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How Do I Plan a Wedding During the Coronavirus Outbreak?

14 Ways to Protect Your Wedding From Coronavirus

Should I cancel my wedding because of coronavirus? 

Spring 2020 wedding and events season is facing a serious threat of being postponed, or canceled, by the coronavirus outbreak. Couples are frantically searching for ways to protect their wedding from coronavirus. Out of town guests and elderly guests are being forced to answer the question – should I travel and risk catching coronavirus to be present at my family or friend’s big day? As if wedding planning was not stressful enough, coronavirus is quickly becoming the world’s worst bridezilla in all of history.

Wedding cancellations are not only devastating for host families and guests, but also for vendors, venues, and service industry employees. Everyone involved with large gatherings in the upcoming months will be a part of the ongoing dialogue surrounding the outbreak. Here are 14 ways to protect your wedding from coronavirus. 

Stay calm, stay informed. Due to the tremendous amount of media outlets, the opportunity for misinformation regarding coronavirus is high. Rather than panic, locate your local, reliable health center’s website for the facts. Click here to visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention page about coronavirus. 

Call your wedding vendors. Yes, pick up the phone and talk to your vendors. Ask them what precautions they are taking to keep their team safe from coronavirus at your wedding. Request information regarding emergency plans and strategies. Finally, ask them what policies they have on file regarding cancellations or rescheduling. 

Be honest with your guests. Request that any sick guests remain at home rather than attending the wedding. Share with your guests the precautions that you are taking regarding coronavirus at your wedding. Ask that if any guests plan on not attending, that they immediately let you know so that you can update the guest count.  

Look But Don’t Touch – How to Protect Your Wedding From Coronovirus

At this time, coronavirus is believed to spread by way of person-to-person contact. Specifically, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes (CDC.gov). Here are some ways to cut back on person-to-person contact at your wedding

Open door policy. To avoid high contact of doorways by your wedding guests, ask that a member of the venue staff or planner hold the door open for guests as they arrive – eliminating as much person-to-person contact as possible. 

Find guestbook alternatives. Signing the guestbook is an old wedding tradition, where guests use the same writing utensils to sign a book with a personal message to the newlyweds. Alternatives include asking guests to send a digital message via email, social media or on a wedding website. Another alternative includes having your videographer record special messages from each guest to be compiled into a video guestbook. This can prevent the spread of coronavirus at your wedding.

Minimize touch during photo sessions. As you gather together for a wedding party, bridesmaids or family portrait session – request that people stand close but do not place hands on or around one another. To avoid awkward photos, have the bridal party hold their bouquets or elegantly interlace their hands together in front of themselves. 

Officiate healthy practices. Ask your wedding officiant to make an announcement before the ceremony about the precautions that you and the entire wedding vendor team are taking to avoid the spread of coronavirus. Communicating your strategy will make your guests feel informed and reassured.

Put your phone away. Whether it’s coronavirus or the common cold, hand-held cellular devices are always a hotspot for germs. Ask your guests to leave their phones in the car, in their purse or in their pocket throughout the day and evening. 

Offer sanitization stations. If possible, have hand sanitizer and sanitary wipes available at the wedding ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. Encourage guests to wash their hands repeatedly throughout the day to avoid the spread of coronavirus. 

Cancel all self-serve options. If you planned to have any self-serve beverages, appetizers or dinner, think again! Opt for having the bar service team and catering team to do any and all serving. Doing this will significantly reduce the number of people who come into contact with substances that guests consume. Instead of self-serve food and drink stations, have a catering team member do all of the serving with medical gloves on. 

Air bump blessings and toasts. Before your officiant blesses the meal, request that your guests do not hold hands with fellow guests. Additionally, during toasts, ask that people do not touch their glasses with the glasses of other guests. 

Cutback on slowdance or partner-dancing songs. The most difficult place to avoid person-to-person contact will be the dancefloor. At this time, we suggest avoiding organized partner or line dances that encourage hand-holding. Instead, play music that people can dance to without holding or touching one another. 

Suspend the sparkler exit. Yes, the beloved sparkler exit should be avoided. Because sparklers (as well as other exit props) require the passing of sticks from one guest to another down the line. Instead, protect your wedding from coronavirus by having your guests line up in a tunnel formation without touching hands, and enjoy their clapping and cheering as you exit the venue.   

Our final word of advice is this: do not cancel your wedding because of the coronavirus outbreak, instead postpone. By postponing your wedding you may lose deposits, but you will not lose everything. Communicate with your vendors and do not be surprised if many (if not all) are willing to work with you on rescheduling their services. Lastly, stay informed and calm. After all, love is still more contagious than the coronavirus. 

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