Top 10 COVID Wedding Health & Safety Precautions To Consider [Besides Face Masks & Hand Sanitizer]
In the early days of COVID-19, weddings were canceled because no one really knew the best way to handle the outbreak. Fortunately, we know a lot more today. With the right precautions, weddings can continue, even if they look a little different than they used to.
You already understand the importance of having guests wear face masks and passing out hand sanitizer, but what else? Here are 10 tips above and beyond masks and hand sanitizer that will ensure your wedding is safe and healthy for all of your guests.
Shrink the Guest List
The more people who are at your wedding, the easier it is for the virus to spread, which is why shrinking your guest list is a good idea.
Of course, the smaller the guest list, the better, but that doesn’t mean you have to elope! Choose a venue that provides plenty of space and keep your guest list in the dozens instead of the hundreds. You can always stream your nuptials for others who aren’t there in person.
Open the Windows and Get Outside
The virus spreads faster indoors than it does outdoors, so you should try to have as much of your wedding outside as possible. Consider fun themes, like a garden party or plan a tropical escape complete with cabanas.
If you have your heart set on a church ceremony or you can’t get away from having an indoor reception, at least make sure you open the windows. You can also talk to your vendor about ventilation and they would be happy to set up fans in strategic areas.
Let the Bridal Party Keep Their Distance
Brides and grooms spend a lot of time thinking about keeping guests socially distant, but you can’t forget about your bridal party!
Not all members of your bridal party are going to be comfortable standing next to each other or walking down the aisle together. Allow them to walk down the aisle in a single file line and skip the crowded trolley, party bus, or limo when riding to your ceremony and reception.
Rethink Your Seating Chart
Besides the dance floor, your seating chart is where things can get dangerous when it comes to virus transmission. It’s important to rethink your seating chart at your ceremony and your reception.
That might mean setting up small vignettes at your ceremony, using a mixture of different sizes and shapes of tables at your reception, or simply spacing all seats six feet apart.
Direct the Flow of Traffic
Unnecessary proximity often occurs because guests are walking to and from their seats. Make sure everyone can keep their distance by directing the flow of traffic with floor signs that show guests where to enter, where to exit, and where to stand.
This can be handy in your ceremony space and around reception tables, but if you want to add a personal touch, consider having an usher show everyone to their seats at the ceremony and the reception. It will eliminate the wandering around that is common as people try and figure out where to sit.
Skip the Buffet and Shared Platters of Food
Buffets were once a popular way to serve food at weddings, while family style catering was gaining traction before COVID hit. Now, the buffet and shared platters of food are out.
It’s much more sanitary to serve plated dinners by gloved servers. You may also want servers to hand out individual hors d-oeuvres at cocktail hour, instead of having guests grab items from a platter. Even cake, candy, and cupcakes can be placed on individual plates and served instead of being grabbed by guests.
Keep Utensils Clean—or Use Disposables
Shared utensils in the buffet line is a no-no for sure, but what about the utensils on the table?
You can bring peace of mind to your guests by having utensils wrapped or brought out with dinner instead of being set on the table ahead of time. Disposable forks and spoons are also an option.
Paper plates are also a good idea. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re stuck with ugly paper plates! From gold foil plates to garden party plates covered in dainty flowers, there are many stylish disposable options for you to choose from.
Create a Security Clearance Station
On the surface, it can seem a bit intrusive to have a security clearance station at your wedding, but your guests will thank you. Everyone in your wedding will know you have done everything you can to make sure your wedding is safe.
Have an usher or another designated person check temperature, pass out hand sanitizer, and masks. Signs to stop guests, label sanitized items, and identify used items, like pens at the guest book table, can do a lot to make sure no one entering your wedding has symptoms or spreads germs.
Get Creative With Reception Entertainment
Dancing is a staple at weddings, but dancing in close proximity to other guests is just asking for trouble. Instead, get creative with your reception entertainment.
A few things to consider instead of a traditional DJ and dance floor include:
- Having artists paint guests
- Set up a portrait studio and photo booth
- Have a wine or spirits tasting
- Host a silent, socially distanced disco
- Hire interactive performers
- Host karaoke with a live band
Create a List of Contact Information for Vendors and Guests
Having a list of contact information for vendors and guests is a good tip for any wedding, but it’s especially important to keep this information on the same list at a COVID wedding. If any guests or vendors end up testing positive for coronavirus immediately after your wedding, you will have to notify all of your guests and vendors to get tested.
Don’t want to do this yourself? Designate a member of your family or bridal party to be the COVID notifier, should it become necessary.