Planning a wedding is stressful enough, add in a global pandemic and there are additional layers and safety precautions that need to go into place, which for many has meant postponing or reimagining their big days. If you’re moving ahead with a scaled down 2021 wedding, we’ve rounded up some tips and tricks to help you plan.
Keep things COVID Compliant
Each state has different gathering restrictions and guidelines, which may vary from venue type – private property, event space, restaurant, state park, etc. – so it is extremely important to understand these guidelines and ensure your wedding falls within them. Creating a safe space for your guests to gather is more important than ever (read our tips here), and while not having the day you’ve envisioned is challenging and heartbreaking, there are alternatives. You can have a small wedding now with close friends and family, followed by a larger party next year (who doesn’t want to celebrate twice?!), or you can host multi-day smaller events so everyone gets to celebrate safely, click here to learn about more about back to back bashes.
Get creative with your date
If you’re newly engaged or hoping to get married in 2021 but haven’t locked in a date yet, it’s important to remember that many 2020 weddings have already been rescheduled to 2021 dates. With that being said, be sure to have back up dates available and think outside the long weekends and busy wedding months. This year it’s looking like a lot of weddings have shifted to mid-August and September, so think late spring, early summer or fall and winter for your bash.
While celebrating at the ball room you originally booked may be on the back burner until larger events start up again, this gives you an opportunity to get creative with your venue space and really tell your story as a couple. Is there a restaurant you and your SO had your first date? Think about renting it out! A local island you frequent each summer? Get hitched at a rental house with your closest friends and family in attendance. Do your grandparents have a sprawling backyard? Set up a tent and create your own personalized venue. With mandatory smaller guest counts at venues most likely in effect throughout part of 2021, the options are really endless. A venue that might have had a guest minimum far exceeding your initial guest count, has most likely had to reevaluate and bring that guest count minimum down due to current restrictions, which means your dream venue might be a reality.
If you’re opting for a smaller wedding, you may want to consider adding a virtual component so those at home can still celebrate your special day. While some guests may be viewing your big day from comfort of their own couch, encourage at home guests to dress up and add an interactive element so everyone feels included in the festivities. Instead of welcome bags for attending guests, send everyone attending virtually mini champagne bottles and have a toast between your ceremony and cocktail hour so virtual guests can join in.
Decked out décor
Just because your celebration may not be as ‘big’ as you initially envisioned, your scaled down event may open up some budget money to go towards your décor. While we’re not saying splurge on everything, now that you’re hosting 25 guests as opposed to 200, you might have a little extra money to play around with to really get the wedding look of your dreams. Get those flowers you really wanted, deck out your tabletop with charger plates, turn your backyard into a venue with a tent and additional lounge areas, get the lobster! Having a smaller wedding allows you to add some personalized touches and details you may not have otherwise been able to with a larger guest count due to budget restrictions.