Planning your Wedding during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Are you debating on whether or not you should postpone your 2020 wedding? First of all, I just want to say I am so sorry you are facing this difficult decision. We could never have imagined the 2020 wedding season becoming what it has. We, your vendors, have been dreaming about your wedding day with you and our hearts are breaking alongside yours. Sometimes it is hardest to sit in the indecision. The unknown may actually cause more stress on you and your relationship than moving forward with changes or rescheduling.

It is important to know that none of us can predict the future, but our goal is to ease you through this difficult time.
Before we can get into helping guide you thru your decision lets go over the facts.

CURRENT HEALTH & LEGAL GUIDELINES (updated as of Friday, May 1st, 2020)

When you look back on your wedding day in the future, what do you want to remember the most? What are your biggest priorities?

How important is the number of guests you will have at your wedding?
Your wedding day can be just as special, whether you have 20 guests or 200 guests. It simply may look different than what you originally planned. If having a large party with everyone is most important to you, then you may need to consider rescheduling until January 2021 or later. While things will remain up in the air and we don’t have exact numbers, the sad truth is that we are more than likely looking at the potential for periodic, if not continuous, limitations on gatherings for the rest of 2020.

“Your love is worth celebrating, whether that means ten people are with you or 300. Whether that means you have massive flowers and gorgeous linens or you just have wildflowers. At the end of the aisle is the person you love. That person is the reason for this day. The flowers will die, the linens will go out of style, but that person will stand by your side forever. That’s worth celebrating no matter what that celebration looks like.”
-Bri, Diamonds & Do’s

Small Weddings do not equal a less important day. If a large reception isn’t your highest priority, that is completely fine and you are much more likely to be able to move forward with your 2020 date with little upheaval. Consider the positive aspects of having a more intimate event. You won’t be spending the day trying to find 5 minutes with each guest. Instead, you can fill each moment with intention, as you surround yourself with those that are of the utmost importance to you and your spouse.

“How I help my couples adjust to smaller gatherings is to creatively find ways to deepen the connections with the people who are present. This could look like seating everyone at one table and doing a family style meal with 5 courses to extend the dinner and conversation. We can also work with a videographer and digital team to set up a live-stream video for the ceremony, toasts, and special dances. It’s up to the couple and their personalities too! Maybe we could have guests virtually attending send in short video clips of themselves congratulating the couple that we could play at the reception. Or we could have the couple lead the physically and virtually present guests in a dance through a live stream that we record. Knowing what is meaningful to the couple informs how we’d approach the details to ensure it’s a memorable and fun wedding! From there we’ll work with your team of pros to see what we can make possible to keep your day special.”
-Celia, Unions with Celia

“If a wedding went from a buffet to 250, but now is restricted to 50 people or less, my suggestion would be to switch to plated and served. Serve a higher end meal, pamper the guests with a high level of service, use china instead of disposable, drinks at the table etc.”
-Patty, Simply Delicious Catering & The Diamond Room

Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Destination Wedding by Missouri Wedding Photographer Jessica Yahn

Special Guests. If there are special people, such as grandparents, that will not be able to attend your wedding due to health or travel restrictions there are a few options to still include them on your special day.

  • Live streaming. Whether you hire a professional live streaming service or use something as simple as a private Facebook group or event, streaming your ceremony and/or key parts of your reception will help include those people that cannot be in attendance, but still would like to celebrate with you.
  • Videography. If you have not already hired a videographer, I highly recommend investing in one. Videographers, such as Austin with Acelegendary, are skilled at capturing the important moments of your day thru sound and movement.

Things to Consider

Supplies. Currently, the supply chain for many things, such as food and florals is being affected. Many things are out of stock. You may need to speak with your caterer and florist for backup options for your menu and bouquets.
Seating. Other than a limitation on guests, to comply with social distancing requirements, venues may be required to put fewer people at a table, and spread chairs/tables further apart.
Buffet vs Plated. Buffet meals will need to have more restrictive health guidelines and safety protocols. If possible, consider switching to a plated/served meal.
Maximum Capacity.
Remember that your vendors have to be included when counting your maximum number of guests/attendees. If there is a 50 person limit for your wedding, you will need to subtract your photographer(s), catering staff, DJ, etc to figure out how many people are allowed to attend.
Dance Floors. Currently, we are required to maintain social distancing at all times, including on the dance floor.
Invitations. Typically invitations are sent out 8-12 weeks in advance depending on how many people are traveling in for your wedding. Consider also having a wedding website to list on your invitations to check for updates on change of dates so you do not have to possibly purchase invitations twice.
Guestbook. If you are having a guestbook, consider purchasing disposable pens, or maybe having customized pens as a wedding favor so that you are not asking guests to all touch one pen.
Send-Offs. If you are planning a bubble send-off during your event, you will need to research a replacement option. Due to the airborne nature of the virus, these cannot be done safely for you, your guests, and vendors.
Photography. This is one of the hardest for myself obviously. At this time we are not allowed to ask for, or to photograph groups of people that do not live together unless they can be separated by at least 6ft.


Postponing Your Wedding

If you choose to or are required to postpone your wedding, here are some steps to follow:

  1. Review Your Contracts. I know. This isn’t fun, but it is a good idea to remind yourselves of what is in your contract prior to contacting everyone. There may be information in your contract about rescheduling that you will need to know when you’re going through the process.
  2. Contact Your Venue and/or Wedding Planner to get a list of available dates. Be prepared that some venues may not have weekend dates available during popular wedding months. Consider a weekday wedding if you want to get married during a popular month. It will give you more flexibility if you are willing to consider the option of a weekday wedding. Why not consider have a Thursday wedding? Guests may like the idea of taking a day or two off from work and possibly having a long weekend. If you want a weekend wedding you may need to consider getting married in the off-season (December through February/March) when venues might have more weekend options available.
  3. Contact Your Photographer/Videographer and any vendor that does not have a team. These vendors more than likely only take one event per day, just like your venue, so out of all of your vendors, they are most likely to need multiple date options to ensure they are available.
  4. Email ALL of your vendors in one email. Instead of sending each company an email individually, CC all vendors on one email letting them know that you need to reschedule and provide the dates you have narrowed it down to. Ask them to “reply all” to create a conversation & you can work on finding a date that all of your vendors are available. Remember, you chose these vendors for a reason so you’ll want to do your best to ensure they are all available for any new wedding date you choose.

    “I recommend making that decision 8 – 12 weeks prior to their wedding date. Now is the time to discuss the different scenario’s with your families & wedding planner to determine what you are most comfortable with. Prior to selecting a new date, be sure to communicate with ALL of your wedding professionals to select a date that all or most have available. Canceling a vendor is a lot different than rescheduling – we definitely want to aim to reschedule and keep the same vendor lineup.”
    -Misty, Misty Willinger Events

    P.S. If you do not have a wedding planner, now might be a really good time to consider hiring one, even just for the short term. They are skilled at working with all of your vendors and getting everybody on the same page and rescheduled. Here are some amazing event planners & coordinators in the Southwest Missouri area who we are currently working with or have worked with previously:


“Stay strong in the fact that you are there to marry the love of your life, your best friend, the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Stay focused on what you can control, and let everything else be. Be at peace that you have selected the best people to handle this unusual situation.”
– Patty W., Simply Delicious Catering & The Diamond Room

“I think it’s so very important to know that despite the challenges and stress of having to plan (and replan) a wedding in these crazy circumstances, that even if it doesn’t look the way you originally envisioned, the most important thing is that you as a couple are committing to love each other no matter what and to spend forever together! That part doesn’t change, whether it’s you and a few people witnessing it, or a room full of 300 people, that promise to each other is what matters. And just like they say “The true test of your relationship is going canoeing together”, I think it’s fair to say that another good litmus test is planning a wedding through a pandemic!!!!”
Jaime, The Vintage Rental Company


Lake of the Ozarks Wedding


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