Weddings are back! We all know someone who’s had to postpone (or curtail!) their wedding plans thanks to our old friend Covid. But the good news is that wedding venues have opened up their doors and weddings are coming back thick, fast and as big as ever.
There’s only one problem. Just because social distancing and masks aren’t a legal requirement, that doesn’t mean everyone’s going to feel comfortable hugging and kissing just yet. Covid numbers are still high and for many, returning to ‘normal’ life is an anxious and stressful concept.
So, how do you cater for both the party-goers and those who aren’t quite in the party spirit just yet? Here are some ideas to help you keep both groups confident, comfortable and safe at your wedding.
1. Give out social distancing wristbands
Now that social distancing is optional, it can be hard to know how to approach a new contact or even an old friend. Do you go in for the traditional handshake or hug? Or is it safer to keep your distance in case they’re not comfortable with physical contact?
One way to help your guests avoid the awkward umming and ahhing at your wedding is by using social distancing wristbands. This popular post-pandemic wedding hack usually involves providing buckets of wristbands colour-coded red, yellow and green.
- Red = I’m keeping my distance
- Yellow = I’m okay with talking but not touching
- Green = I’m okay with hugs, high-fives and handshakes
Your guests simply need to pick the wristband that best suits how they’re feeling and ta-da! No more awkward greetings. And, even more importantly, any guests that are feeling anxious about social contact have a polite way of showing people that they’d rather not touch. Simple!
Of course, every wedding is different and you could easily adapt this idea to suit your preferences. For instance, you could make the green wristbands ‘okay with hugs’ and the yellow ones ‘okay with elbow bumps.’ Or, you could even add more colours if you want to.
Either way, we think this is a great idea to make sure all your guests feel listened to.
2. Use outdoor spaces
Although it’s possible to catch Coronavirus outdoors, evidence shows that it’s far less likely than catching it indoors. So, using outdoor spaces is a great way to keep people safe and feeling comfortable.
Many couples are opting for outdoor wedding ceremonies and drinks receptions. But of course, we all know that the Great British weather can be unpredictable so not every couple will feel comfortable planning their whole day outdoors.
If that sounds like you, we love the idea of adding an optional outdoor lounge area for guests to enjoy alongside your inside spaces (perhaps with a backup gazebo in case the skies open!). This way, guests who are most worried about mixing will have a safe space that they can retreat to while still being a part of your day.
Remember, the more you can make your outdoor spaces feel a part of your wedding venue, rather than a space that’s been tagged on, the better. Think fire pits, fairy lights and décor that’s consistent with your indoor spaces. You could even add some fun activities, like an outdoor photo booth or croquet.
3. Ask your guests to test
Planning a wedding is always stressful. But add to that the fear of a breakout occurring in a room full of your nearest and dearest, and things get a whole lot more worrisome. Especially if you have guests who are vulnerable or immunocompromised.
To help ease the worry, why not ask your guests to test themselves before turning up for your big day?
In the UK, it’s quick and free to order a pack of rapid lateral flow tests. The test takes just a few minutes and you get your results almost instantly. Ultimately, it’s a small ask when it comes to keeping all your loved ones safe.
Similarly, many brides and grooms are asking all adult guests to get vaccinated before their wedding. This may be a little bit trickier to enforce, but all adults in the UK have now been offered their first dose of a vaccine so it should be possible. After all, it’s what nightclubs are planning!
4. Create zones
By creating multiple zones at your wedding, you’ll be able to avoid too many people gathering in one place, which could be intimidating for those who are feeling less confident about social interaction.
Consider using nooks and corners to create intimate seating areas for those who feel more comfortable mingling in a smaller group. If you want to go a step further, you could even designate different zones to different social distancing levels.
For instance, you could create a zone where masks are required (in which case, we’d recommend handing out nice face coverings as people enter it). Another zone could be fully socially distanced, with chairs set up with two-metre gaps between them. And, of course, the dance floor could be the perfect zone to allow full contact amongst guests who feel comfortable saying goodbye to social distancing completely.
This way, your guests can simply choose where they’d like to socialise based on their personal preferences.
5. Get creative with your signage
Yes, you don’t legally have to put safety measures like social distancing and hand sanitiser in place. But they could be helpful to give your guests that boost of confidence they need to relax and have fun.
If you’d like to enforce such safety measures, we’d recommend getting creative with the messaging. At the end of the day, safety signage doesn’t have to be boring and we see no reason why you can’t make it cute and romantic as well as safe.
Maybe it’s a hand sanitising station labelled ‘Spread love not germs.’ Or maybe it’s a sign promoting social distancing with the message ‘Distance makes the heart grow fonder.’
We’ve even seen couples give out wedding favours that are symbolic hugs and kisses for weddings where social distancing is in full force. These don’t have to be anything super swanky. Instead, they could just take the form of a pack of Love Hearts or cookies with cute messages on them.
The moral of the story? Even social distancing can be fun if you think outside the box!
6. Send out pre-wedding info packs
Not knowing can cause a lot of anxiety for your guests – whether that’s not knowing what’s expected of them or not knowing whether they’re going to feel safe. To help, why not send out some info about how your wedding will work before the big day?
You could include details like:
- Whether face masks are required.
- Whether you’d like people to take a test beforehand.
- What safety measures you’ve put in place.
The more info you can give your guests to reassure them that your wedding will be safe, the more relaxed they’re likely to feel on the day.
If you want to make things even more memorable, you could take the opportunity to include a couple of gifts, turning your info pack into a sort of wedding care package. You could include a pretty face mask, a personalised bottle of hand gel or even just some delicious baked goods. The choice is yours!
To summarise, although lockdown may be finished, that doesn’t mean the pandemic has gone for good. If you’re worried about bringing all your loved ones together in one place, we hope that these Covid-confident wedding hacks will give you the inspiration you need to keep everyone safe, confident and relaxed. Then, all that’s left is to let your hair down and (finally!) enjoy your big day!
Don’t have a wedding venue yet? Why not browse our list of the best affordable wedding venues in London? Or, check out our blog featuring three awesome hybrid-ready wedding venues that will allow you to broadcast your festivities to guests who can’t make it in person.