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Focusing on family has never been so true than during this interesting time in our world. For many future brides and grooms, they’ve been imagining their wedding moment for years, and now there are new standards to consider so we keep grandma safe. 

As venues start to open up, here are a few key things to consider when planning your small, intimate wedding. We’ll need to get creative so everyone can remember one of your happiest moments and enjoy their time together at a safe distance.

Work With Your Venue Partner

When you’re choosing your venue, start by understanding what the regulations are from the CDC. Regulations are different state to state and by venue. The CDC guidelines have provided supplementary policies to ensure the safety of patrons. According to the guidelines, the second lowest level of risk for gatherings is as follows: 

“Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear cloth face coverings, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).” 

If your venue can accommodate this best practice for social distancing, this is a great start. 

While this is only one part of the guidelines, it’s extremely important that your venue coordinator is talking with you about how they are currently addressing hygiene and sanitation before and during the ceremony and reception. Also, consider venues that are offering outdoor wedding venues and tent coverings to accommodate social distancing. Here are  recommendations for gatherings and a link to how restaurants and bars are handling re-opening so you are well prepared for your conversation.

Decide Who Attends In-Person and Who Attends Virtually

It goes without saying, but most people will be forgiving if they didn’t make your in-person attendance list. However, here are a few tips to reduce people’s disappointments and get them excited about being part of your day, in-person or virtually.

  • Once you know the maximum capacity of your venue, make a list of your must-haves. Reach out to those people individually and ask them if they’re comfortable with the size whether that’s 10 or 30 people, maybe more. Depending on their response, you may be able to move a couple up to the in-person list.
  • Create a virtual option with your videographer. By now, graduates have gone through virtual ceremonies, car parade drive-bys, and other creative ways to engage families to celebrate these moments. If you’re not hiring a videographer, talk with your venue coordinator to see if they have a way to deliver your ceremony either live or recorded.
  • Create a communication plan to your entire list letting people know your plans and the tough decisions you and your future husband or wife are making to include as many people as possible on this special day. This can range from an announcement with a printed letter or a letter on your wedding website. Here are a couple template messages from Zola to help you craft an authentic message to friends and family.

Sit-Down Dining Versus a Simple Cocktail Reception

This choice is personal for every couple and should also consider who you are inviting. The best option for sit down dining is to ensure tables are spaced at least 6 feet apart and should include people from the same household. Some of your friends might have “quaranteams”, and you’ll want to inquire about that before creating the seating arrangements. 

If your venue can accommodate a sit down dining experience, be sure to work with your venue coordinator to ask how the food will be served and how the staff will ensure safety of your guests. Within these restrictions, remember this is still your day and you should still ask for the experience that will make you happy for your day. 

If you’re not comfortable with the presentation or options for dining, consider having a simple cocktail reception with spaced tables instead. You can always enjoy an even more intimate dinner celebration at a separate location or work with your venue to create the experience you’re looking for. 

Let Windows on the Water Help You Plan a Small Wedding in Central Jersey!

It’s easy to get frustrated over a pandemic that has compromised your once in a lifetime wedding moment. It’s best to plan and understand that everyone knows what you’re feeling. And there’s something wonderful on the horizon – you’re about to marry an amazing life partner! Keep calm as you’re figuring out your plans, and reach out to the experts who can help guide you along the way.

Do you need assistance planning an outdoor tent wedding and want help with social distancing protocol? At Windows on the Water, our outdoor wedding venue is perfect for a luxurious and intimate wedding, while ensuring that you and your guests are at ease during these uncertain times. Contact us today at (609) 208-9475 to talk with our expert wedding and event staff to create the most memorable wedding experience.