Planning a Wedding During a Pandemic
When designing the perfect wedding day, there are so many circumstances planners, couples, and their vendors arrange contingency plans for. Will the bride or groom fall ill on the morning of the wedding? What if the band or bakery gets lost or has an accident on the way to the venue? Or, what if the weather doesn’t cooperate and forces an outdoor wedding to indoor reception venues. But we think it is safe to say 2020 delivered something not even the most seasoned wedding planners could not have forecasted, the coronavirus pandemic. When the government forced businesses of nonessential nature to temporarily close their doors in the spring of 2020, leaving couples in limbo on when their wedding date, industry professionals jumped to the rescue with creative alternatives - the micro-wedding.
Uncertain with the immediate future, many couples decided to postpone their larger wedding and reception, choosing new dates in 2021; this left beautiful venues and wedding professionals available to host and work more intimate celebrations. Micro-weddings, also called “mini-monies, “are attended by as few as five and up to a couple of dozen wedding guests, allowing adherence to social distancing protocols while allowing the couple to marry and celebrate with those dearest to them. By and large, couples found the micro-wedding an excellent alternative; spending their wedding day with those closest to the bride and groom and delaying the reception to a date to be announced when group gathering and state-imposed phasing restrictions are lifted.
The big question is, how do you get started?
As the two-week quarantine orders were extended over and over, couples started to worry that their marriage might not take place. Planners started helping couples prioritize who and what was essential when it came to getting married. Planners helped the couples visualize those most important to them when helping them create their special day, focusing on the intimate details.
Include the Traditions You Love
Foremost, remember that your micro-wedding isn't just to appease the need to marry in 2020; this is your newly envisioned perfect wedding day. This means you need to embrace the traditions you have been dreaming of for your nuptials.
It can include wearing the dress you picked out and carrying the bouquet. Or, if you prefer to save the special details for the to-be-announced date the following year, that is fine as well. Many micro-wedding couples are planning to hold the traditional first dance, ceremony reading and first look for their 2021 reception.
Adjusting the Wedding Design When Planning a Delayed Wedding Reception
If your nuptials were delayed due to COVID restriction, you may need to adjust your color palette and flowers according to seasonal differences. Take this opportunity to change things up, if your original wedding date was in the fall and your micro-wedding is in the spring, consider taking advantage of a spring color palette and reserve the original wedding design for the fall wedding reception.
Social distancing is paramount, even at a micro-wedding, consider a format that allows guests to have their own space. Round tables are ideal for a social distance setting. A round table offers everyone a great view and hearing conversation is usually not an issue. To boot, you are literally surrounded by the people you love, and if you are planning to live-stream your wedding, round tables are logistically a videographer’s dream.
Food and Drink
Buffet style food and drinks are discouraged during social distancing. To keep everyone safe, consider a sit-down dinner or choose a menu with preplaced single-serve options. A waiter or bartender can pour and serve drinks limiting exposure; meanwhile, guests can socially mingle with plated appetizers at distances they feel most comfortable.
Entertaining Wedding Games to Keep the Celebration Fun
Dancing and live music are discouraged in Louisiana during state-enforced COVID restriction phases; this doesn't mean entertainment is out. If weather permits, consider outdoor games, of course, strategically spaced for distancing will allow small groups to have a safe fun. Oversized Jenga and connect four, corn-hole and horseshoes can provide entertainment while guests enjoy a cocktail or two. These types of games offer an opportunity for your guest to connect when live entertainment and dancing are not an option. Do remember to set up sanitizer stations near the games.
The Experience is in the Details
Do not skimp on your micro-wedding details. If you are downsizing your wedding, your budget will go much further than your original plans. Customize your menu, upgrade linens, and floral arrangements. This improvised downsizing can allow you to spend more money on details that were not in your original budget.
Single-serve Wedding Cake
If you are postponing your reception, consider forgoing the tiered wedding cake and save it for your large reception. Ingenuity during COVID restrictions has upped the baker’s game. Individual cakes or desserts have hit an all new level. A decadent assortment of cakes and desserts served with specialty coffee from a barista may very well be our favorite “mother of necessity” invention for micro-weddings. Again, you may be able to splurge on decadent elements due to restricted attendance.
Upgrade Your Venue
When you start planning your dream wedding, you quickly realize prioritizing is paramount.
Often, couples find that budgeting is a challenge and reevaluate what they believed was necessary. A smaller wedding may afford you a wedding venue upgrade. Many wedding venues in Lafayette Louisiana are hosting multiple weddings at different times on the same day. These planned micro-weddings are being hailed as excellent options for couples planning to hold the big ceremony and reception later.
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