Read our top tips for throwing a Covid-secure celebration that keeps everybody safe while making your dreams come true.
Sometimes it feels like everything is stacked against you. If you were one of those people due to tie the knot in 2020 then you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.
First came the surge of disappointment as you realised a postponement was inevitable. Then there was the headache of rescheduling. Of having to drastically cut your guest list. Of having to leave dearly-loved but vulnerable relatives out. Of having to put everything on pause for a year, possibly longer.
As one groom-to-be explained in this Huffington Post article: “The thing I keep saying is it’s not about what we want anymore, it’s about what we’re allowed to do now. The charm of the wedding has gone.”
But hold on a minute. Where there is unconditional love, there is always hope. Bit cheesy, but never mind.
There are advantages to this situation, too. You have to really look for them, but it’s true. Getting married with just 15 guests reduces your costs in a big way. It makes the event that much more intimate. Elderly or vulnerable relatives can still follow your big day online. Covid-induced restrictions might dictate what you can and can’t do in some ways, but it will allow you to get creative and stamp your personalities all over the day in plenty of others.
Most importantly, remember that you aren’t alone here. Your partner, your friends, your family, your venue and your suppliers will look to support you however they can. They will do all that is in their power to make your wedding the unforgettable day that you deserve, pandemic or no pandemic.
Here are just a handful of suggestions to help you organise a Covid-secure wedding in the UK.
- Some couples are opting to host two-part weddings, where you legally get married now in front of a handful of witnesses, then celebrate with all your friends and family at a later, more safer, date. A two-part wedding gives you a unique opportunity: to devote your entire focus to your partner on the ‘official’ wedding day, then celebrate your love amongst your friends and family second time round.
- If you’re looking to push your wedding date back after the government’s latest restrictions announced last week, could you consider opting for a weekday wedding? Lots of venues are already queueing up a backlog of postponed events for weekends in 2021, so choosing an off-peak date would increase the chances of landing your dream venue. It should also save your guests money on transport and accommodation costs at the same time.
- If you’ve not selected a venue yet and are frustrated at the idea of not being able to look at these places in person, don’t forget that many venues will have 3D virtual tours. Here you can explore the venue layout, drift between different rooms and study floor plans from your sofa.
- Try to keep your plans flexible, even now. This isn’t easy if you’ve had your dream wedding mapped out since primary school. But while Covid is in circulation there will always be uncertainty, and the government advice could change in the lead-up to your big day; couples getting married this autumn, for example, will have to cut an already reduced guest list from 30 to 15 if they want to go ahead. Accepting that the wedding you and your partner had pictured could change at short notice is not nice, but it will stand you in good stead for what comes next. If you can adapt, pivot, postpone, rejig and reshuffle your wedding at the sharp-end of a pandemic, you can do anything!
- Cut out the receiving line part of the ceremony. Ok, so it’s obviously the dream to be told how beautiful you look many, many times in the space of 15 minutes, but you’re going to have to take it as implied as you look to cut-down any unnecessary contact between guests on the day.
- Hear me out here, but could you supply your guests with customised masks and hand-sanitising bottles? While guests might typically keep their place cards as a special memento from your big day, bespoke touches like these would offer peace-of-mind to anxious friends or family, and a genuinely unique way to remember the day by in the future.
- Changing the seating plan from traditional rows to a socially distanced semi-circle, for example, is a creative use of the space that makes it feel like more people are present and gives each guest an excellent view when it’s time to make your vows.
- Make as much of the wedding virtual as possible. Elderly and shielding family members will be devastated that they can’t share this joyous occasion with you in person. But by taking steps to put as much of the wedding online – the vows, the rings, the speeches, the first dance – they’ll be able to watch the action live while they’re cosy at home.
- Keep your guests right up to speed. With government guidelines changing regularly as the R rate fluctuates, it’s important that your party knows exactly what they can and can’t do at your ceremony. This checklist is a good place to start. It gives a detailed explanation of the measures people can take at a wedding to reduce the risk: for example by saying that attendees must wear face coverings, remain seated where possible and that they can’t bust some shapes on the dancefloor (although the couple’s first-dance is exempt!)
- Rejig the wedding routine. There are aspects of a wedding that we all know and love. Guests congratulating the groom while he physically shakes with nerves at the alter. The bride throwing her bouquet and watching as her friends barge each other out of the way to catch it. Your uncle drinking a little too much Prosecco at dinner time. Your nephews sliding on their knees across the dance floor as the DJ drops an S Club 7 medley. Obviously these traditions will need to go on hold right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t introduce your own ones. Asking guests to write you a note or send you a short video clip, for example, could be a great replacement for the receiving line that you can keep and cherish forever.
Tags : weddings