Not even a pandemic can put the brakes on love. If you’ve had to postpone your Florida wedding, or have just decided to tie the knot, there are many things to consider while planning your Florida wedding during COVID-19.
While no amount of planning can entirely eliminate COVID-19 exposure, we’ve consulted with experts for suggestions to reduce risk on your big day.
Turn to the Pros
Wedding planning can be stressful under the best of circumstances. Working with a Florida wedding planner, like the team at Simple Weddings, can make navigating the process easier, especially in these unusual times.
Florida wedding planners are seasoned, creative pros who have insight about all facets of special events. Find a wedding planner that is updated on COVID-19 best practices.
If you’re offering virtual access to the big-day, consider hiring a professional to assist with livestreaming the event. This will take the pressure off guests who might otherwise feel obligated to use their cell phones to record and share the event.
Professional videography ensures a quality visual and audio experience for all viewers, including you when you look back on your special day!
A dedicated, secure website can be a great way to share updates and information about your pending nuptials. It can even become the perfect platform for a virtual ceremony and reception for guests that can’t join in person!
Your Guest List
With restrictions on group sizes currently recommended, or even required, in some areas, prepare to get creative with your guest list.
Keep it small. Limit attendance. Consider keeping in-person guests to just the wedding party.
Set ground rules and expectations and include these with your invitations. Let guests know there will be no hugging. And the only people kissing should be the newlyweds!
Be open and honest with friends and family. As soon as possible, let guests know that everyone’s safety is your top priority. While you might want to put in a call to Granny and other senior relatives, modern etiquette rules allow for email in these unique times.
Take a look at some wedding industry websites that offer tools such as streamlined, yet personalized communications to guests.
Suggest guests book travel and lodging directly with the provider instead of third-parties. This gives you direct access to communicate in the event something unplanned takes place.
If anyone has underlying health concerns, or will have to travel a distance, let them know you will respect their personal decision to not participate. Encourage guests to cancel if they are not feeling well. Even if it’s at the last minute.
A little distance now will guarantee a lot more together time in the future.
Selecting Your Venue
Experts tell us that outdoor venues are the best option for any COVID-19-era event, regardless of your group size. Florida is known for its mostly amazing weather making the “Sunshine State” a great option for outdoor weddings and receptions.
Choose from any number of beaches, parks, botanical gardens, private boats, or even a hot air balloon ride for your special day. Make certain the venue you choose has a COVID-19 plan in place.
Cancellations by venues or hosts can happen. Familiarize yourself with policies if the venue has to cancel or postpone your date due to changes in local or state mandates.
Ask about additional surcharges due to COVID-19. For example, will you be assessed any special cleaning fees, or costs for disposable items (masks, gloves, etc.)?
Keep your reception entirely outdoors if possible. Keep in mind that even outdoor venues may have to limit group size. Find out the maximum numbers for your Florida wedding venue and plan accordingly.
Only move to an enclosed space if weather requires you to do so. Speak with the venue in advance to make certain indoor airflow is addressed and, if possible, windows and doors stay open for the duration of the event.
Have a dedicated guest check-in table. A masked attendant can distribute a welcome pack including masks, hand-sanitizer, seating assignments, and wedding programs all in one helpful package. Customized masks and hand sanitizer bottles will make for practical and memorable wedding favors!
Have guests go directly to cocktail tables instead of milling about. Arrange for servers take orders and deliver drinks and appetizers to avoid guests congregating at the bar area.
When it’s time to toast to the happy couple, raise those glasses high! However, avoid getting close enough to “clink”.
Speaking of toasts, studies show alcohol can lead to reduced inhibitions and risky behaviors. Consider limiting offerings to a signature cocktail and sparkling water. Or omit alcohol altogether.
Safer Dining Ideas
Work with your Florida wedding planner and venue on a seating chart that puts tables a safe distance apart. Find out if a variety of table sizes are available. Or consider an elegant outdoor picnic! Whatever style you go with, try your best to group guests with others from their household or direct family.
Have place cards at each seat. When tied around guest’s drinking glasses with ribbon they can prevent drink mix ups.
Some catering venues are transitioning food service to account for COVID-19. Find out the safety protocols your venue is implementing for staff and guests.
While weddings are often centered around dancing and entertainment, it’s important to be mindful of social distancing while planning your Florida wedding during COVID-19.
Throughout the event, keep the music volume lower so guests are less likely to get close to hear each other. This also prevents loud talking/yelling.
Keep the dancing outdoors and ask guests to keep their masks on while dancing. Set-up multiple smaller dance floors to prevent a large group in one spot.
Make certain that entertainers, DJs, and musicians have enough space between them and the audience.
Strike a Pose
If possible, take all professional photos before the ceremony. Limit group photos to same household members. Have different staging areas for each group to be photographed together.
Prioritize the order in which photos are taken. Arrange it so older or health-compromised guests are photographed first. Allow guests to leave their masks on if that is what they are most comfortable doing.
There’s no better way to convey your love than to do it safely. A little extra time and planning will ensure your Florida wedding is memorable for all the right reasons, even during COVID-19.
Still interested in planning a Florida wedding during COVID-19? Then reach out to Simple Weddings for expert guidance.
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