Planning for one of the most important days in your life in the midst of a global pandemic is proving to be incredibly difficult for all couples, especially for brides to be. It adds another layer of complexity to the already tedious process of booking vendors, organizing the logistics, and making your ceremony as memorable and meaningful as possible. During this period however, you will also need to take into consideration the safety of everyone attending the wedding. Luckily, you can get a lot of help from the vendors you book– if you choose the right ones.
I chatted with some of my bridal clients who got married during this pandemic, and they shared with me some of their tips that helped made their special day go by smoothly. Which is why I wanted to share this blog with you, because the last thing you’d want is to get stressed and anxious during your own wedding!
#1) Double check the safety regulations
Different states have varying requirements and safety precautions– from health certificates to limitations on the number of guests you will be allowed to invite. Brides, as hard it is to accept, the fact right now is that you cannot host 800+ weddings anymore. These days the guest headcount is capped to approximately 10-200 guests, depending on the maximum capacity of your venue. It is best to double-check with your ceremony venue and accommodations at least three months before your wedding day as this is when you will be sending out your invitations. On a brighter note, this will help you come up with a guest list consisting mainly of your immediate family and closest friends that may help create a more relaxed ambiance as you will also get to enjoy personally entertaining each of your guests at the reception.
You can also consult with your wedding planner, venue coordinator, friend or a family member residing in the area for any updates on the safety regulations that you may need to consider on your special day. This will give you and your planner enough time to prepare and avoid unforeseen events. More importantly, this will help you accept the situation better and shift your focus on the things that you have more control over. When you have a stronger grasp on what is most important among all of the tasks you have at hand, you will become more readily able to enjoy the planning process and tackle each challenge with grace.
#2) Find trustworthy and quality vendors
I cannot stress enough how important this is to every bride! As a bridal makeup & hair artist, I fully understand the role that we, as vendors, play in making the entire celebration as seamless as possible for you. Personally, I encourage brides to speak with all their vendors during their initial meetings regarding the safety precautions they are taking.
As vendors, our primary goal is to make everything run smoothly and to ease you from anxieties so you can enjoy your special day. Thus, I urge you to choose vendors who will prioritize your needs and preferences. Make sure that you get along with them, and that you are able to communicate well with each other to avoid any misunderstandings on important details.
The highest rated and recommended vendors are acclimated with taking extra safety precautions during this unusual time. Since vendors work closely with the bride and groom before and on the wedding day itself, we need to practice proper protocol for everyone’s peace of mind. Personally, my team and I all wear face masks and facial shields to ensure your safety as well as ours.
To help you get started with planning, here are some key steps to take:
1) Set your budget, this will help you understand what your price range will be when looking for your wedding vendors.
2) List out the top vendors that are the most important to you (these are the non-negotiable vendors should there be a need to compromise).
3) Determine your preferred vendors and do your research on the quality of their work, their rates, and the safety precautions they are practicing right now, and their availability.
Here’s a general list of vendors that you’ll need to look for and locking them in based on personal importance ranking:
- Wedding Planner
- Bridal Makeup Artist & Hairstylist
- Bridal Gown & Accessories
- Ceremony / Reception Venue
- Wedding Cake
- Henna/Mehndi Artist (Desi Brides)
- Transportation (bridal/groom entry/departure)
Makeup and hair are incredibly important because you will be the focus of everyone’s attention the moment you step on the aisle. Moreover, it’s not your 500+ guests who will be up on your wall after the wedding- it’s just you and your husband in all of those beautiful photos. Try keeping this into perspective whenever you’re feeling down about scaling down your guest list.
#3 ) Make a To-do List to help you stay on top of everything
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of details that you need to remember, but my recent brides recommend having a list of safety measures and procedures for all of their guests and vendors. While this is the day you’ve been dreaming of, let’s not forget that we are still in the middle of this global crisis. To ensure that all of your loved ones attending the wedding, as well as you and your soon-to-be husband are safe, consider these tips during the planning stages:
- Group families from the same household on the same table.
- Place a note on guest tables that you are requesting for everyone to have their masks down only when eating. It would be best if you can indicate this in your wedding invitations as well so they know what to expect and prepare for.
- Have extra masks at your registration area for guests who may have forgotten or lost theirs.
- Place hand sanitizing stations in accessible areas around your venue. You can also give away small bottles of hand sanitizers placed on each seat so when guests arrive, they can immediately use them and carry them around easily.
- When taking photos, request for guests to have their masks on because it will look much better than having chin guards. You (the bride) and your groom will not need to wear masks since it’s your day and they are celebrating the both of you anyway!
Pretty sure your friends and family will be understanding of the situation and the precautions you put in place, and in most cases, they will appreciate these safety precautions you have in place. Anyway, these are for their comfort and safety so that you can all enjoy your special day.
#4) Prepare for virtual celebrations
Given the travel restrictions in place, some of your family and friends may not be able to physically attend your wedding. I am sure they would still want to witness and somehow become part of your special day. In the time of COVID, weddings are already expected to have live coverage through Zoom or other video chat apps. Thus, it’s important to check on the quality of the internet reception in your venue so that you can plan accordingly. You may also need to assign someone to handle the device (smartphone, laptop, or tablet) that you will be using for the live coverage. Take all of these into consideration prior to your wedding so that you won’t have to worry about it as you walk down the aisle.
For gifts from both your physical attendees and those celebrating with you online, you may ask them to opt for money transfers through Venmo or a bridal account. This will ease them of having to expose themselves in a mall to purchase you a present or having to ship them from a different state/country. It could also be more convenient for you as you won’t have to worry about transporting the gifts!
#5) Take a deep breath
Lastly, take all of it in and remember to rest in between planning. Getting married is an exciting step into new beginnings with your soon-to-be husband and the last thing you want is for the planning process to be taxing on your mental and physical health. Remember to take a deep breath whenever things don’t go your way, seek the help of your vendors and your fiancee, and move forward with positive thinking towards your wedding day.
I sincerely hope that you will have a successful ceremony and reception amidst all the challenges brought by the COVID pandemic. While it may take a lot of acceptance and adjustments scaling down from an initial plan of a grand wedding to a more intimate ceremony, remember the true essence of the day you’re planning for– it is a celebration of love as you are getting married to the man of your dreams. What matters most is that you are feeling confident and beautiful in one of the most special days of your life. Trust that everything else will fail into place no matter the circumstances.
If you’re planning a wedding or just recently got married, share your experiences with us in the comment section below! Also comment below if you would like me to create a list of some of my favorite top wedding vendors here in Dallas. We’d love to hear from you and other brides-to-be.