It's no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench into many couples' wedding plans. Navigating the uncharted territory of planning a wedding this year is a daunting task, but our team of experts at Mazzone Hospitality are here to help!
Slimming down your guest list doesn't mean sacrificing your dream wedding. Choosing to have a small wedding with your closest friends and family allows you to have a more intimate event with even greater attention to detail. Inviting fewer guests can mean having the budget to indulge in add-ons such as gourmet eats, a top-shelf open bar, and an extravagant cake. Letting these features shine on your special day will make the affair even more unforgettable for you and your guests. Down the line, you can throw a big anniversary bash to celebrate with those who won't be attending this smaller event.
When planning with your venue, discuss ways to utilize your location to keep guests spaced out. If your wedding location has the capacity to have an outdoor ceremony, we highly recommend considering this option. It allows for fresh air flow while letting you get creative with a physically distanced seating arrangement. An outdoor ceremony gives you a blank canvas, and the opportunities to transform the space are endless.
Remember to be thoughtful when preparing your seating chart for the big day. Avoid seating strangers and people of different age groups together. When it comes to the reception seating, consider smaller, spread out tables instead of large table options.
The top priority when having a wedding in the age of COVID-19 is taking every precaution to ensure guests stay safe. We suggest planning to place sanitizing stations throughout your event space so that guests will have easy access to supplies. Our team also loves the alternative of adding some practical mementos, such as personalized masks or mini hand sanitizers, into your guests' favor bags!
It's also helpful to display signage throughout the venue reminding your guests to maintain a safe distance from others.
Splendid Moment Sign, Etsy
Opt for plated food services
Passed hors d'oeuvres and buffets may not be viable at this time, but fear not! Couples will not have to sacrifice taste and quality for safety at their wedding. Smaller weddings allow you to design more creative, thoughtful menus that are customized to your guest list. One option is to offer guests pre-prepared appetizer plates and single-serve drinks during cocktail hour. This gives guests a delicious cocktail hour experience while decreasing the number of individuals who come in contact with food and beverages.
For the reception, you can opt for an elegant plated food service. Having a smaller guest list can allow for more courses with higher quality ingredients, adding to the dining experience of your wedding. If you had your heart set on food stations, think about incorporating one late-night station where catering attendants plate the food for guests.
Photo by Tracey Buyce Wedding Photography
Avoid high-traffic areas
Get clever when it comes to potential high-traffic areas of the wedding. When guests arrive, have seating charts and itineraries in multiple locations to prevent guests from crowding. Instead of everyone gathering around a single guestbook at the reception, seek out creative alternatives. One option would be to prepare each place setting with a "wedding wishes'' card and a pen. These cards could be collected and then framed later down the road. You could also choose to have a virtual guestbook where friends and family upload photos and write messages to the newlyweds online. Later, you could print out a physical photo guestbook as a keepsake.
Invest in a videographer/photographer
With restrictions on travel and event attendance, capturing high quality photos and videos to share with those who can't attend is more important than ever. Research photographers and videographers in your area and plan how they can accommodate your physically distanced wedding, while simultaneously getting beautiful shots. Our team at Mazzone Hospitality has created a directory featuring some of our favorite local photographers and videographers as a guide.
Photo by Tracey Buyce Wedding Photography
These are just a few of the many ways you can make your physically distanced wedding feel special while simultaneously staying safe. Remember not to let changes to your wedding plans prevent you from enjoying this wonderful occasion. When it comes down to it, a wedding is about celebrating love and the new chapter you and your partner are embarking on!