Couples always have a specific vision for their wedding day and it’s the planner’s job to make those dreams a reality. While some brides and grooms want a strictly sophisticated affair that doesn’t include kids, others would like their guests to put down their cell phones for the ceremony so they are truly present for the vows (and don’t get in the professional photographer’s way). Let’s not forget that this year will bring additional guidelines such as COVID testing before the wedding, mask-wearing, and social distancing.
So how can planners and their couples encourage these types of event restrictions so there isn’t any drama on the big day? Here are some ideas to get you started.
Utilize the Wedding Website
Melissa Reinke of Sweet Blossom Weddings recommends that couples add this type of information to their websites and direct their guests to view it at any time. “My personal favorite website is Zola.com because they have an FAQ section where you can add questions that you would like to answer on your own such as ‘Are kids invited?’ ‘Can I invite my partner?’ and ‘What do I wear?’” she explains.
Make it Clear on Invites
Avoid any confusion about whether or not a couple can bring their children by making it clear on the wedding invitations. Jennifer Borgh of Borghinvilla Wedding Venue suggests writing “Adults Only” on the invitation, as well as addressing the invitation to the specific adults they are inviting. “’Plus 1,’ or ‘Number of guests’ can easily translate into a misunderstanding about bringing kids,” she says.
Give COVID Protocols in Advance
Many venues are requesting that all guests get COVID tested a few days before the event. If this is the case, it is a good idea to inform family and friends of this beforehand on the save the date and the wedding website. Couples can even provide a list of locations where guests can get a rapid test near the venue, notes Borgh.
Provide Personalized Masks
While couples can certainly ask guests to bring their own masks, some couples go further and have customized masks with their names and wedding date handed out before everyone is seated at the ceremony, says Borgh. This way, guests don’t have any excuses for not following the rules.
Offer Up Reminders
Greet guests with a sign asking them to please turn off their cell phones and cameras during the ceremony, as well as keep their masks on for the event. Look into a cute chalkboard sign or ask your invite designer if they can create one that matches your wedding colors and theme. The wedding program is also a good place to remind guests of any restrictions taking place during your ceremony and reception.
Make an Announcement
Ask your officiant or the emcee at the reception to make a friendly announcement reminding guests to turn off their phones for the ceremony and keep their masks on.
Lead by Example
As Skylar Caitlin of Chancey Charm Weddings points out, guests look to the couple and their families for guidance. If the couple and their parents are wearing their masks vigilantly, the guests are more likely to do so themselves. The same goes for you and your team, lead by example.
Hero photo courtesy of Chris J. Evans