Weddings in the Midst of Coronavirus
There is no doubt that we are living in a historical time. Our day-to-day culture has changed and there are several ways this will influence wedding industry trends. There has been an obvious shift to having more emphasis on the health of your guests. This is not something that couples have had to think much about before, but now any gathering comes with guidelines or procedures to adhere to and extra details to think about. But rest assured, this is the beginning of your life together and that deserves the best in any circumstance and your Chicago wedding photographer will be there with you capturing the beauty in each unforgettable moment.
I want to encourage you to think outside the box and find creative ways to design your special day.
New Wedding Essentials
In upcoming weddings, we will see more availability of hand sanitizers and tissues. Perhaps you will have a central station with hand sanitizer and tissues or maybe you will have these available at each table or place setting.
Some couples may even choose to have bedazzled or customized masks with hashtags or cute sayings either for the wedding party or for all their guests (perhaps as party favors). These may be most appropriately worn during the ceremony or on the dance floor when people are in closest contact.
Additionally, to avoid too many hands touching too many things unnecessarily, you may want more aspects of your wedding to be individualized. While buffets and dessert tables have been popular in the past few years, the next few will have a more traditional served meal; this includes a served dessert. You can still offer multiple choices that people can choose in advance, or perhaps your caterer can take orders like at a restaurant. If you want to offer additional desserts, one option could be to have wait staff bring a platter to each table. Favors can be individually wrapped for guests at their place settings or on their ceremony chair.
Special Guests on the List
Some important guests may fall into a category of being “at risk”, such as your grandparents perhaps. Your love for them may put you in conflict because you want them to be there, but you also are concerned for their health. There are many ways to honor them and include them in your day even if they are unable to attend.
For some, you might find it appropriate to pay a visit to older loved ones before being around other guests. If geography allows, you may want to stop by between the wedding and the reception. This can be a beautiful and very memorable part of your day. You may want to consider bringing a personalized gift. Some couples may have a structure to this visit by having a special tea ceremony or a time for prayer and blessing. Regardless of what you choose, be sure to have your Chicago wedding photographer come along. This will be a time you won’t want to forget.
For others, geography doesn’t allow for a special in person visit, so you may want to arrange a short video chat. This will allow you to share in the joy of the day even from afar. Also, consider having your videographer live stream the wedding. You can make the viewing more meaningful by adding the special touch of sending a bouquet of flowers or a reception centerpiece. If your grandparent lives alone, consider arranging a companion with whom they can virtually attend the wedding.
A Luxuriously Intimate Affair
Many couples will move away from large, ballroom celebrations and instead have more intimate, outdoor weddings. Having a smaller guest list has its perks; with a smaller guest list you can really go all out! You can have the fancy champagne, more flowers, and a bigger photo package from your Chicago wedding photographer. Fewer guests affords you the ability to splurge on that gorgeous designer gown you’ve been dreaming of, or even a destination engagement session in Europe or Hawaii.
A smaller headcount means couples will likely also opt to have smaller wedding parties. Rather than 6-8 bridesmaids/groomsmen, they will more likely opt to have their closest 2-3 friends or siblings stand up in their wedding.
During this time traveling may have its risks and restrictions as well. Having a smaller wedding will ease stress and concern among you and your loved ones. Some may consider throwing an anniversary party in the future during a more stable time. If you choose to do this speak with your Chicago wedding photographer about ways to capture this memorable event.
Consider having a video guest book booth outside the main reception space. You can hire your videographer to record memories and words of encouragement from your guests. You may want to provide a nice backdrop and cue cards to make sure everyone also mentions their name and how they know you, along with some fun prompts to get the energy flowing.
Many couples like to have a photo booth available at their reception. A lot of photobooth companies offer printed copies of the photos – one for the guests and one for the newlyweds. These photos can be placed in an album or scrapbook and serve as your guestbook. I recommend working with a company who will man the photobooth for you, and stay away from the use of props to reduce the potential for hand-to-face exposure of germs.
This modernized version of a guestbook will capture the style, faces, and thoughts of your guests as well as keeping them from all using the same gel pen.
Emphasis on Photography
One thing this turbulent time has taught us is that time together is precious. A greater appreciation for friends and family brings to light a better understanding of the importance of having photographs to hold on to. Families will want to capture the joy of being with one another and celebrating actually being in the same room!
Say sayanara to outdated traditions! There are some activities or photo-ops that have been slowly disappearing and now is an opportunity to let go of them once and for all. The receiving line, dollar dance, garter/bouquet toss are all becoming outdated wedding traditions, while some traditions like wedding send-offs still hold strong.
There are many creative ways to do this that personify exemplify the couple and your Chicago wedding photographer will be there to capture it. Consider having just the wedding party (and perhaps immediate family) participate in this photo-op. Not only is this smaller group size potentially safer it will also allow more of your VIP guests to be featured in the photographs.
No matter what, it will be a memorable and special celebration of your beautiful love.
Consider these suggestions and even come up with some creative solutions of your own. While these times may call for a more intimate, detailed or procedural party, one thing remains unchanged—this is YOUR big day! And it’s going to be wonderful.
Need to reschedule your wedding for 2021? Take a look at why we recommend choosing a Friday or Sunday date.