourage wedding guests to participate in traditions safely. Custom lighting design can also be a great way to spotlight your cake cutting or your first dance while also providing a natural boundary that encourages social distancing.
Just like with your ceremony, there are great ways to include guests who couldn’t attend in person. Live streaming or recording are two good options. Asking guests who can’t make it to send a short video with a recorded toast, poem, or song to play at your reception is a great way to include them. Set a deadline for videos to ensure they all arrive in plenty of time before your wedding day.
Your wedding reception is another perfect time to honor loved ones who have passed. Consider playing one of their favorite songs, projecting a few treasured photos, or asking someone to say a few words or read a meaningful passage. Be prepared for more powerful emotions as we’re all feeling loss in a new way after the past two years. This can be a lovely and memorable part of your wedding day. Your Stylus Weddings DJ can help guide the moment to hold space for your loved one while also embracing the celebration and joy of your special day.
After You Both Say I Do
Planning, having, and celebrating a wedding during the COVID-19 era isn’t an easy task. But it will certainly be one of the most memorable times of your life together! After the wedding, take some time to rest and enjoy your new connection. You’ve earned it!
We’re so excited to celebrate with you and your guests! Let us know what traditions you’d like to include and what songs you want to dance to. We can’t wait to help you build an out-of-this-world experience for you and your guests! 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!