Even in normal times, planning a wedding can be a stressful and overwhelming process. Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic derailed even the most elaborate plans.
This year, Newfoundland and Labrador is embarking on its reopening strategy and formal gatherings are starting to return to normal, but wedding experts are still advising caution when planning this summer.
Andrea Hounsell is the owner and senior planner of Borrowed & Blu, a local wedding and event company,
âI would say the keyword for upcoming weddings this year are backup plans,â Hounsell said. “Backup plans over backup plans.”
While there’s no way to predict how the pandemic might change wedding plans this summer, Hounsell says there are several things couples can do to make sure the main event goes too. although possible.
As of July 1, the province has allowed official gatherings of up to 250 people outdoors and up to 100 people indoors. Depending on the province, a wedding is considered a âformal gatheringâ if it is hosted by a recognized business or organization, for example, a wedding planner, caterer, or venue operator.
If your wedding is not run by a recognized business or organization – such as in your backyard or home – you are limited to 50 attendees outdoors, and only your “regular 20s” indoors.
If you’re feeling nervous about changing the capacity limits, Hounsell recommends dividing the invitation list into three parts: your immediate family and closest friends, extended family and friends, and everyone. .
She suggests sending virtual “uninvited cards” if collection limits tighten and you need to remove certain people from the invite list – and not feel bad. Couples can live stream their ceremony for friends and family who can’t be there.
âThese people will understand if the restrictions change,â Hounsell said. “It’s out of your control.”
Hounsell says couples can be creative when reminding guests of current restrictions by providing personalized masks and hand sanitizers, or dressing up social distancing signs with flowers and other themes.
As of July 1, dancing at weddings is allowed again, but couples are encouraged to check with their venue for specific rules and regulations.
Instead of dancing, karaoke and quizzes can also keep energy high. If part of your wedding is taking place outdoors, Hounsell suggests setting up lawn games to occupy people and keep them socially apart.
Food and photography
Maria Clarke is the owner and baker of Petite Sweet, a local dessert company. Before the pandemic, the company specialized in large self-service dessert tables for weddings and other events. Since buffet-style dining options are currently not permitted, Clarke has turned to smaller dessert “charcuterie boards” and single servings.
She points out that cookies can be personalized and individually wrapped as a holiday gift.
âIt’s a good way to stick to guidelines, and also to be a little special and creative,â Clarke said.
Photography is an essential part of capturing wedding memories, and this year photographers are doing things a little differently as well.
Shawn Taylor, a full-time wedding photographer for 15 years, points out that photographers have a variety of equipment that allows them to stay away from the people they are photographing.
Since not everyone is part of the same bubble, photographers don’t take so many âformal familyâ photos, and they take photos of smaller groups of people.
For couples nervous about getting married this summer, Taylor said it’s important to remember what the wedding is all about.
âYou’re going to marry your fiancÃ©, the person you’re in love with,â Taylor said. “The most important piece of advice I can give, once people decide to go ahead, is to be there and take it in, because it goes so quickly.”
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