How the COVID19 guidelines impact your wedding
Dear couples, we know that even in the best of times, wedding planning can be stressful. Afterall, that is why we have a job. Sadly, for many of you, the COVID-19 health crisis has taken wedding stress to unprecedented levels.
To say that we are in uncharted territory would be an understatement. As states work to re-open and find safe ways for people to gather, they are rolling out guideliness for how we plan and set up weddings. In order to help our industry and our clients navigate this new reality we co-founded LEIO and we have been on, and meet regularly with State and Local officials to discuss these guidelines and their re-opening strategy.
Because so many of our couples have questions, and concerns with how these guidelines will impact their wedding, we put together an information shoot with some vendor friends to mock up a COVID19 guideline compliant wedding. Below is a breakdown of the guideliness in action to help you visualize what things will look like moving forward. Additionally, we have created a document that will walk you thru the guidelines as well. You can access that here: Guide to Oregon's Gathering Guidelines.
Washington State has it's own wedding guidelines. Because of a new law, receptions of any size are prohibited as of Aug. 10th, 2020 and ceremonies are limited to 30 people. Once receptions are allowed again, we will re-post those guidelines.
If you have any questions about any of this, please don't hesitate to reach out! We are here to help!
You can rent this at Bridgewood Event Rentals
You can rent this at The Party Place
While the State has provided specific posters for businesses to post, they aren't exactly wedding pretty. To create elegant versions like this one, use Canva (its free) and then you can print it at Kinkos.. Designers like The Lettering Bee or Crave Design can also create these for you.
As you are collecting RSVP's you will be assigning your guests to "quarantine bubbles" of up to 10 people. A quarantine bubble is a group of people who are comfortable being less than 6ft from each other. Your guests will sit with folks from their bubble during the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. While quarantine bubbles can include up to 10 people they can and will vary in size. Table size and ceremony row size will depend on the size of each bubble. While we need to keep the rows and tables 6ft apart from each other, as you can see, it doesnt look weird, and honestly it really helps with the flow of the event.
Clean Hands and Added Signage
To help keep you and your guests safe, venues will have hand sanitizer stations on hand like these. You can also expect signage around the venues keeping folks informed on best practices. If your venue is requiring you to provide hand sanitizer stations, or if you are having your wedding at a private property and need to rent these, rental information is below.
Seating Charts and Social Distancing
Cocktail Hour Food Service
Because self-service stations (like a large display at appetizers) is not allowed, as you want to avoid folks touching each other food, caterers are doing table side appetizers. A few common trends are to do Tapas style, where small plates of appetizers come out, or to do family style, where a beautiful spread of apps come out for the table. Talk to your caterer about your favorite options.
Dinner Food Service
Most caterers are moving to plated or family style service. Some caterers are doing served buffets. Buffets are specifically listed on the guidelines as a "do not do" but they are listed under self service, so the thought is, if the buffet is served they are ok. We trust our catering partners to make decisions and encourage you to talk to your catering provider about your options.
Bar and Non-Alcoholic Beverage Service
Because the state is trying to avoid things multiple people touch, like water dispencer handle, grab and go individual beverages are a great way to handle your non-alcohol beverages. Also in order to keep the bar staff safe many caterers are using acrylic barriers, just like you see at the grocery stores. These acrylic barriers, can also be used double duty for bar menus.
Because they don't want food out in the open, there are a few changes to dessert service. If you want a traditional wedding cake, that is still a-ok. Your caterer will just cut, plate and serve cake slices to each of your guests. We are also seeing the trend of one tier cakes for each table, and also family style desserts for the couple who wanted an assortment of mini's. Another trend we are seeing are plated desserts like creme brule, or a chocolate torte. There are so many options! We encourage couples to get creative and follow their tastebuds!
There are of course other guidelines like guest count limits, face mask requirements, required cleaning attendents and social distancing monitors, but those details really vary by county and whether or not your event is indoors or outdoors. If you have questions about how these guidelines impact your wedding, please email us. We are happy to answer your questions.
I also just want to re-assure you that as a Planner it is our job to keep you informed and to use our understanding of the guidelines and our creativity to work within the guidelines to deliver the vision you had for your wedding. We have done a few weddings now with this guideines and honestly we are thrilled by how "normal" these weddings have been. While there is an enhanced level of service and a lot more planning on behalf o your vendors, our couples and their guests are having a lot of fun and are feeling very comfortable. As always, if you need anything, please reach out: email@example.com.