So you have finally found the person that you want to spend your life with? You’ve picked out the perfect venue, the most gorgeous dress, all of your guests have RSVP’d and even your in-laws are getting along. What could go wrong? No one expected something like a pandemic to come in and completely shake up our sense of normal, not to mention one of the most important days of our lives. As a wedding photographer, I have found that there are a few things that I have learned that can help to make your wedding day that much special even if you’ve been forced to make many last minute, unexpected changes. I have three categories of ideas that can help to make your day that much more special, while still keeping it safe.
The way I see it you have a few options if your wedding is happening during this pandemic:
Postpone your wedding
Adapt & make it COVID Safe
(Scroll to the bottom for tips on a COVID safe wedding)
Option 1: Elope
Who says your wedding has to include every single person you know? This is a very safe and acceptable option for anyone that just wants to make their love official but doesn’t want the headache of switching dates, monitoring guests safety, or maybe just never wanted a big wedding but was forced by their mom to invite their work friends and neighbors. Hey. We all know that’s very common. So what are the plus sides to doing an elopement?
You will save so much more money than if you had to pay for however many guests’ food, drink, dessert, party favors, venue.
Way less headache when it comes to planning.
You can use that extra money to hire a photographer or videographer that can go along with you on a destination wedding. This wedding can be somewhere drive-able with beautiful views perfect for that cinematic look. This footage can then be shared with friends and family.
You don’t have to feel guilty for not inviting certain people that you never wanted there.
It can be all about you both and your love. You can take the day to plan it out exactly how you want. Many couples feel drained after their wedding night as if they didn’t even spend much time together despite being with them the whole time. Eloping helps you stay connected and excited to be together.
You could celebrate with friends and family in a different setting post-pandemic but not feel like you had to cancel your day.
You may feel like you missed out on the big party with everyone not there.
You may not receive as many gifts. Hey someone’s gotta say it. We LOVE PRESENTS!
Some people may still be offended.
Some people may have snarky comments.
Option 2: Postpone Your Wedding
Many of us have imagined our wedding day for a long time, filling our Pinterest boards with inspiration, and can not even think of changing a single detail. This is completely understandable. You have dreamed of this moment forever, but COVID regulations don’t exactly call for closeness, late nights on the dance floor, and drunken stories of wild merriment. So what if you postpone your wedding?
It would be pretty easy to postpone with your venue because so many places are understanding of the situation and would rather avoid the liability.
You can feel comfortable inviting the elderly or compromised loved ones that you would be worried about at this time.
You won’t have to worry about cancellations of guests or a half-filled venue due to ever changing capacity regulations.
You can get wild, hug, cry, kiss, and all the other otherwise risky acts that weddings normally bring but COVID makes dicey.
You get to stay engaged, who doesn’t like being called fiancé?
You have to postpone your wedding. This must be stated but can absolutely be a bummer when you have done all the planning and just want to get to the pay off.
You don’t really know when COVID will be over, so you might have to reschedule more than once.
You may not get all of your deposits back depending on the time frame.
Your venue may not have the date you want, or possibly not let you change the date.
People may not be able to attend a later date.
Option 3: Roll With it and Have a COVID Wedding
Now as a wedding photographer I will say there is a wrong and right way to do this. I am not saying, by any means, to have a party and forget about safety. I am saying there are some things you can do to make the party fun and safe. Below are my tips.
You will be able to get married to the one you love, on schedule!
You can share your day with friends and family in a safe manner.
You can still get all those presents! I know, i’m shameless.
Your venue may change.
Some of your guests may cancel.
Some people may judge, haters gonna hate.
Tips for a Safe COVID Wedding
Have everyone wear masks. But do it fashion.
Keep Sanitizer handy. Hand it out it as a party favor. This couple used puns to incorporate their “love at a distance” attitude.
Be flexible, this couple was forced to have their wedding outside of their church, one that held a mass of over 100 people. This resulted in many empty chairs and not an ideal entrance, but we just took it in stride making sure to capture the beauty of them up close.
That goes into my next tip: make sure your photographer knows how to be flexible and keep in them in the loop. I didn’t know until a week before that the venue had changed their regulations, which wasn’t their fault because things were constantly changing due to COVID. But it’s important that I went in a checked out the new venue so I could plan out the shots that I would be taking.
Another suggestion: rent a home, or use a backyard of someone close to. This way you can set your own regulations, not have to worry about venue changes, and guests can come and go throughout the day depending on their comfortability.
What is most important is to remember what the day is supposed to be about. Two worlds coming together in love. I know things can be stressful but how sweet is it to know that you have found the one and this is just one more memory in a lifetime together. Hope you liked my tips and let me know how you guys have done your own COVID-safe weddings!
September 11, 2020
I'm Allison! A true to color, photojournalist style wedding photographer based in Orange County California! Here to prove that taking photos can be fun!