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Safety Tips for a Socially Distanced Wedding

In a post-COVID world, many couples are taking a different approach to how they plan, prepare for, and carry out their wedding ceremonies. Whether you’re planning a small, intimate wedding celebration or a larger affair with hundreds of guests, you can take plenty of steps to ensure the safety of your loved ones and make sure your celebration doesn’t put anyone at risk.

Of course, keeping your guests socially distanced and wearing a mask indoors are both great steps to a COVID-friendly wedding, you can take several other precautions to protect those celebrating your social day with you. Check out some of our favorite tips for planning a safe, socially distanced wedding.


1. Keep the guest list short.

While you may want everyone you know and love to be at your wedding, it may not be the best idea considering the circumstances of the ongoing pandemic. When making your guest list, consider how much space your venue offers and how many guests you’ll be able to fit into it given social distancing guidelines.


2. Cut down plus ones.

This tip will also help you keep your guest list on the smaller side. If you’re inviting a guest who is married or has a partner, you may want to include them as your guest’s plus one. But refraining from providing the plus one option to every guest on your list can help cut down on extraneous guests.


3. Embrace live streaming.

Live streaming has helped a lot of us get work done and stay in touch with our loved ones throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and it can help with your wedding as well! Live streaming allows you to offer a place in your celebration to guests who didn’t make the cut for the guest list. It’s also a great way to include elderly family members whose health may be at risk from being at a large event.


4. Head outside.

If you can, look for an outside venue or ask your existing venue if you can restructure your ceremony to fit an outdoor space. The open-air nature of an outdoor wedding cuts down on the spread of germs. Plus, it’s beautiful!


5. Keep distanced seating in mind.

When planning your seating chart for both your ceremony and reception, make sure to keep in mind which groups of people are in each others’ pandemic “bubbles” so to speak. Maintaining those groups as much as possible can help reduce the risk of one group of family members passing germs to another. If possible, try to seat people in groups of six or less.

6. Provide face masks.

According to the CDC, individuals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear their masks anymore. That said, some of your guests may not be vaccinated. Provide masks for the guests who may need them and politely request unvaccinated friends and family wear their face masks when necessary.


7. Sanitize, wash, and disinfect.

You can’t be too careful when it comes to ensuring all the surfaces in your venue are properly sanitized and disinfected. You should also provide hand sanitizing stations for your guests to use and consider incorporating polite, but firm signage asking others to wash their hands frequently.


8. Skip self-serve buffets.

Buffets have long been a wedding day staple, but they’re also a fantastic way to spread germs and disease. Instead of a self-serve buffet, hire a catering company that provides servers to place food on your guests’ plates for them or opt for a plated meal that doesn’t involve guests leaving their tables at all. Alternatively, you could do a picnic-style wedding dinner where each guest’s food and beverages are provided to them in individual picnic baskets!


9. Use single-use cutlery.

Although we wouldn’t normally recommend this considering the harmful impact single-use plastics can have on the environment, providing single-use cups, plates, and silverware is much safer than having guests reuse cutlery over and over.


10. Individualize your cake.

You can still make a small wedding cake for you and your partner to cut into, but consider providing your guests with individualized cake options like cupcakes, mini pies, or pastries.


11. Enlarge your dance floor.

In an effort to keep your guests socially distanced, see if your venue can work with you in terms of making your dancing area a little bit bigger. This will help keep guests spread out but still give them a chance to shake their groove things!

Looking for the wedding venue of your dreams? We have hundreds to choose from! Check out our venues page, where you can find event and wedding venues listed by state and city!
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