There’s no doubt, in the last few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every corner of our lives, including weddings. However, just because these are unprecedented times doesn’t mean people will stop falling in love and tying the knot.

So, it begs the question – what does a wedding in the social distance era look like?

Safety First

Every event requires certain safety precautions, but that’s being taken to a new level in the wake of the coronavirus. In addition to things like fire codes and building capacities, couples will likely need to implement things like mask requirements, hand sanitizing stations and thermometer scans to ensure their guests’ well-being. 

Small, Intimate Affairs

Another big change anticipated by planners like Kate Edmonds, founder of Kate Edmonds Events, is the scope of wedding events. 

“It’s not going to be the bejeweled gown in an interior ballroom with 300 guests. So, I think we’ve got to think out of the box,” explains Edmonds.

She recommends hosting a micro-wedding with fewer than 30 guests. While this limited guest count might mean leaving out many cherished friends and extended family members, it’s definitely safer in the current climate. Plus, you have the bonus of creating an intimate event where you can actually spend quality time with everyone who attends. 

The Great Outdoors

Edmonds also predicts that outdoor venues will be a popular choice for couples who still want to say “I do” soon.   

“I think the outdoors is a really good start. I think we could do canopies and open-air tents through the fall with heaters and fans,” she says. 

Not only do outdoor spaces allow for better airflow than indoor venues, but they also allow guests to spread out and maintain a safe distance while enjoying the festivities.

Reimagined Seating

Similarly, how guests are seated will also need to be reconsidered in light of social distance guidelines.

“Normally, I love to jiggle everybody around in a seating plan […] I like to have an adventurous seating plan,” says Edmonds. “Now, I have to go against my protocol and I’m suggesting that we seat in families or people who have quarantined together.”

Grab & Go Meals

Another aspect of the wedding that needs a social distance makeover is the food and drink. Rather than having bartenders serving cocktails, consider setting up tables with premade beverages that guests can pick up before heading back to their seats. The same can be done with hor d'oeuvres.

For dinner itself, couples should skip the self-serve buffet or family-style meal for the time being and instead opt for plated courses. 

Or, couples who still want a communal experience could turn their wedding into a picnic-style affair by handing out hampers filled with food, drinks and blankets for a fun and socially distant reception, suggests Edmonds.

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