First of all, congratulations! If you are planning a wedding, it means that you have something wonderful to celebrate. Goodness knows, the world has gotten very scary and uncertain, which threatens to take some of the joy out of our happier occasions, right when we need joy the most. As you go through your planning, it is of the utmost importance to remember that this is a happy time!
Of course, the other part, unfortunately, is true as well. During these unprecedented times, the already daunting task of planning a wedding is made much more complicated. Even selecting a date is a risky proposition, given the intermittent lockdowns and ever-changing restrictions. Guest lists, seating arrangements, food service, venue availability, the ability for far away guests to travel – everything is up in the air. Not exactly ideal conditions for planning one of the most important days of your life.
Let’s have a look a few things you should keep in mind while planning a post-pandemic wedding.
Start with Safety
The pandemic is a reality. It has impacted the entire world, it’s going to impact your wedding. When getting started, your best bet is to begin with your local area’s pandemic response measures front and centre. Not only is it the right thing to do, you may not have any choice. The last thing you want is for your friends and family to get sick from being a part of your special day.
For example, if gatherings are limited to fifty people, there’s no point in inviting a hundred. If social distancing is required, you’ll need a venue that normally holds significantly more people than you’re inviting. Forget the buffet, opt for table service instead. And make sure you are constantly aware of any updates to the pandemic measures being implemented in the area where you plan to get married.
If you start with this focus, all of your planning will result in a safe and enjoyable day for you and your friends and family.
Choose Venues That Take Safety Seriously
While it may be tempting to find a venue that will let you cut corners, it is much wiser to go with someone that takes the health and safety of their guests seriously. Whether it’s the ceremony location or the reception venue, you want to make sure that they are also on board with keeping your friends and family safe. There are a couple advantages to this:
Of course, the first advantage is that you will have confidence that your friends and family will be able to share in your special day in safety.
An event venue that takes their pandemic response seriously will be a great source of guidance and information as you make your plans. Ask lots of questions and get specific input into how your guests can safely enjoy the venues you choose.
A good way to determine if a venue has good pandemic measures in place is to simply ask them how they are handling events. If what they say lines up to what the regional guidelines suggest, and they have a positive attitude about it, you can be fairly sure you’re in good hands.
One = None. Have a Backup Plan
There is an old adage in prepper wisdom that states one is none. It’s based on the idea that anything can, and usually does, happen. If you have one hammer and it breaks, you now have none. The wise prepper packs two hammers. Redundancy is a great thing, when it comes to being prepared.
In the same way, having multiple back up plans for your big day will help you be prepared. We have seen lockdowns extended and resumed, we have seen regulations change on a dime. While you can’t predict what tomorrow will bring, you can have a Plan B and C, should the pandemic prevent your initial vision from coming to fruition.
It is important that everyone involved is aware and aligned with your plans. Make sure you have discussed eventualities with your venues and other service providers, understand your contractual obligations and liabilities, and negotiate your terms with this in mind. If you have followed the advice above, chances are your venue will already have contingency consideration as part of their process. And, of course, communicate your backup plans to your guests. The invitation is a great way to do this.
Have Fun With It – But Don’t Go Overboard
Let’s face it. It’s been a tough year for all of us. If you haven’t developed a bit of a sense of humour around it, it’s difficult to imagine how you are getting through it all. A little bit of levity can go a long way to helping folks feel good about a wedding taking place under complicated circumstances.
Just be careful not to be overly irreverent about it. Some of your guests may have lost someone. Others might hold different opinions on the pandemic in general – certainly we’ve seen plenty of them in the headlines. While it’s good to have a chuckle, and maybe smooth over some of the more inconvenient aspects people might not be used to at a wedding, keep it light.
A great example from the web was the case of one wedding, where the bride and groom gave out rolls of toilet paper and small bottles of hand sanitizer as gifts for their guests. A little creativity, combined with a touch of sensitivity, can go a long way to lightening the mood while staying safe.
The middle of a pandemic is a complicated time to have a wedding, no question. However, getting married during such a historic time is a great story to tell for years to come. By taking a few extra precautions, and being a little more organized, will ensure that they are great stories, filled with the love and laughter that any wedding aspires to include. Once again, congratulations, and all the very best in planning, and enjoying, your big day!
At Grand Maple Event Centre we can help you navigate these planning challenges. We would love to talk with you about your special day.
Bill and Catherine invite you to experience the Grand Maple with a virtual or in-person tour — to arrange a time contact them via email or phone at 705-922-2106.
Or, for a sneak peek, view the Grand Maple video tour.