It’s the 2nd of January, and I’ve already had two clients ask me how to make their guests feel comfortable at a post COVID wedding. So I’m here to give you some practical advice on making your guests feel more comfortable at a post COVID wedding.
If you are worried, I’ll quickly cover off all the standard things everyone had been saying for months: Get flexible contracts, know your cancellation terms, and consider a smaller wedding. Unfortunately, we’ve been here for long enough that I can guess you probably already know those things.
I know Boris has said this about 4 trillion times, but what does this mean practically for weddings? It means that things like sharing dishes and buffets will be slightly more tricky, as people will be using the same utensils. It might be worth considering switching to a plated as this will reduce the use of shared utensils, queues for food, etc.
Think about the areas people are in and touch most often. People will probably be nervous for a while, so it’ll be good to address their concerns to make them feel more comfortable. People touch several points over and over, like toilets flushers, door handles, etc. Leave anti-bac wipes in these areas if you can, or ask your venue to do regular quick cleans of touchpoints.
More Tray Service
No one likes waiting at a bar at the best of times. Just writing that statement has bought back some awful memories of trying to shove to the front of the bar in our local on Christmas Eve. Horrific.
Adding more tray service will alleviate crowds of people at bars, making people feel more comfortable as they will keep sufficient space. Plus, the quicker you get a drink in those nervous people, the quicker they’ll chill.
I would imagine that the group shot will become a sacrifice of COVID, and to be honest, I’m not mad about it. Yes, it’s nice to have a picture with everyone at your wedding, but the likelihood of you ever doing anything with that photo is next to none.
Instead, opt for smaller groups, so that Aunty Sue doesn’t find herself next to your odd mate Lee from uni.
Assigned Ceremony Seating
It’s been a long time since many of us have been within 2m of a stranger, let alone sitting next to them. Some people may feel understandably uncomfortable about being so close to people they’ve never met.
A great way around this would be to have a ceremony seating plan. I always recommend this for the first few rows anyway, as no one wants to sit in the wrong seat. It doesn’t need to be complicated, just simply a name printed off and placed on a chair.
Keeping more evening seating
As soon as the meal and speeches have finished at my weddings, you can typically find me sweeping away the tables and chairs to make more room for dancing. We’ve now had months and months of no standing at weddings, so it may make some people feel more comfortable to keep their seat in the evening. There may be times where they can get up and have a dance, but have a seat to return to if it gets too busy.
Spend time outside
Spending time outside depends on the good old English weather, but if you can get away with moving some of your elements outside, go for it. We all know how much the risk of spreading the virus decreases when you’re in external spaces, so it may alleviate some concerns to reduce the time spent inside. If this isn’t possible, consider how you can add ventilation.
Firstly, I am by no means suggesting you should be standing at the entrance to your wedding in your dress, temperature checking your guests as they arrive. However, this is something you could potentially ask your venue to do. I know before I went into Tier 4, it became pretty much expected that I’ll have my temp checked everywhere I go. If nothing more, it will act as a sign that you’re taking COVID seriously, even if your guests aren’t.
I’m a firm believer in making the most of situations, and if that means employing some of these points so that you can get married, so be it. If the thought of this scares you, you may want to consider rescheduling to a time where you feel you can fully relax. If you’d like to talk any of this through, please give me a shout. I’d be happy to support you in any way I can. I hope this helps you make some decision as to how to make your guests comfortable at a post COVID wedding.