Celebrating Weddings Safely and Responsibly During COVID-19

Celebrating Weddings Safely

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the world works in 2020. Businesses have closed (some for good). Many schools have gone virtual. Social distancing is still the norm in many states, and mask mandates are still in place in most of the country. Moreover, there are specific industries that have taken a hit due to the pandemic, including the wedding industry. 

Celebrating Weddings Safely and Responsibly During COVID-19

In the U.S. alone, the wedding industry is valued at $55 billion. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of couples have chosen to postpone their weddings this year. Others have canceled completely without a rescheduled date, and some have even tried to make alternative arrangements in order for everyone to stay safe. 

While the wedding industry may be suffering financially in 2020, if you were planning to get married this year, you’re undoubtedly going through a lot, too. So, can weddings be safe and responsible during a pandemic? What can you do if you’re supposed to be getting married sometime soon? 

Going Through the Grieving Process

Most people think of the grieving process as something that happens when you lose a loved one. But, it is actually something you can go through due to any type of loss. That includes the loss of plans. 

Weddings may take months to plan, from the vendors you’ll choose to the people you invite. If you’ve had to postpone your wedding or make different plans, it’s okay to grieve the loss of what was supposed to happen. The typical stages of grief include: 

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

You may be trying to hold things together, but pay close attention to signs of depression and anxiety within your relationship, including: 

  • A lack of communication
  • Low sex drive
  • Wanting to be isolated
  • Easily irritated

Remember that your partner is experiencing the same kind of loss as you. This is a good time to be there for each other and offer your support. It’s also okay to think about the things you had to deal with in order to plan your wedding. 

Maybe you spent months trying to get yourself in good physical shape to look and feel your best. You may have even invested in cosmetic fixes, like braces for straighter teeth and a beautiful smile. 

Or, maybe you have a chronic health condition that is getting more difficult to manage. The stress from all of this will only make those problems worse. Learning to manage it through the grieving process can help you move forward and make new plans. 

Talking to Your Vendors

One way to alleviate some of your stress is to talk to your vendors as soon as possible. Remember, everyone is going through the same uncertainties and struggles right now. By being upfront with your vendors, you’re more likely to get them to work with you and either offer a refund or some type of alternative arrangement. But, vendors have been hit hard this year as well, since so many events have been canceled. 

If you’re nervous about discussing your postponed wedding plans with your vendors, keep some of the following tips in mind: 

  • Tell them your (new) budget and ask if they are willing to work with you to stick with it
  • Do your research on different vendors and bring up competition
  • Read your contract(s) several times to check for any loopholes out of them
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for your money back

While your vendors need to pay their bills, too, they may be more likely to work with you and offer a discount if you assure them they will still be hired. One of the best ways to do that is to postpone your wedding, rather than cancel it. If you can build a relationship with your vendors, they will probably go easy on you (and your pocketbook). 

Be enthusiastic in your approach, maintain a positive attitude, and always be as polite as possible. They are undoubtedly dealing with brides and grooms that are less than pleasant during this stressful season of life. 

How to Adjust Your Wedding Plans

Postponing is the best way to still have the wedding of your dreams, even if it’s on a different day. By postponing for a year, not only will you help to ensure everyone’s safety, but you can also set your date for one of the most popular months to get married: September or October. 

If you don’t want to postpone your wedding, you still have several options for your special day. Some people are “ignoring” safety guidelines and going along with large ceremonies and receptions. Some are taking a few precautionary steps for these larger events, like encouraging mask-wearing and social distancing when possible. 

But, if you truly want to keep your friends and family safe while having your wedding now, a different approach may be necessary. According to the CDC, more than 90% of Americans are still susceptible to the virus. 

Many people invite grandparents and older individuals to weddings, and they have been shown to be even more susceptible. They may also have a harder time fighting off some of the more serious symptoms. The last thing you want is for your wedding to become a hot spot for spreading the virus.

So, take a creative stance and follow some of the “trends” others who have recently gotten married have tried. Some have chosen a civil arrangement now, and have plans to hold a reception later. Some couples have even gotten married with their family in attendance over Zoom. Other ideas for safe, unique, COVID-friendly weddings include: 

  • A drive-in ceremony
  • An outdoor, tailgate-style wedding
  • Catering delivered to each guest’s home at a ‘virtual wedding’ 
  • Backyard wedding with immediate family only

There is no reason that your wedding still can’t be the most exciting day of your life. So many plans have had to change due to this pandemic. So, what better time to spread the love, show the people you care about that you want them to be safe, and find different ways of celebrating whether that’s now or in the future? Take time for yourself, lean on your partner for support, and take comfort in knowing this pandemic won’t last forever. 

Spread the love

Article Author Details

Charlie Fletcher

Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer living in the pacific northwest who has a variety of interests including sociology, politics, business, education, health, and more.