Weddings in the Age of COVID-19: What to Expect and How to keep it Safe
Monday, July 27
Last week we had the honor of producing two weddings and a dinner party for our clients and we couldn’t be more grateful to be back at it. In an event-less season that took our industry by storm, we weren’t sure the next time we’d be onsite at an event and we’re are so happy.
Of course, we cannot say enough that hosting and attending an event or large gathering at this point is an extremely personal choice that should be taken seriously after weighing the pros, cons and safety risks. We strongly suggest for our clients and vendors alike to do what is best for them as we are approaching each event in a case by case basis, each with differing considerations.
While we’re elated to be back in the swing of things, we know celebrations in this time don’t come without extreme care and caution. If you decide to move forward, we’ve compiled a list of of what to expect and recommendations of what to consider in this ever-evolving landscape of event planning in a pandemic.
Continuous communication: First and foremost, ramp up that communication with all parties: your guests, your vendors, your family and stay in the know with your local county to ensure you continue to be on the same page. With so much changing each and every day (sometimes by the hour!) it’s imperative to stay in touch with important parties (especially as the day gets closer). Take the extra time in the upfront to align with all parties on expectations, safety measures taken into place, what guests and staff will need to do prior to arrival, any waivers required etc. We’re all exploring what events look like in the midst of COVID and no communication is too little. Your guests will thank you for keeping them in the loop on what’s expected, and your vendors will thank you for setting the bar so they don’t have to police your guests all evening long. We love this example of what to expect upon arrival. You may also consider temperature checks or COVID testing for your guests prior to event attendance.
Smaller Guest Counts: Everything considered, 2020 is the year for the intimate gathering and smaller guest counts. As Colorado is now in the Protect Your Neighbor stage of our reopening, this directs the counties to be the guide for what is approved and what is safe. We highly encourage all clients and vendors to follow along with this county variance tracking sheet created and updated by the Colorado Event Alliance in the last several months as we start to reintegrate events into our lives.
While it’s up to each county (and venue) the guidelines of what’s allowed (you may told a specific number regardless, or a number based on the venue’s square footage), we suggest staying under 100 guests. Our events in the last two weeks ranged from 10-60 guest and it felt just right.
RSVPs, Please: In an abundance of caution, event hosts will be asked to keep RSVP lists on hand in the event of an outbreak, which will later be used for contract tracing. Some vendors may require guests to sign individual waivers prior to arrivals.
Mask Up, Wash Up: The more hand washing and sanitizing stations, the better! Along with your guest books, welcome signs and gift table, consider making sanitizing stations and mask “favors” a permanent part of your personal details display. Keep it simple or add some fun personalization – who knew masks + hand sanitizers would be such a fun decor item 😉 Trade in a wedding favor for a custom masks with your hashtag, wedding date or fun phrase –– we can’t mask our excitement about this one.
Find your people and keep them close. We’ll see an increase in of assigned seating and family or household “pods” used as a method to reduce risk of COVID transmission during these events. For those guests who have already been quarantining together, it makes sense to keep their pod close throughout the entirety of the event. We’re also seeing an uptick in assigned or pod seating for ceremonies.
Strategic Set Ups: In the spirit of creativity, think how your layout can be the most COVID compliment, and use your space to your advantage. We all know by now that social distancing means 6 feet apart so take that into consideration when mapping out what and who goes where. We recommend increasing things like bar stations, cocktail rounds and number of reception tables to encourage a spread out party. We love Gina + Matt’s creative use of lounge set ups + bars throughout on the deck of their cocktail hour – inviting & spacious!
Service Stations: On that note, inquire with your caterer about food service and what your options are. Occassions Catering perfected these serving stations, delivering fresh and delicious food & drink while keeping their immaculate display and guest/server safety top of mind! At our wedding this last weekend, guests were encouraged to visit these food stations by table for a touchless but still high-touch experience (pun intended!). We’re learning the art of “smizing” behind our masks!
While this list is just the tip of the iceberg, we’ll continue to share how events are being safely produced in Colorado in the age of COVID. We’re always excited to lean what our friend and colleagues in the industry are finding successful, so if something comes your way that’s share-worthy, we’re all ears! Our top priority at Calluna Events is to ensure our clients, their guests, and our vendor community stays healthy during this unprecedented time. With that in mind, we are so happy to see some of these weddings and parties proven successful!