Wedding Venue: Arizona Biltmore
Wedding Planner: Outstanding Occasions
Photography: Rachael Koscica Photography
Hair & Makeup: Glam Lounge
Florist: Inspired Environments
Linen: La Tavola
Stationary: Jolly Edition
Band: The Instant Classics
Ceremony Music: Sweetwater Strings
Cake/Dessert: Ruze Cake House
If you’ve Googled “How to plan a wedding during Covid-19” this blog post is for you. We’ve learned a lot about this Covid-19 since March and in this blog post I’d like to share what I’ve learned from the wedding industry community around the world and how people are getting married and having beautiful weddings with their family and friends during a pandemic. In this blog post I will be covering topics and offering creative solutions being implemented in weddings worldwide that will help you during your planning process:
ENJOY A MORE INTIMATE WEDDING:
When I got married in December of 2017, we had a beautiful Chinese wedding at the Arizona Biltmore with 60 of our closest family and friends. (ten of those were my husband’s many little nieces and nephews!) We hired the best wedding vendors in Arizona and it was truly stunning, yet intimate. If I could go back in time, I would do it all over again. So if you’re getting married this year and anticipate a smaller guest list, re-envision how special it will still be with your closest family and friends.
I have couples that are planning to get married in the fall and anticipate it may be a smaller guest list. Preparing mentally knowing what to expect will help you relax and enjoy being in the moment. Remember what truly matters most in the end is marrying your best friend and having stunning photos in the end will make it an absolutely amazing experience.
TIPS FOR POSTPONING & CHANGING YOUR WEDDING DATE:
What I’m seeing across the US with weddings affected by Covid-19 is having to postpone the wedding or moving your wedding date to next year. Some couples are able to keep their same wedding date but for the following year if your venue and a majority of your vendors are available. Wedding Planners recommend contacting all your vendors and having a few open dates in mind that the venue has available, picking a wedding date that’s open for all your original vendors will help you save money and keep your original team and vision for your wedding together. Be sure to contact the venue and check with the photographer first also before re-booking if they can accommodate your new date, as they are the vendors that are usually booked out a year or more in advanced.
LIMITING GUEST COUNT:
Now let’s say in your state there is a limit to how many people you can invite to your wedding. Ask your venue about this. Some couples planned on inviting 200 guests and not sure what to do next. You will need to take a look at your guest list and you can simply email or contact those guests that you need to notify, I would simply tell them that due to unforeseen circumstances you can only have a limited amount of people and that you have to make sure your family can be in attendance. Let’s be real, a lot of those guests may be friends of your parents or mutual friends. Your friends will understand. Re-envision and remember getting married is going to be one of the happiest days of your life. It truly will be special regardless of how many people are there.
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO LIMIT GUEST COUNT:
If you don’t want to limit the guest count or simply can’t, what I’m seeing at weddings is some couples are having their guests come at two different time slots. So 50 come at two different times. I think this is a great solution for larger celebrations.
THE PERKS OF HAVING A WEEKDAY WEDDING:
Weekday weddings are gaining more popularity than ever before. If you’re postponing your wedding, you may worry that many weekend dates may already be booked. According to The Atlantic, “American weddings are transforming to reflect the individual tastes of brides and grooms, and when they take place is just one variable that engaged couples today feel empowered to customize.” It’s not uncommon for weddings to take place on Thursday or Friday. Especially Friday is most popular. What’s great about a Friday wedding is your family and friends who are coming out of town, they’ll have the entire weekend to spend more time with you.
CREATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR WEDDING GUESTS:
OFFER MASKS FOR YOUR GUESTS: Masks are the #1 way to prevent the spread and to keep everyone safe in large groups where social distancing is hard. You can keep a basket display of masks while guests arrive to your ceremony located on the gift table. Wedding Planners and their team can also pass them to guests as they enter. Offering masks like this make it fun and a safe environment for you and your guests. Your guests may be worried about coming to your wedding. I think it’s smart to inform your guests personally, maybe through a text message or email letting them know that masks will be provided and safety measures taking place to create a safe celebration for all. If they know this, they will feel more comfortable and excited to come.
Sanitizing stations don’t have to be scary or turn your guests off. This is an opportunity to get creative and guests will love it! Check out this cute sanitizing station from The Knot.com.
HAVE YOUR RECEPTION OUTDOORS IF YOU CAN:
Outdoor receptions are gaining more and more popularity, especially during a pandemic. It’s a romantic and beautiful setting to have dinner with your family and friends outdoors. Having your reception outdoors allows the most ventilation and easier social distancing. If you can’t have your reception outdoors, consider spreading out the reception tables at least 6ft apart and reducing or limiting how many guests per table.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR VENUE:
Ask your venue what changes or restrictions there are so you can plan ahead. If you originally had a buffet style dinner, ask your venue about switching to plated dinner. If your guest count is lower, you can invest that money into upgrading to plated meals which will reduce spread of germs and make your guests feel more comfortable.
HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER:
It’s never too late to hire a wedding planner. Even now more than ever before, hiring a wedding planner during this time will help you plan and take a lot of the stress off your shoulders. They will communicate with the venue and vendors for you so that there is no miscommunication. If you need my personal recommendations on wedding planners in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area let me know and I’d be happy to help.
Covid-19 isn’t going away for a while but love is not cancelled. I hope this helps you plan ahead to have the most wonderful experience even during these times. As I said before, remember that with everything going on in the world, isn’t it the most important thing in the whole world getting to marry your best friend and having the most incredible love in your life. I wish you all the best ahead and as always, I’m here if you need me.
With love, Rachael