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I’m sending out a big virtual hug as we navigate challenging and unpredictable times ahead. The wedding industry, like others,  has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and I am sending so much love to all engaged couples. We are here for you!

Many of the suggested CDC coronavirus “social distancing” precautions run counter to the very idea of weddings, which involve large groups of people, some of them elderly, gathering in tightly enclosed spaces who hug and dance with one another while eating food from shared trays and communal platters.

The most important thing that everybody can commit to right now is locking down to stay healthy, with the mindset of keeping their wedding dates in the summer and fall. The best thing you can do is stay home, read, and relax. 

We need to do our best to approach this with a level head. A wedding is a high-stress, emotional process anyway—throw all this into the middle of it, and everything is going to spin twice as fast. Find a moment in your day to stop and reboot.  This is the time to be as realistic and grace filled as humanly possible.

And as you prioritize health, wellness, and self-care, don’t sit idly. Use this time at home to plan ahead. We’re all going to get busy at the same time once the season picks up. Take some time together and prepare. Here are some things you can work on right now:

Talk through your wedding day timelines

Create a wedding day timeline, list all the activities that are going to take place on your day. Your list should include every single detail – no matter how small: wake up, eating breakfast, getting ready, wedding crew getting ready, couple photography, cocktail hour, first dance, toasts and include the duration, too.

Select your ceremony & reception music (which is so much harder than you think)

We see it far too often, couples who put off making music choices.  Some couples put it off because they feel it’s a quick “to do” list and others because they don’t have a song and they are feeling stuck.  You will need more specific wedding selections than just your first dance. Take this time to talk through all the music you will need from your ceremony to the very end of your reception.  

Decide how many people are giving speeches or toasts at your reception

If they’re done well, speeches can be one of the most memorable and cherished parts of the reception, so make sure to carve out time for them when you’re arranging the reception timeline. Successful wedding toasts are all about proper planning. While impromptu speeches can be sweet, you don’t want to keep your guests waiting too long for dinner, so leave the open mic to your rehearsal dinner.  We always recommend designating exactly who you want to speak at your reception and give them a time range for their speech. The key speakers are your parents, the maid of honor, the best man, and the two of you. 

Walk through your guest experience from start to finish

I find couples are thinking about guest experience just as much as their own. They want their event to leave a lasting impression. To put it simply- they want to throw a good party. So, start thinking of ways your guests can have a stellar time from start to finish.  Here are some key areas to consider without breaking the budget.

  • Providing clear communication. Clear communication keeps your event flowing smoothly and allows guests to enjoy the party without wondering where they should go next or what they’re supposed to do.
  • Take the time to review your catering and bar contracts and consider adding extra staff.  Give your guests the gift of short lines, quick service, and clean tables. It is 100% worth it!
  • Pick out a fun little extra.  This is a great way for you and your partner to add a personal touch that shows off your personalities while also giving guests a one-of-a-kind memory. 

Review design and décor

Now while you have a bit of “design” time, do some more brainstorming, exploring and playing with different styles and plans for those DIY projects.  Now while you are without all the limitations and time pressures to decide, get it completed – unlike when you get closer to your wedding date. 

Schedule those phone calls (ie video calls)

With the social distancing protocol required, you can still get lots of planning accomplished with your wedding party or your wedding vendors via some great video chatting apps like Google Hangouts, Skype or Zoom. You can bring people together via video chat to make sure everyone is on the same page the wedding day.

Having all of those time-intensive conversations will help you be ahead of the game so when life settles down and returns to normal…which it will, you’ll be set. Right now, wedding vendors are available to give you tons of support and guide you through this process.

Distinctly Yours Wedding & Events