10 Ways to Include Social Distancing Practices in Your Future Wedding

Check your state-specific guidelines for gathering sizes and best practices.

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Tips to Keep Guests Safe

Weddings have faced quite the whirlwind this year and plans, for a lot of couples, have had to shift and change in ways nobody could ever expect. But, as states are coming out of shutdown phase by phase, couples have started to re-plan their weddings with social distancing practices in place.

That leaves many people asking: How can a wedding still feel like a fun, loving and interactive experience if people have to keep their distance? Couples are finding creative ways to take on that challenge so their wedding can happen in a safe environment with all their loved ones beside them.

Cut Down the Guest List

As states slowly open back up, venues will begin allowing gatherings again but often at a much lower capacity than before. Some venues are not allowing more than 50 people. To help you prepare for a wedding that will be aligned with the rules of your local area and the place you’re tying the knot, start narrowing down your guest list to be as small as you’re comfortable with.

Make it Mini

To make social distancing something that doesn’t make your party feel awkward or your guests feel unsafe, consider shifting your wedding plans and doing either a minimony or a micro weding. A minimony is planning just a small and intimate ceremony now and saving the party for a later date and a micro wedding is going through with the full wedding but keeping your guest list extra small (usually under 20 people). Both of these options can work well when paired with a venue that’s open and large, so people can keep six feet between them.

Create Wedding-Branded Masks

If you’re going to ask guests to wear a mask to your wedding, add a sprinkle of fun to it and create masks as a party favor that they can wear all night long. Put your monogram or wedding date on them to make the masks feel extra special.

Spread Out Your Seating

The layout of a traditional wedding usually has your guests spending a lot of quality time close together during the ceremony and when they sit to eat at the reception. Adjust the floor plan so you can space people out. Maybe even ditch formal seating and let people stand at cocktail tables to enjoy food and drinks and put an extra space between chairs so people can sit apart during the ceremony while still being close to the action.

Get Rid of the Buffet

While buffet options are usually a great way for a couple to save money when planning their wedding, they can pose as a health threat during the time of coronavirus because people are often touching the same serving utensils and can find themselves very close to the chafing dishes. Find a caterer that will be able to plate meals for your guests, including the appetizer, main course and dessert. That way, people can limit their exposure to any germs.

Multiple Dance Floors

If you’re planning on having live music at your wedding (a DJ or a band) try to have multiple spots around the venue, close to the music, that people can get up and dance on. That way you avoid having one crowded dance floor where all your guests come together. Instead, plan to have a few pop-up dance floors around the reception area.

Change the Photo Booth

A popular staple at weddings in recent years has been a photo booth, but they come with a table of props meant to make photos feel more fun. Since people will be trying to avoid touching things that others have touched before them, consider changing the photo booth into more of a step-and-repeat station where a photographer takes fun photos of people in small groups with a funky backdrop behind them and no props.

Color-Coded Bracelets

Depending on where you live, the virus might not be something that people are overly concerned with. One thing you can do is create color-coded wristbands (green means that people are O.K. if you get close to them, yellow means keep six-feet distance and red means try to stay even further away). That way you can let your guests pick how much interaction they are comfortable with at your wedding.

Staggered Party

If you’re struggling with narrowing down your guest list and figuring out the best way to throw a party this year or next, you might want to consider having your wedding in different waves. Invite only close family to the ceremony, have one group of people celebrate at the party with you for two hours, then the next group and one more group. That way, you can include more people and split up their arrival and departure times to ensure that your wedding does not get overcrowded.

Outdoor Venues

If you’re looking to keep all the details of your wedding mostly the same, consider switching just your venue. Pick a venue that’s outside and give your guests the option to spread out in the open air instead of being indoors and close together in just one area. This will let people spread out and still enjoy the party.

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