With the wedding industry changing as we deal with the effects of COVID-19, we wanted to share 4 considerations when figuring out how to plan a ceremony in the safe space of your home. We are discussing what you can do to plan and create a wedding with a memorable experience given the current circumstances.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely opting to have a home ceremony so that you can move forward with your life trajectory with the hope and understanding that you may throw a party for all your friends and family to celebrate with you at a later date. We’ve prioritized a list of considerations to help you through this abridged planning process below:
Research and Understand Local Policy | With each day bringing new information in light of COVID-19 policies on social distancing and the ability to host events, you will want to keep an eye out on what the policies are in your city or state. Some cities that are opening up their businesses have announced policies that allow venues to begin operating at a certain percentage capacity, and have specific rules on indoor vs. outdoor events when it comes to social distancing. They may also have rules that limit gatherings in public or private places. Therefore, it’s important to know what the governing rules are in your area during the time of your event so you can make informed decisions on how to proceed with planning. Reach out to your wedding vendors to learn more if you’re not sure where to access this information. Most vendors and wedding planners are keeping a close eye on the changing policies and will be able to guide you with correct information.
Guest List | Ensure you have a list of guests that you are inviting (most likely just your family and potentially very close friends). Survey the guests to see what their comfort with attending an at-home event would be. It’s important to know what your count will look like because many people may opt out of being in an environment that poses health risks based on their individual situations. You will also have to survey each of your vendors to see if they would be willing to provide their services for your event. For any guests that may not be able to make it, consider having a virtual setup in place so they can stay close to the action (refer to our blog post on Virtual Weddings, Events, and Celebrations for more information).
Safety Protocols | It is very important to have safety protocols for everyone that will be on site for the day. Having masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and thermometers available is a good idea. Even though the event will likely only consist of family and close friends, you will want to be sure that everyone, especially vendors, has the protection they need. It’s important that any vendors in attendance are also willing to wear the appropriate protective equipment (e.g. masks, gloves) to keep themselves and others around them protected as well.
Vendor Inclusion | The only vendor technically required would be the priest/officiant. However, you can also choose to include some of the below vendors based on your specific need/situation.
Hair and Makeup Artist: Have no fear, you can and should still wear your wedding outfit and plan to get dolled up! You will want to check with your artist to see what their COVID policy is and if they are comfortable with providing services for your at-home events. Having a secluded space for the artist to carry out the services with just the bride and maybe one additional family member at a time is key. It’s also important to understand what their brush/product sanitation procedure is so you’re aware of any safety precautions they are taking. If you’re uncomfortable with using the artist’s products, you can also ask them to use your own products to be extra safe!
Photography: Capturing the wedding day is something you should do regardless of whether or not you have a future celebration planned. These images can be edited and consolidated with those of the other celebrations you end up having for your wedding. You can even share these images quickly after the wedding ceremony is over for anyone who did not get to be part of your wedding day. Portraits, detail shots, emotional experiences, and family photos during a ceremony are the best parts for a photographer to capture, and they will be able to do so with or without a large audience!
Videography: You can have your event completely recorded and created into a highlight for you to share with your guests at a future celebration. It would be a perfect opportunity to show them the ceremony that they may not have had the chance to attend. If you decide not to have any other future events, this will serve as a keepsake that you can, if you choose, simply share with friends and family via social media.
Decor and Floral: Use your florist or decor company to help create an altar/mandap for you in your home. You can work with your vendor to see if they would be comfortable having someone deliver and install a backdrop or structure in your home. An alternative would be to communicate your needs and ask them to deliver everything to you with instructions on how to set it up. One example of this comes from RaoFactor Design House, a design vendor from Texas, who set up a service that allows clients to select from pre-determined setups that they can deliver contactless to your home with instructions on creating the beautiful setup for your event.
Planner: The planner will be in charge of ensuring that all of the changes for decor, setup, timelines, equipment needs, photos, catering, rentals, etc. is accounted for. They will help run the day smoothly to make sure that you don’t skip a beat and your production feels complete!
Catering: With food and beverage service being a touchy subject, you should determine whether or not you want to have these items incorporated at all. Some guests may not feel comfortable partaking, so it would be a good idea to survey them in advance so you can plan accordingly. If you do end up having food catered, be sure to ask the caterers to provide chafing dishes to keep the food warm throughout the service. It might also be a good idea to have a few volunteers serving the food while wearing masks and gloves as opposed to having guests serve themselves. Seating for everyone should also be something to consider as you will want to be mindful of social distancing guidelines. Renting tables and chairs would be a great option to manage spacing. Lastly, using disposable paper products would be the best method for food and beverage service.
We hope these tips help you create a memorable event in the comfort of your own home. Just remember, weddings are made through experience, emotion, love, and a dream team. Just because it may not be what you’ve been working towards, it doesn’t mean the event won’t exude the expressions of a wedding! You can have a perfect wedding anywhere you are! If you want more assistance in planning for your home wedding, check out Dildiya Concierge and chat with a planner to help you create your best at-home wedding experience!
Lots of love and happy planning!