How to Plan a Wedding at the End of a Pandemic - A Contingency Guide

Feb 03, 2021 | Planning

Although 2020 has come to a close, we still remain in the midst of a pandemic. These unforeseen circumstances have greatly impacted the way we gather and celebrate the most significant moments of our lives. Many people celebrated the holidays and birthdays away from family members for the first time. But, of all the momentous events in life, weddings have certainly faced the most change on a global scale. Couples around the world have set forth high expectations for their ‘21 and ‘22 celebrations, and why should you settle for less than you desire! In an effort to offer a helping hand to couples, Fine Art Curation members Mon Soleil Weddings asked brides to share their biggest questions around planning their weddings in a post-pandemic world, and they're answering six of the most common questions here with you!

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1. What are you seeing for post-pandemic wedding trends?

Due to the lockdowns and safety protocols, weddings have been reimagined. Couples are now placing a higher intentionality on the guest list, keeping everyone safe, and the overall weekend experiences shared. This has brought change in many forms. We’ve noticed couples holding a greater consideration on which location will best suit their needs of safety and ease of gathering. Outdoor spaces will be the most desirable to solve both of these issues, and brides and grooms have already begun to host their weddings on family estates. This brings a sense of peace! Couples want to be certain that all of their loved ones will be able to make it to the event. This intimate wedding trend is here to stay. Post-pandemic world will bring a significant desire to have deeper connections with those that matter most. The turn towards exclusivity has brought many benefits since the greatest cost couples will face is the price per head expense. By reducing the guest count, couples find themselves in a greater financial position to create once-in-a-lifetime experiences for themselves as well as their guests. People will be concerned about the health and the safety of their guests for many years to come. We’ve all learned how easily germs travel and how fragile life can be in these unprecedented times. In an effort to move forward, we believe that couples will prefer an outdoor element to their wedding. We also expect couples to push away from communal meals such as large buffets. Couples are also taking safety a step further by offering unique gifts such as hand sanitizers and including sanitation stations in their designs. Another trend we’re seeing is the rise of Plan B. Planning an event as sacred as a wedding in a post-pandemic world will require a sense of expectation and acceptance that compromise may be necessary. In moments of uncertainty, Plan B, C, or even Plan D will come in to save the day. Couples will be planning their Plan B well in advance, and our recommendation is that Plan B is just as wonderful as Plan A!

2. What is the best investment for couples planning a ‘21 and ‘22 wedding?

This is the easiest question with a very clear answer. Hire a wedding planner! The waters ahead are unchartered, and when planning a life event so grand, you will need the advice and wisdom of a professional that is experienced in handling tough situations with finesse. Couples have faced a grave amount of emotional stress, sleepless nights, and have been faced with incredibly hard decisions on postponement, cancelation, reduction of guest list, safety issues, on and on. A wedding planner will be your saving grace. This person will guide you through every decision, and most importantly, the wedding planner will reveal fantastic possibilities that you would’ve never known to be available for you. A wedding planner will be your guide! They will ensure a wonderful experience throughout the entire wedding planning process and will be the backbone to making your dreams a reality in the midst of a post-pandemic world!

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3. When should we secure our wedding venue?

Many couples have postponed their 2020 weddings and are now set with a new date in 2021 or 2022. We also have newly engaged couples coming to the scene eager to plan their weddings. This has resulted in a significant rise in wedding celebrations for the upcoming years. As previously mentioned, couples will be seeking to include an outdoor element. With a greater number of weddings and an increased interest for outdoor venues, these outdoor spaces will book up first. All of this to say, you should book your venue as soon as possible.However, we highly recommend hiring your wedding planner first, since they will be an invaluable asset in the venue selection. There are many aspects you will need to consider, and without the right guidance, the venue selection could easily become the most expensive mistake.

4. We’re concerned our guest will think our wedding is canceled. What is the best way to maintain communication with our guests? What about fashion - How do we encourage our guests to dress appropriately to compliment the design?

Ah, yes. I included two of the questions here. The answer to both questions is one and the same - communicate and communicate more! The more methods of consistent communication will solve these issues. Here is our recommendation for effective communication:

- Gain the guidance of someone that has experience in email automation. Your wedding planner or another vendor may be the perfect person for this job! Add all of your guests’ emails to your email automation system.

- Create a wedding website with all details - including fashion requirements.

- Schedule a fun engagement session, and use these photos to add to your wedding website and to your Save The Date.

- Share the Save The Date via mail and email.

- Update guests via an email list with occasional newsletters sharing joyful facts and exciting wedding developments.

- Send out official invitations. Your wedding planner will advise on the perfect timing for your invitations to be sent to guests.

- Send a newsletter the month of your wedding confirming all official details.

- Share updates often on your social media platforms to amp up the excitement and to remind guests that your wedding is being planned to perfection.Above all, you need to share clear expectations with your guest list, to keep them up-to-date and excited about the developing details, and to remind them that the wedding is still a go!

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5. What are some of the best practices for a COVID-safe wedding?

Many couples hope to encourage their loved ones to attend by guaranteeing that all safety measures will be taken for the event. Rapid testing is one way to bring a sense of peace for those attending. It’s so wonderful to know that everyone received a negative result. We recently documented an intimate wedding of 24 guests, and each guest took a rapid test as they entered the welcome dinner. These 24 people committed to remaining together as a group throughout the weekend to minimize exposure. This is one method to ensure safety and a relaxed environment. We’ve seen many other creative methods used such as offering guest colored bands to express one's preference for social distancing. A number of weddings have chosen a unique seating arrangement for guests that also revealed a stunning design. These times may be unprecedented, but with a little creativity, a wedding in today’s world can be uniquely yours and safe too!

6. When can we have a destination honeymoon?

This will depend greatly on your place of citizenship. Check in with officials to learn more about your limitations and opportunities for allowed travel. This information may change by the time you read this article. So do your part to stay up to date!If you are a US citizen, you can have your destination honeymoon now. Mexico is currently open for US citizens and has many exclusive resorts for couples looking for a destination honeymoon. It’s the perfect get-away to sunny skies, white beaches, and beautiful culture. For US citizens seeking more global opportunities, there are many elements that must come together. With the release of the vaccine, many experts are predicting that global travel will begin again in the fall of ‘21. Regardless of the outcome of your honeymoon, you can make up for lost time by traveling abroad for a future anniversary celebrating your marriage! This is a beautiful perspective and a journey worth pursuing for every anniversary!

There you have it - we’ve made it through all six questions. We’re full of hope and thrill as we look to the weddings ahead. We hope that by applying the expertise and tips shared here today, you will achieve the wedding weekend of your dreams. We’re wishing you all of the best in your wedding planning journey ahead! Take a deep breath, stay present, and enjoy the magic!

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Photography: Mon Soleil Weddings

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