Written by: Rachel Rosenberg
If there’s anything we’ve learned from 2020, it’s that love between two people is something that cannot and will not be quarantined. Recalling the first month of this unprecedented pandemic, let’s say mid-March and on, it was an onslaught of responsible, newly engaged duos that had to make the very difficult decision to postpone their wedding plans in hopes that this quarantine would only last a few more months. Each week after that saw new reports from every state, reporting altered restrictions on events and the remainder of our wavering 2020 lovebirds became disheartened that their Big Day would ever safely arrive.
We’ve been on-hold for months and as we enter Fall our industry has been sourcing ideas in order to get pairs down the aisle again. Unfortunately for COVID-19, couples everywhere are implementing elements into their weddings that satisfy their state’s regulations and put their own health concerns at ease. For Your Party has created a line of health and wellness favors that will keep your Big Day germ-free and it’s finally time we share a comprehensive guide on how to properly organize your wedding to be as safe and beautiful as you’d always imagined.
PRO-TIP 1) Please consider all areas of possible congregation to limit clusters of guests in one spot. Good news! This spreads the party out!
PRO-TIP 2) Take into occasion all of the times guests may need to interact with venue staff, musicians, catering crew, baristas, and more - and LIMIT THEM.
PRO-TIP 3) Just because you may be having an “intimate” wedding, or minimony, it does NOT have to mean casual. Our custom favors in combination of how you design your space will be the best representation of your Big Day vibe.
Wedding Invitation Additions
This guide starts all of the way to the invitations because there are some ultra-smart additions you could include into your wedding suite that pre-COVID brides didn’t even have to consider. Many of you will have built a wedding website that houses all of your details, so this is a great place to house the upcoming additions as well. We are recommending that somewhere visible on your site you include a note for your guests about tracking their symptoms to ensure every attendee is feeling healthy enough to celebrate. As a more consistent reminder, we encourage you to use invites with a reminder to consider their wellness before your Big Day.
We recommend you include two different custom coasters with the invitation sent to your guests: one for your guests to pen out their best wishes for the couple, and the second for any songs they may want to request for the DJ or band to play. Prepare either a shadow box or an acrylic tray to collect each of these coasters at your Welcome Area, limiting the spreading of germs before the wedding even begins. Eliminating the traditional “guest book” sign in will be crucial, as this is another hot spot for congregation - not to mention the use of the same pens - enter your well wishes coasters, a special treat for the newlyweds to read later on.
Prepping Ceremony Details For Any Weather
With a lot of ceremonies and receptions moving outdoors to comply with venue regulations, be a pal and consider which season your wedding is in! The name of the 2020 wedding game is preparedness so if you’re planning a warmer occasion, provide your guests with individual fans, and rather than a confining tent, why not utilize rented large umbrellas for any seating arrangements? If your wedding will be a bit chillier, consider the renting of heat lamps from your local hardware store, a Home Depot, and plenty of other places to keep your guests comfortable. The use of candelabras, twinkle lights, and different sized candle groupings will do a fine job of adding a small amount of additional heat. Guests may also appreciate a small individual blanket or a rolled up pashmina to avoid the natural instinct of grouping together to find warmth. During these times, FYP encourages you to use any and all outdoor spaces you can find! The views and the natural elements will surely only add to the romance of the day!
Seating Arrangements, Shapes, Sizes, and Selections
When it comes to seating, this may seem a bit daunting, but there are actually some feasible solutions here! Firstly, isn’t it fabulous that we now lawfully CANNOT invite those awkward third cousins or semi-friends? It’s your civic duty to keep that guest list small!
For Your Party definitely suggests round tables to encourage the smaller-sized groups to be chatting it up, seeing everything safely. Deciding who sits where should be relatively easy, as the people who have quarantined together (families, couples, roommates) should be sat together. The remainder of that table should consist of the people you feel those would be comfortable sitting by - think friends, acquaintances, etc. This will likely have your wedding party a bit more at ease.
Lounge Areas and Rental Suggestions
Any event planner and bride-to-be will tell you that they’d like a little lounge area to be integrated into their space. That usually includes rented vintage rugs, velvet loveseats or couches, rustic crates, and so on, but 2020’s lounge area could use a few tweaks to be as safe as they can possibly be. Don’t ditch the chic lounge area, just change it up: swap your couches for armchairs to limit close proximity seating. Consider additional seating options to include tall, modern chairs without armrests and pair these with chicly tall bar tables. There should not be much “lounging” anyways, so the limit of lounge furniture will encourage people to return to the other safe, designated areas, like their dance floor or their table.
If you’re thinking you’ll want a photobooth, think about changing it up to a photo rig in which guests aren’t jammed into one common box. There are plenty of ways you can still incorporate this trend, so don’t give up hope on a Bieber-esque, black and white stack of fun photos of family and friends!
Health and Wellness Favors to Customize and Display
When it comes to customizing favors to match your Big Day and also keep you protected, For Your Party has really considered a great deal so you don’t have to! While donning face masks was probably not on your original agenda when dreaming up a wedding, we can assure you that we have taken that into consideration, making hygiene a little less “sterile” looking. For the ultimate 2020 wedding, you’ll be personalizing: disposable face masks (available in adult and kid sizes), 2oz bottles of hand sanitizer, beautiful signage to signify where the sanitation favors can be accessed, and individual disinfectant hand wipes, all found on our site. To fully capitalize on your aesthetic, you’ll want to customize the other FYP favorites, including cocktail napkins, guest hand towels for the restrooms, cups for your signature beverages, and the popular forever-souvenir that is our variety of different matchbooks.
When ordering your health and wellness favors, you should consider ordering double the amount you’ve considered for a level of thought and organization that would make even Marie Kondo proud. Other than our 2oz bottles of hand sanitizers, your guests may want to switch out their masks post-meal and it’s quite possible your attendees may require (or sneak) more than one disinfectant hand wipe from your stations. Regardless of the situation, you’ll want to find yourself with extra rather than empty-handed. Find yourself with extras in masks, sanitizers, or wipes? Time to either use them up yourselves, or send them off as souvenirs to out-of-town loved ones you wish could have been present the day of.
Providing Guests with Safe Food and Beverages
Out of all of the changes weddings may see, we’re thinking the sweets table may be one staple that will look a lot different in 2020. Eating and drinking in general should be adjusted to ensure there is minimal hand-to-hand contact with the venue staff as the bar is one of the biggest hotspots for congregations of people. Find a local catering source that will pre-package foods for you to eliminate the touching of serving tools, buffet handles, and more. If you’re hosting a shorter length wedding, our cake boxes are perfect for providing your guests with a pre-sliced piece of your wedding cake! If not cake, they are also ideal for any and all sweet packages on the way out, being food-safe and thick enough to not crumble in your hands.
Bars should be eliminated completely if you’re able. What?! No, we are not suggesting that you should host a spirit-less, dry reception. At the center of each small table, we suggest you provide the groups with their own selection of your favorite beers, wines, and harder alcohols, eliminating their trip to the bar, saving a bartender hundreds of interactions with strangers. This, however, does not mean the guests have no access to the staff if they are in need of a refreshed bottle for the table! We’ve created our Yes + No coasters and signage for tables, designed to fit into a standard place card holder, ready to signify when they are in need of someone’s attention. If this idea reminds you of a Brazillian meat restaurant, you’re getting the right idea! You are only summoning a waiter or server when you’re in need of one, saving staff the unnecessary trips to ask the very question your card is already answering.
Setting Up the Dance Floor(s)
Now this will be a fun new element to 2020 weddings, as we’ll get to see which of our loved ones have the best moves. Just like the bar, the dance floor is a common place for some guaranteed non-6ft encounters. While we aren’t suggesting that you lay out tiny signage throughout your wedding that marks 6 feet between each person, we are recommending that there is more than one designated spot to boogie. Your best bet will be to provide one dance floor per 20-25 people, so if that means you’ll have a few areas to set up, that just means you’ll get to showcase your specialty moves to more than one amazed crowd. Bonus? Your DJ has all of the requests on hand already - thanks, handy coaster! No need to get up close and personal with the guy or gal spinning the ones and twos!
Preparing Your Takeaway Gift Bags
Another wonderful benefit of your smaller party size, you’ll find, is that you have more time to converse with the people who made the cut. Let’s think back about all of the brides who couldn’t have possibly enjoyed both her wedding and arranging enough time to say “hello” to each of her 300+ guests. Not to say those weddings were not also fabulous, but this is a huge silver lining we do not want our 2020 brides to miss out on! However, we cannot control how long your guests will feel comfortable staying, or if they will feel ultra-safe interrupting you if you’re in the process of chatting with another member of your guests to alert you that they’re heading out. With that in mind, you should have Thank You Gift Bags situated at the exit. These bags can store anything from your customized favors, a little “Thank You” tag attached, and of course, the beloved desserts you chose for your crew. The guest’s coasters provided for you at your welcome station will come in handy when writing your personalized “Thank You” cards for post-honeymoon duties.
Keep Yourself Knowledgeable of State Regulations
Always remember, if you’re unsure of what the regulations for your state are in regards to gatherings, there are always resources! For instance, MultiState consistently updates their site and will allow you to keep up with the latest rules while planning.