Designer: d’Italia // Photographer: @corinnaanddylan // Bride: @nixienu
As restrictions begin to ease, our hopes of weddings resuming is becoming more promising with each day. But similarly, to this year, we should prepare for the much-anticipated event to be organised and run slightly different to usual. Whilst we don’t yet know when the fun-filled festivities will be able to resume, what we do know is that once Metropolitan Melbourne reaches the fourth and final step of the COVID-safe roadmap plan, weddings will be allowed with guests of up to 50 people. Hoorah! Keeping in mind, that this also includes yourself as the couple, two witnesses and your celebrant. For brides opting for a more intimate wedding in a private residence, you will be allowed to have up to 20 people in attendance.
So, as the cases begin to drop, now is the perfect time to start planning your small-sized wedding. But knowing where to start and who to turn to for advice and guidance can be quite challenging. Lucky for you fellow brides, we’ve done all the leg work for you. From all the best venue locations, to unique (and Covid-safe) seating arrangements, crucial information for your invites and dancing through a pandemic, we cover it all. So, without further-ado, here’s exactly WHY you need to have a small and spectacular wedding and HOW to execute it perfectly during COVID-19.
Picture via: Pinterest
WHEN CAN WEDDINGS RESUME
With recent changes in restrictions, the Victorian premier has introduced a clear 4-step roadmap plan, outlining the key points of what can resume back to normal and when. Weddings and ceremonies of up to 50 guests can proceed during the final and last step of the roadmap. This means that when there are no new cases for a consecutive number of 14 days we can expect to see wedding venues and ceremonial churches open their doors again. Whilst there is still a lot of unknown as to when this will be, we are feeling pretty optimistic that it could be sooner than we think. Nevertheless, it’s always a good time to begin reaching out to your wedding vendors and start planning or altering your upcoming wedding to meet the Covid-safe guidelines. Not sure what this means? Keep reading to find out more about planning a Covid-friendly celebration.
Designer: Wonderland Invites
PROVIDE ENOUGH INFORMATION ON YOUR INVITES
Most bridal invitations are quite simplistic and do not hold much information about the day, however when planning a wedding during Covid-19 it’s important to provide your guests with enough information so they are prepared for any possible changes. If you have a back-up plan for your wedding day, consider outlining this on the back of your invitation. This will ensure that your guests are all well-prepared for any last-minute changes. Along with this, it’s quite important that you outline that if any guests feel unwell or sick on the day or during the lead-up to your wedding day, that they kindly stay home and refrain from attending. The health and wellbeing of your guests should be your upmost priority. This also applies to your vendors such as your venue staff, makeup artist, hair stylist etc. Even the slightest symptoms must be considered. You should also outline whether you will be providing face-masks on the day or if your guests are to provide their own. Communication is the key to a smooth and stress-free wedding. If you have a wedding website then this would be the perfect place to outline this. It can also be a really great idea to coordinate arrival and departure times to avoid crowding. Ensure you specify this on each guest invite.
Picture via: Pinterest
PLAN FOR A UNIQUE SEATING ARRANGEMENT
When planning a wedding during Covid-19 it’s important to consider all the potential changes in restrictions that could affect your wedding day. It may be a good idea to discuss with your venue or wedding planner if your current seating plan can be changed in the case that the 1.5m social distancing rule is enforced. It’s important to have a plan and ensure that your ceremony and reception can cater to these last-minute changes. For couples who would prefer to play it safe, consider opting for a bench style seat for your ceremony. The long wooden counter is an extremely easy and stress-free way to ensure that your guests are each abiding by the social distancing rule (if this is necessary and relevant during the time of your wedding). Drape a plain silk or subtle patterned linen fabric over the top for couples that want to add a touch of formality and achieve a less country-styled look. When planning the seating arrangement for the reception, try and group family members from the same household together so that they are all in the same area to minimise contact as much as possible. This may mean opting for smaller sized tables to prevent having to seat multiple families into the one area.
Picture via: Pinterest
MAIL PARTY FAVOURS TO GUESTS THAT COULDN’T ATTEND
A party favour is a great way to show your love and appreciation to all your friends and family that attended your special day. But it can also be a great way to celebrate your gratitude to all the guests that unfortunately couldn’t be a part of your wedding due to Covid-19. Consider sending little parcels, gift-bags or small hampers in the mail filled with goodies or even décor from the day. To personalise your party favour, write a small heartfelt note to express how grateful you are for their understanding and well-wishes. Your unique party favours can consist of miniature versions of the wine/champagne you drank on the day, little floral centre-pieces left-over from the bridal table, gourmet biscuits or snacks, small candles, heart-shaped chocolates or even a photo of the happy couple. It can also be nice to add some personal touches that you know your friend or family member would like and admire. Don’t feel too pressured to spend too much money on your party favour, Afterall, it is the thought and sentiment that counts.
Picture via: Pinterest
RUN YOUR WEDDING VIRTUALLY FOR GUESTS WHO CAN’T ATTEND
For many couples, the 50-guest limit, may require you to re-evaluate your current invite list. But cutting down the number of guests doesn’t mean removing them from your wedding day entirely. That’s right! Thanks to modern day technology, you can still stay connected with the people you love no matter where they live In the World. Speak to your celebrant, photographer and/or wedding reception about the possibility of filming your wedding live for all those guests who couldn’t attend. Whether they’re Inter-state, overseas or restricted by the 50-guest limit, everyone can still be there to join your special day and witness that special moment when you walk down the aisle and say ‘I do’. If it’s too difficult to do this, or if you’re venue won’t allow it, consider sending them a personal video or Face-time your friends throughout the day. This can be such a great way to make your friends feel special and included despite the current circumstances.
Designer: d’Italia // Photographer: @Shotfromtheheart // Bride: @Beckyfalsone
Along with this, consider creating a wedding website to streamline your planning process to friends and family (even if they cannot attend your special day). So, what exactly is a Wedding Website? A wedding website Is ultimately a digital tool that showcases the most important details related to your wedding. It’s a fantastic way to keep your guests informed about possible postponements, venue changes, and general information to get them all excited for your big day. It can also be a great way to keep track of all your RSVP’s (hallelujah!).
Picture via- Easy Weddings
What you can do with a Wedding Website:
- Update guests on last minute changes
- Outline all the details about how to attend your wedding virtually
- Track last minute guests who cannot attend so you can invite someone else along
- Set the tone of the wedding day (clothing attire, theme etc.)
- Share your planning process to get guests excited
- Countdown to the big day
- Send out save-the-dates and invitations digitally
- Access important information from your guests such as dietary requirements
- Showcase a story on how you met, along with some super cute images
Picture via: Pinterest
SELECT PLATED MEALS OVER BUFFET STYLE
At this point in time, nobody knows the exact specifications of what weddings will look like once venues and everything else begins to open up. But one things for certain, it’s important that we’re prepared for any unprecedented changes in restrictions. To keep it safe, consider opting for a set menu of plated meals over a buffet style banquet. Whilst you may admire and prefer the authenticity of an all-you-can-eat style setting, it can often attract a crowd and be quite difficult to regulate when it comes to social distancing and hygiene. Before you completely rule it out, ensure you have a chat with your venue or catering services first as they may be able to tailor make a Covid-safe plan. In the case that this is not possible, a plated menu can be a great option as meals can be distributed to guests with a much lower risk of cross-contamination. It’s also important to remember to seek the necessary dietary requirements from each of your guests prior to your wedding.
Photographer: Buffy Dekmar Photographer
DANCING FROM A DISTANCE
Whilst there is no specific outline yet about having to keep your distance at a wedding, it’s important to consider that possibility when planning your special day. An outdoor reception is a great idea for couples’ that love to dance and are investing in a live band or musician. Whether you opt for a country-paddock style wedding, a garden or beach reception, or a local park or vineyard, the outdoor space is a perfect way to accommodate all your guests whilst still leaving enough room to dance the night away. For couples that prefer an indoor reception, ensure that the dancefloor in your venue is large enough, especially if the 1.5m social distancing rule is enforced. It may also be wise to consider having a one-person DJ setup or if you’re feeling creative you can even form your very own playlist. Another great way to get guests up and dancing from a distance is to ask your live band to interact with the different tables throughout the night. Whilst the bride and groom waltz their way in the centre of the dancefloor, your guests can be standing up from their allocated seating/tables and dancing and swaying alongside the music. To add a magical and romantic touch, consider providing each of your guests and tables with little lanterns, glow sticks or lights to hold up whilst dancing along to the music. This not only looks incredibly beautiful in photographs, but it is also a unique and super special way to connect with everyone.
Designer: d’Italia // Photographer: @mattelliottphotography // Bride: @sophbrenno
DISCUSS A PLAN B
2020 has been quite the year full of unexpected surprises so it is a very wise idea to have a back-up plan. Speak to your designers, vendors, venues and everyone else involved in the wedding-planning process to ensure that you implement a plan B. Discuss your options about postponement, putting on hold the production of your gown or even possibly cancelling your event (if worse comes to worse). Create a contract with each of your vendors and ensure that you have a safety net when it comes to last minute changes.
If restrictions change and you can no longer have your wedding, don’t fear, you may still be able to get married. If this is the case, it’s advised to speak to your venue, photographer and celebrant prior to your special day about potentially eloping in a small ceremony. Your venue might be able to create a plan-b package which can include access to the gardens or vineyards for a couple photoshoot and a personal and intimate marriage ceremony with your celebrant and witnesses. Whilst this may not be your initial dream wedding plan, it can be a great way to celebrate your love whilst you both put the big party festivities on hold for the time being.
Photographer: Ari Quinn Photography // Design and Décor: Our Curated Design // Florals: Vessel & Stem
FOLLOW HEALTH GUIDELINES
Despite the ease in restrictions, it is still super important that we follow all the health guidelines and regulations outlined by the State. This means, ensuring that each of your venues have a Covid-safe plan and are correctly following the health guidelines. It is a good idea to provide a little sanitation station for each of your guests to use upon arrival to your ceremony and reception. It could also be beneficial to supply your guests with comfort bands which will outline whether they feel comfortable talking only from a distance, or if they are happy to chat at a ‘normal’ distance. These bands will ensure that your guests feel comfortable and less-anxious throughout the day.
Lastly, record keeping is essential! Your ceremony and venue must record each person that attends your wedding on the day. It is best to allocate one person to record all the contact names and numbers of your guests and any other participants who are a part of your special day. This record must be kept for all commercial and residential weddings, regardless of how small or big your event is. Keep this record to provide to your local government health officer if requested.
Picture via: Pinterest
HIRE THE RIGHT PLACE- THINK SPACE!
If Coronavirus cases begin to rise again, most indoor venues and entertainment centres will be the first to close their doors. It may be a good idea to consider looking into some outdoor locations or even indoor venues that can offer an outdoor package too. Don’t forget to think about space and investing in a location that can accommodate to a unique table arrangement. Consider a romantic botanical garden, sandy beach sunset, country paddock, winery/vineyard, a stunning park, wildlife reserve or even your local golf club. There are so many stunning outdoor venues to pick from. To add a touch of glamour and elegance, hire a large open marquee with plenty of fairy lights and floral décor to complete the look.
Picture via: Pinterest
OPT FOR LOCAL
If possible, try to opt for a local location for your ceremony. Whilst there is no specific outline on how far you can and can’t travel, it may be wise to keep it local just in case restrictions do change. If you live in Metropolitan Melbourne, then it is best to avoid planning a wedding in Regional Victoria. This is also a great way to support businesses and vendors around your own area. If you have planned a wedding Inter-state or quite far from where you live, speak to your vendor about the other locations that may be closer to home. Some wedding vendors have multiple venues spread throughout and this could be a great back-up plan if restrictions for travelling are enforced.
Picture via: Pinterest
BENEFITS OF A SMALL-SIZED WEDDING
Whether you’ve had to postpone or even cancel your wedding; re-organising a new one within the 50-guest limit can be quite disheartening. We understand that cutting down the guest list is never an easy or fun task, but there are so many benefits and advantages to having a small-sized wedding from:
- Spending Less money
- Easier to plan
- Creates an intimate atmosphere
- Greater choice in venues
- Splurge on the things you love
- Can invest in a house or upgrade your honeymoon
Enjoy the planning process and remember to always stay true to yourself!
Happy planning fellow Brides!
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