Planning A Wedding In a Covid19 World: Part II

covid19 wedding

Written by Stephanie

June 26, 2020

The task of planning a wedding sure has changed over the last few months.   As we discussed in part one of this three-part series, weddings are no longer grand, festive events with all your friends and family in attendance.  Instead, they are small, intimate affairs with the couple, an officiant, and just a few friends and family members.  And couples are live-streaming their ceremonies and hosting virtual receptions to include guests who could not attend the wedding.  Eventually, the Covid19 crisis will pass and weddings will slowly return back to normal.  But until then, planning a wedding in a Covid19 world will be different than before.

Since you are planning a wedding in a covid19 world the questions that you should be asking your venue and vendors need to change.   In the past, couples typically met with venues and vendors and discussed the wedding packages, pricing, and policies.   Now you need to also ask about safety, sanitation, and social distancing practices.  Not sure what you should be asking your venue and vendors in light of Covid19?  Don’t stress!  I’m going to share with you some of the questions you will want to ask your venue and food and beverage vendors.  So that your wedding is in compliance with health and safety recommendations and you can keep yourself and your guests safe.

covid wedding

Questions For Your Venue

There are three categories of Covid19 related questions you will want to ask your venue.   The categories are contract-related questions, sanitization and social distancing related questions, and questions regarding outdoor spaces.

Contract-related Questions

A lot is still unknown about Covid19 and there is talk of a second wave hitting this fall and going into 2021.   These questions will make sure you are on the same page with the venue should you need to postpone your wedding due to Covid19.

  1.  What is your policy on postponement?
  2. Would there be fees associated with postponing the wedding?
  3. If we need to reschedule the wedding, do you offer reduced pricing for weekday weddings or off-peak seasons?
  4. If we are unable to postpone the wedding, what is your cancelation policy?
  5. Is the deposit refundable or transferable to a new date?
  6. If we do have to reschedule, is there a time limit in which we must reserve a new date?  (For instance, some venues require the new date to be within 12 months of the original date).
  7. If we need to postpone our wedding until next year, will you have available dates?
  8. If your venue is temporarily closed, what is the best way to contact you?
  9. Do you offer any “marry now, celebrate later” packages?
  10. Will we be able to live stream the wedding?  If so, will you facilitate the technology?
  11. What is your internet/wifi service like?

Sanitization and Social Distancing Related Questions

These questions will ensure your venue practices proper sanitization methods and has procedures in place to ensure safe social distancing for your wedding.

  1. Do you have a mask requirement for guests?  What about employees?
  2. What kind of cleaning and sanitizing will be done before our event?  What about during our event?
  3. Can we set up mobile hand-washing or hand-sanitizer stations?
  4. What safety measures do you have in place for staff?  (For example, are there health/temperature checks when they arrive for work)?
  5. How many guests can you accommodate with 6-foot social distancing in place?
  6. How far apart will the tables and chairs be spread out to keep our guests safely distanced?
  7. How many people will be permitted to sit at each table?
  8. What are some creative layouts or floor plan ideas for the ceremony and reception?
  9. How will you encourage safe social distancing during our cocktail hour, knowing there will likely be clusters of people?
  10. What kind of ventilation is available?  Can we leave doors and windows open?
  11. What is the traffic flow like for guests?  Is it possible to set up “one-way” doors for entrances and exits?

Questions Regarding Outdoor Spaces

These questions pertain to venues with outdoor spaces.  If your venue is indoor only, these questions will likely not apply.

  1.  Can our entire event be held outdoors?
  2.  How many guests can the outdoor space accommodate with 6-foot social distancing in place?
  3. Are there restrictions on amplified sound?
  4. Can we have a dance floor outdoors?
  5. What’s the plan for bad weather?  (Usually, the wedding would move indoors in case of bad weather, so how would it work with regards to social distancing?
  6. Is it possible to set up a tent?
  7. Does the venue provide heaters and/or umbrellas for the outdoor space?
  8. What restroom access will we have?  How will the restrooms be kept clean?
  9. Will we need to rent additional portable restrooms?

covid wedding

Questions For Your Food & Beverage Team

In some cases, your venue is also providing the food and beverage service.  If that is the case, be sure to add the next group of questions to the list of questions you will be asking your venue.  Otherwise, you will want to address these questions with your catering and bartending team.

  1.  What safety measures do you have in place for staff?  (For example, are there health/temperature checks when they arrive for work)?
  2. How will the food be served and/or presented?
  3. What additional measures are being taken in the kitchen to ensure food safety?  What are the sanitation practices for the service staff?
  4. Can we still have a buffet or food stations?  If so, what modifications will be available?  (For instance, plexiglass over the food, disposable serving pieces, etc.)
  5. Are you still offering on-site tastings to help us select our menu?  Or is there an option to pick up some tasting samples?
  6. What kind of bartending service will you provide?  Is table-side bar service an option?
  7. How do we avoid clustering at the bar?

I hope you found these questions to be useful in the process of planning a wedding in a covid19 world.   Next week on the blog we will continue this discussion.  However, we will shift the focus a bit.  We will be talking about what to do in the event you do have to postpone your wedding, or dramatically downsize your guest list, due to Covid19.     Be sure to check back next week so you don’t miss the post!

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