2020 was a whirlwind of a year! And in 2021, we are still planning weddings with local Covid-19 restrictions in mind. I know many couples are planning Covid safe weddings in New Jersey and NYC might have questions on wedding planning right now, so I wanted to share my biggest tips and advice for planning a wedding in this uncertain time!
Couples looking to have their wedding in 2021 will have limited options and weekends available since so many weddings have had to move their dates from 2020 to 2021. We suggest to our couples to consider Thursday evening weddings, or any other weekday, since that will have more availability. If you are a couple looking for a wedding without restrictions, look at dates in 2022 and 2023.
There are still some restrictions for weddings as of May 2021 to be Covid safe. Consider keeping a list of guests who attended for potential future contract tracing needs. Below are the current rules to follow and keep in mind:
– Indoor wedding ceremonies that involve a religious service are limited to 50 percent of the capacity of the room.
– Indoor wedding ceremonies that DO NOT involve a religious ceremony are limited to 35 percent of the capacity of the room, but no more than 150 people.
– For indoor wedding receptions, they are limited to 35% of the capacity of the room, but no more than 150 people (not including venue staff).
– For outdoor weddings there is no limit on attendance as long as proper guidelines are followed.
– Tables must be spaced 6 feet apart.
– Face coverings must be worn indoors. When seated at table, face coverings shall be worn until food or drinks arrive. Food and drink can only be ordered from the table. And only wait staff can bring food or drink to seated guests. Guests can only eat at their table.
– Face coverings not required for those with a medical condition or for those under the age of 2.
– No dance floors.
– Hand sanitizer should be available for guests.
– Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so guests do not share a towel.
– Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when feasible.
Similar to New Jersey, there are still some restrictions in place.
– Venues are restricted to 50% capacity, with no more than 150 attendees per event
– All attendees must have proof of recent negative test results or proof of immunization prior to the event.
– Sign-in with contact information required to assist with potential contact tracing.
– Venues must notify local health departments of large events, above the social gathering limit, in advance.
– Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking.
– Ceremonial and socially distanced dancing allowed in designated areas.
At Simone Vega Events, our team works closely with the client to give them detailed information and keep them up to date on what the rules and regulations are. All vendors must be aware of the rules and regulations of the venue and the state/local governments. Since most venues are socially distancing guests during ceremonies and receptions, we are working with our Full Planning couples to create a floor plan that works. For our Day of Management clients, we work with the venue’s floor plan and make adjustments if needed along with the client. Many couples are getting creative by including sanitizer as a favor at guest tables or signature sanitizing wipes.
In order to keep your guest count down and within limits, some couples choose to have a virtual wedding for guests who can’t attend. Of course, this has some things to keep in mind in order to make it a smooth process! Ensure that your technology is up to date and choose which platform you will use to go virtual. You can use a common platform like Zoom, or opt for an online service that does it for you. Don’t forget to test it all out before the wedding day!
Before the wedding, send out a link to all of those who will be in attendance and give them the proper start time. It’s best if you have the zoom start time begin about 10 minutes before the ceremony so that people have time to come into the virtual room. Use e-vite or an email to send out your invitation. Add a contact person on this invite just in case a guest needs to contact someone on the event day if they cannot get into the link.
Make sure you designate someone onside to let people into the room and handle whatever platform it is you are using. Even though not all of your guests will be there, you can still get dolled up, stick with your hair and makeup plan, and treat it like the original big day you had planned!
Remember to send out thank you cards or a virtual thank you at least 3-6 weeks after the event. Some couples are even getting creative to make guests feel like they are there! They send wedding boxes to the guests with fun items like toasting flutes, a ceremony program, and a favor treat so they can really feel a part of the wedding day!
If you are considering moving forward with your wedding plans keep your guests safety in mind. There are rules and regulations that must be followed by each venue and local government. Hire a planner to help you navigate these regulations and work closely with your venue to ensure your wedding is a success! Things might change in 2022 and restrictions might be a bit less. But you will still need a wedding planner on your side to work out the details. At Simone Vega Events, we are experts at planning the perfect wedding, even when there are unseen circumstances. We work in creating a specialized event, with seamless execution for couples too busy or overwhelmed to plan it themselves. Reach out today, so we can help you plan your beautiful wedding day!
Wedding Photography by Quintessence Photography & Film