Thinking about tying the knot this year? So are many other couples who delayed their weddings in 2020 because of the pandemic.
You probably have a lot of questions about how coronavirus will impact your wedding in 2021, and what you can do to get ready for your big day.
In this guide, we will talk about what you need to know as of the time of this writing regarding COVID-19, wedding safety, and wedding planning.
What Impact Will COVID-19 Have On Your 2021 Wedding?
With vaccines rolling out for COVID-19, some pandemic restrictions are being lifted, making this a good year to go ahead with your wedding plans.
But COVID-19 will still impact your wedding in a few ways:
- Venues and vendors offering wedding services will be extra busy with bookings that were delayed from the year before.
- Not everyone is getting vaccinated, so there will still be plenty of people who could get sick at a public event.
- The risk for COVID-19 will not drop to zero for anyone.
The CDC has printed some guidelines for what you can do after you get vaccinated:
- You do not need to wear a mask or stay 6 feet away from other people in most environments. Exceptions are "where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance."
- No testing is necessary for domestic travel in the US, nor is any post-travel quarantining. But masks are still necessary on public transit vehicles like planes.
- Requirements may differ for international destinations.
So, that also tells you what your vaccinated wedding guests are able to do. Keep in mind that your unvaccinated guests should still be subject to greater restrictions.
Wedding Prep Tips for 2021
Now that we have provided some context, let’s go over some recommendations for successful wedding planning in 2021.
1. Start planning early, and take advantage of virtual planning tools.
First of all, the sooner you can start prepping for your wedding, the better—you will want to book dates as early as possible and start scheduling with caterers, entertainers, and others who will be participating in the ceremony and reception. Remember, a lot of other couples are going to be trying to schedule their weddings this year.
The good news, you can still take virtual tours of venues and take advantage of other online tools, making it faster, easier, and more convenient to plan your wedding than it would have been in the past.
2. Consider how densely packed you want your guests to be.
Think carefully about how many guests you want to invite. If you always planned a big wedding, you might want to scale back because of the pandemic so that your guests can have more space. Fewer households at your event will also lower overall exposure risk.
3. Do you want your guests to have to travel?
A lot of people still are not going to feel comfortable being packed in with strangers on a bus or airplane even after being vaccinated.
So, think about the travel needs of your guests when you are putting your list together and are evaluating possible locations for the wedding. This might not be the best time for a destination wedding. Consider going with a spot that will be local to most of your guests.
4. Consider implementing on-site testing for guests.
Strongly encourage your wedding guests to get vaccinated. Make sure you know who will and will not be vaccinated so you can plan seating to minimize risk for all parties.
Depending on where you plan to hold your wedding and the size of your event, you may or may not need to register negative COVID-19 tests for the guests who will be attending.
You can even ask your venue if it is possible to conduct on-site testing. Otherwise, you will need to ask your guests to get tested in advance and bring documentation with them.
5. Minimize risk with an outdoor venue.
One of the best ways you can protect your guests this year is to hold your wedding and your reception outdoors. This was a trend that started in 2020, and we can expect it to continue for some time to come.
Outdoors, there is ample air circulation and more room for attendees to spread out. Any guests you will have who have not been vaccinated will need to continue to observe the 6 foot social distancing rule. So, you are going to need that extra space.
What you can do is set up a large canopy tent, or several. They can shelter your guests from the sun or light rain, and you can even attach sidewalls to keep out the wind. There are often windows so that you can keep enjoying the picturesque scenery even if you need that extra protection against the elements.
Artfully decorated, a canopy tent can fit in well with the theme of your wedding. Best of all, you can set one up just about anywhere, which might broaden your selection of possible outdoor venues. That might be a big help if a lot of locations are already booked for the dates you want.
6. Encourage your guests to mask up.
Last but not least, you may want to encourage your guests to wear masks to your wedding, even if they are vaccinated. A person who is vaccinated can still pass the virus to others if they have been exposed. So, wearing masks remains a wise precaution even in 2021.
Plan and Purchase Supplies Early to Make Your 2021 Wedding a Success
That wraps up our list of recommendations for planning your wedding in 2021. The COVID-19 vaccines mean that you can move forward with your plans, but there are still important safety considerations. So, give yourself extra time to plan your wedding, get an early start, and consider holding your event outdoors with canopy tents to protect yourselves and your guests.