Top 10 2021 Expert Wedding Tips for Wedding Couples & Businesses During COVID [Part 1]

Planning a wedding has always been stressful, but COVID-19 has taken it up a notch. According to the latest report from WeddingWire, over half of couples are uncertain about weddings in 2021, but that shouldn’t stop you from planning your wedding!

If you’re planning a wedding in 2021, but are confused about how to get started because planning is a lot different in the age of coronavirus, we have you covered. In Part 1, we’re going to tackle expert tips based on how wedding planning has changed over the last year to ensure couples can plan a safe and beautiful wedding. In Part 2, we’ll tackle ways vendors can anticipate the needs of brides and grooms and support them in making their wedding vision come to life in 2021.

Mini Wedding Cakes: Martha Stewart, Bride and Groom in Front of a Flower Wall: Brides, Open Air Wedding Venue: Courtney Bosworth Photography

Beyond Outdoors—Discuss Ventilation

Having wedding ceremonies and receptions outside has been wildly popular since the open-air can stop the spread of COVID-19. Nearly 60-percent of receptions took place fully or partially outside in 2020, with an increase of 16 percent over the number of receptions held outside in 2019.

Outdoor gatherings will still be popular in 2021, but don’t feel like you have to have your ceremony or reception outside. Many indoor spaces are just as safe because they feature large windows that can be opened or state-of-the-art ventilation systems. Ask vendors about how spaces are ventilated and you may be able to have at least a portion of your day indoors.

Get Creative in Your Hometown

Over 40-percent of couples got married in one of their hometowns in 2020, which is up 15 percent since 2019. This reduces travel for wedding guests, which reduces their likelihood of being exposed to the virus.

If you originally had a destination wedding planned and are feeling a little bummed about having your wedding closer to home, get creative. It's true that backyard and barn weddings are the most popular locations, but you can also consider a:

  • Museum
  • Theater
  • Stadium
  • Library
  • Camp site
  • Greenhouse
  • Rooftop

Request Virtual Meetings With Vendors

COVID-19 has made it much more normal to meet with vendors virtually, and many are scrambling to find ways to meet with clients 100-percent virtually. Take advantage of the convenience this has to offer!

Instead of taking time off of work, driving out of town, or emailing back and forth, ask vendors if you can have meetings virtually. When many would have said no just a year or two ago, nearly all will emphatically say yes now.

Find Something To Splurge On

Planning a wedding during and after the COVID-19 outbreak often means making some compromises. If you’re feeling a little bummed about not being able to get what you want, lift your spirits by finding something to splurge on.

From flower walls for a backyard wedding to specialty liquor for creating a signature drink, 40-percent of couples added something to their wedding day that they didn’t initially plan to make it a little more special.

Personalized Food and Drink Experiences 

Buffets, appetizer trays, and candy bars are out. Food and drinks are being served differently at weddings, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing!

Over 40-percent of couples have turned this into an opportunity to elevate the experience by serving things like individual hors d’oeuvres and mini charcuterie boards. Miniaturize items, have servers hand deliver pre-cut cake, and pre-fill wrapped favor boxes to make it a positive experience.

Bride and Groom Dancing Alone: Angela Sue, Mini Wedding Ceremony Space: Green Wedding Shoes, Bride and Groom Holding a Funny Pandemic Wedding Sign: Shaadi Wish

Regular Communication with Guests Ahead of the Big Day Is the New Norm

The days of sending out invitations, collecting RSVPs, and waiting for guests to arrive on your wedding day are long gone. With all of the changes due to COVID-19, brides and grooms are getting used to communicating with guests ahead of the big day.

The most popular way to communicate is through a wedding website, with text messages coming in a close second. Find a communication method that works for you so you can easily share changes, attire, transportation, and other details with guests.

Minimonies, Prequel Celebrations, and More Considerations

A wedding isn’t just a wedding anymore. Alternative formats are here to stay! A few you may want to consider include:

  • Minimonies
  • Micro-weddings
  • Virtual elopements
  • Prequel weddings
  • Sequel weddings
  • Anniversary reception

Embrace Humor                                                                             

Many couples prioritize planning a personalized event. For many that means adding a dash of humor, which is something that is very welcome in the age of coronavirus. Consider sending clever invites, using funny signs to remind guests to stay six feet apart, and buttons that share how comfortable guests are with getting close.

Be Flexible

Take the lead of 60-percent of couples and discuss flexibility with your vendors ahead of your big day. Not only should you address common things that can change your plans at the last minute—like rain—but you also need to talk with them about possible changes to how food will be served, what happens if there’s a localized outbreak in the area, and what will happen if your date needs to be postponed at the last minute.

Much Is Still the Same                                                                             

For all the changes that have occurred to weddings and planning over the last year, it’s also important to note that much has stayed the same. Among couples who got married in 2020, 91-percent still had their first dance and 83-percent still had a cake cutting ceremony. If there’s something traditional that you still want to do, don’t let COVID-19 stop you. With a little creativity, you can make it work!

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