Ahhhh, wedding season. Filled with so much joy, love, and excitement. Witnessing two people make the ultimate commitment to each other and celebrating their love- there are not many things more special than this time of year. With all of the joy and happiness of this season- comes the planning. Wedding planning is no easy task. Even if you prefer to host a simple and intimate ceremony- there are so many tasks associated with creating a seamless celebration of love. Just like many other aspects of our life, COVID-19 has changed the way we look at weddings; ultimately making an already stressful planning process- even harder 😫
Right now, the safety and health of our community is a priority. With that being said, your big day and celebration of love is NO LESS important than any couple tying the knot before you. Many of you have dreamt your entire life for this time in your life. Engagement, celebrations, wedding weekend, honey-mooning, and everything else that getting married entails. So the ultimate question is this- how do you host the wedding of your dreams while keeping your loved ones and our community safe? We all are hoping that by the summer of 2021 this virus will not be ruling our day to day lives as it has been, however, we have to stay prepared for this to be the case. Here are some tips we have for planning a wedding in the year 2021 with every scenario considered.
Accept the reality of COVID-19
This might not be the first tip you want to hear. However, it is the most important. Unfortunately, this is not a time to be “willing” best-case scenario. If you plan your wedding like this pandemic will have subsided by the time your date comes around, you might be setting yourself up for some serious disappointment- and also extra stress. The best thing every bride and groom can do this season is to prepare and plan for all possible outcomes. The other option, which is TOTALLY understandable and reasonable- is to plan your wedding even further in advance. There is ZERO shame in wanting to wait to host the wedding you have always dreamed of. It is actually the socially responsible choice if you are not willing to implement COVID-19 guidelines at your event. Talk to your Fiance about what is truly important for you both on your big day. If you can work around the pandemic restrictions and plan an event of your dreams- then by all means do it and the following tips will be helpful. If you decide to wait- the good news is most venues will have nearly empty calendars in the years 2022 & 2023.
Talk to your vendors about their insight and plans
Event safety starts at the foundation. This includes the venue, caterers, bar service, DJ/music, and so on. If you have decided to host your wedding in 2021, then talking to all of your vendors about their pandemic protocols and the ability to adapt is crucial. Do they intend to host the event as normal if cleared by the CDC & State you are marrying in? Do their views on the best way to handle each of the scenarios align with yours? Do they intend to maintain COVID-19 protocols through 2021 even if cleared to do otherwise? These questions will help you and the vendor make sure expectations are set properly and there is no confusion as your wedding approaches. On another note, many of these vendors have been a part of weddings this past year, and will most likely have great insight to offer you. Don’t be afraid to ask their opinion on the best way to plan each piece of your event if you are unsure of how to do something. We’ve always been told communication is key- and this is not just true to your marriage!
Make Backup Plans
This might be hard to do when you are basking in the details and Pinterest boards of your perfect event, but it will ultimately put your mind at ease. “Worst case scenario”… we never like to think about it, let alone plan for it. If you do choose to host your wedding this coming year, it is best to have a backup plan in case we do end up with more shutdowns and guidelines. This could mean having a shorter guest list and plan in place to inform your guests. It could mean a backup venue in case your venue of choice chooses to close or restrict access. It could also mean simply preparing for the idea that you might need to postpone your event until the following year. Our recommendation is to assess your wedding plans and any piece that might be affected by the pandemic- have a plan B for it.
Make as many details as possible “COVID-friendly”- especially the guest list
Save yourself the headache, and do this from the beginning. Little details like party favors could be hand sanitizers in cute bottles. Make sure your wedding venue is big enough for distanced seating arrangements. The guest list- we almost made as seperate section, but felt it fell into this category. We know how hard it is to make a guest list as it is. WHY is it so hard not to invite Aunt Karen that you see once every 3 years?? The guest list is arguably the most daunting task of all wedding planning. When it comes to the pandemic- this is also the first place guidelines look. Limiting the number of guests is the best way to keep everyone safe- and statistically speaking, most couples actually regret having such large guest lists in the first place. It can make it very difficult to enjoy your special day and stay present in all of its glory when you have 200 guests to greet, thank, and catch up with. Your wedding day is about you and the love of your life. Consider reminding yourself of this when building the list. How involved has the person you are considering inviting been in your relationship? Were they a big part of it? Are they a big part of your life? Do you see them regularly? You should never feel obligated to invite someone to this truly intimate celebration- and now more than ever you have an excuse not too. If it makes you feel better, consider sending personal notes letting this person know that as much as you would love to have them at your wedding, you have to keep it limited to immediate friends and family. Their reaction is not your responsibility, and you will thank yourself later.
There might not be a more perfect time to budget in a wedding planner. Fortunately, many wedding planners have multiple packages for many budgets. If this is something that you can fit into your wedding budget, consider it to help you navigate all of the details above. It is their job to stay up to date on wedding limitations and regulations- and this can save you a lot of time and peace of mind through the planning process. We highly recommend scheduling multiple “interviews” to find the planner that is the right fit for you and your bride or groom.
This is a conflicting topic lately- travel. However, Honeymoons go hand in hand with planning a wedding so it must be discussed. This really comes down to personal preference and the risks you are willing to take. For the newlyweds who feel safe to travel- this is a great time to be planning a honeymoon. Airfare and resort prices have never been lower. Consider researching the destinations you are looking into and what their regulations are around pandemics. One thing’s for certain- PURCHASE TRAVEL INSURANCE. This is a no brainer even when there isn’t a global pandemic. It can completely protect all your bookings in any event leading to a trip cancellation. For those of you who would prefer not to travel right now, consider a local mini-moon with plans to have a longer honeymoon down the road. Look at surrounding towns within a few hours and pick a relaxing destination. This will allow you to unwind after the festivities and celebrate your marriage just the two of you, without the risks of traveling.
We are confident that whatever you decide, your wedding day will be beautiful and full of so much meaning. At the end of the day, it is important to remember what your wedding day is truly about- the love you share and the commitment you are making to one another. No limitation or regulation can take that away from you. We hope this helped a little in your wedding planning process- and are here if you need anything at all! At Rustic Taps & Catering, we work closely with our brides and grooms to create the event of their dreams and make sure they feel safe themselves and hosting their guests. For a very customizable catering and bar service experience- start the booking process with us today!