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Everyone wants their wedding day to go off without a hitch. In a perfect world, it would. All guests would show up on time, no surprise plus ones, and that family member who wears cargo shorts every day would wear pants.

Whether you think guests will follow the rules or not, you’ll likely want guidelines in place for guests to follow. Setting guidelines for guests in the age of COVID-19 is even more critical. Here are a few polite yet straightforward ways you can enforce guidelines for the guests at your outdoor tent wedding.

Promote Timeliness

No matter how early you tell your guests to arrive, there will always be those few who come late. This may be fine for a party, but not for a wedding. Late guests risk interrupting the ceremony or missing it altogether. However, there’s an easy fix to ensure all your guests arrive on time. If your ceremony starts at 5 p.m., put 4:30 p.m. on the invitation. Putting an earlier start time gives perpetually late people a nice window, and only you will be the wiser.

Stick to the Guest List

At any wedding, there’s a risk of a guest bringing a plus one after they RSVPed for just themself. Or worse, their plus one is a person you intentionally didn’t invite. To alleviate this potential issue, specify how many seats will be saved for them on the RSVP card.

Communicate Guidelines Ahead of Time

Since wedding invitations are delivered to all guests, they are a great way to start introducing guidelines. For example, if you have a specific dress code, specify it on the invitation. It’s not uncommon for brides and grooms to want their guests to dress based on the venue’s location. If you think your request is a little over the top, try writing it on a nice stationary card. Putting a specific request on a nicely designed card can soften the blow.

Passively Promote Guidelines

Introduce day-of rules passively through stationery pieces and signage, which can also act as decorations. If you’re using a program, you can write down specific rules, so there’s no confusion. While some guests still may not follow these guidelines, your wedding planner can confront them.

COVID-19 Guidelines and Weddings

Due to social distancing and orders limiting how many people you can have at a gathering, many weddings have been postponed or transformed into mini-weddings. However, if you’re still having a wedding during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to have guests follow guidelines. Here are a few ways to keep everyone safe during your outdoor wedding.

Smaller Is Better

When you started planning your tent wedding, a pandemic may not have been in the “possible problem” category. However, it’s a reality we’re still facing. This means you’ll have to cut the guest list or rescind invitations. If you have to rescind invitations, personally call guests. Explain to them that it’s not personal, and once it’s possible, you plan to have a big reception to celebrate.

Enforce Face Coverings and Social Distancing

All guests should be wearing proper face coverings during the ceremony and reception, except when actively eating or drinking. This means masks must stay on at all times, even in photos. Additionally, you’ll want to spread out seating arrangements. You should maintain at least six feet of space between parties.

If guests are unwilling to cooperate with guidelines that will keep you, them, and all guests safe, politely ask them to stay home or leave the venue. The last thing you want is for everyone at the ceremony to become sick.

Plan Your Wedding With Windows on the Water

Walk down the aisle on the water’s edge with an intimate Central New Jersey outdoor tent wedding at our 86-acre venue. Windows on the Water offers the most exceptional and accommodating lakeside tent venue in Millstone, New Jersey. Planning your wedding at our award-winning outdoor venue has never been easier. Our wedding planners will help to make the day of your dreams a reality.

Call (609) 208-9475 or complete our contact form to receive our Windows Wedding Packet, which contains menus, pricing, photos, and additional services that are available. We’re eager to help make your dream tent wedding come true.