August 31, 2020 2 min read

Weddings were already an obstacle to plan before the pandemic, but now brides wonder if they can host their ceremonies at all.

Before you cancel or reschedule your big day, check out this checklist for a socially distanced wedding that will still be a dreamy celebration of your marriage.

1. Reduce Your Guest List

After you decide on a venue, check the state limits for gathering sizes. Keep in mind that the final tally of your attendants will include your vendors and coordinator.

2. Require Face Masks

Face masks protect everyone even when they distance themselves. Provide them for your guests and display them by the front door so everyone grabs one as they enter the venue.

3. Book an Outdoor Venue

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that COVID-19 spreads more easily indoors where there's less ventilation, so book an outdoor venue to decrease the risk of spreading the virus.

4. Measure Seating Arrangements

bride & groom with masks

Use a tape measure to ensure that every ceremony seat is 6 feet apart.

5. Avoid Self-Serve Food and Refreshments

As you read resources for more security guidance, remember culinary safety too. Your guests should avoid sharing food and drinks at self-serve stations, so meet with your caterers to ensure they serve everyone individually.

6. Enjoy an Outdoor Reception

Dancing and chatting during cocktail hour increases the risk of gathering too closely together. An outdoor reception will keep people from potentially catching COVID-19 due to poor indoor ventilation.

7. Set up Streaming Equipment

Many brides decide to stream their ceremony and reception so guests who couldn't attend can still watch you say your vows, cut the cake and have your first dance.

8. Plan to Leave Early

Weddings that last well into the night prolong the gathering, making it more likely that the virus could spread. Plan to leave earlier than you would have before the pandemic, so everyone minimizes their exposure.

Talk With Your Vendors

This checklist for a socially distanced wedding will make your planning process more straightforward, but many of your decisions will depend on your location and vendors. Talk with people like your venue coordinator and caterer to discuss how they can make your special day safer and more enjoyable without compromising your wedding vision.