Congratulations! We made it to 2021! Vaccines are being rolled out and we are slowly getting the pandemic under control. However, we are still a far cry from what weddings looked like in 2019. There is a lot up in the air on capacity, theme/season changes from the original date, and the trials of staying organized. Let's break it down so we can own the year and get the best wedding possible.
CURRENT ISSUE: Changing venue capacities
RESOLUTION: Invite in waves
We want to be hopeful that we can invite everyone. At the same time, you got to be realistic. Ask your venue for the current minimum. Make sure it includes staff, guests, and the bride and groom. You don't want to invite an extra couple and realize the slot was meant for the couple of the hour. Put your guest list into "Wave 1" and "Wave 2" columns of who you should invite first and second based on the current minimum and potentially increased minimum. Be candid with everyone of the capacity situation. If you have someone in Wave 1 who you are not sure can make it, give them a call to see what the RSVP is. If it's a guaranteed no, you can open it up to those in Wave 2. Make sure your Wave 1 is as close to a yes as possible before communicating your plans to the Wave 2 guests.
CURRENT ISSUE: Are we inside or outside?
RESOLUTION: Develop inside and outside plans with your vendors, especially the florist.
Many vendors are adapting to outdoor weddings. Some have even invested in their own tents and pavilions. If you're originally inside going outside, ask your vendors:
Venue: What do you have supplied for an outdoor event? What costs extra? What do we need to rent externally? Does the seating layout change?
Florist: how can we transform the outside just in case? How can we make over the tent? Think of transferring funds for indoor decorations to outdoor decorations like vines for the tent's foundation, tent lighting, and tent entry.
DJ: Where would you place yourself near the tent or outside the tent? Make sure you get a seating chart from your venue so they know where to set up. You don't want them in a spot where guests do not appreciate the loud music.
CURRENT ISSUE: I have all this stuff I bought and don't know what to do with it.
RESOLUTION: Figure out what goes where.
Think about the different stations or areas for your wedding. Some may include activity stations, kid stations, guest book area, remembering lost loved ones, etc. You may even want one area that guests want for a photo op. Get everything together in one pile and start distributing. You will find what's taken care of and what needs a little extra TLC. If you bought something for one thing that's no longer part of the wedding, think of ways to repurpose it.
CURRENT ISSUE: I bought seasonal items and my new date is in a different season.
RESOLUTION: Use what you have, add seasonal colors representing your new date.
If you love the seasonal items you bought and don't want to sell, there are always ways to repurpose. Here are some of my favorite solutions:
Use spray paint to recolor your objects to the season.
Get chalkboard paint to make surfaces re-writeable for last minute changes.
If you have pumpkins, spray them a different color and add flowers from the current season.
If there are pieces in the object that can be removed/replaced, like ribbon, swap it out
CURRENT ISSUE: My flower/color palette doesn't match the season.
RESOLUTION: Brighten or darken the colors based on the new season.
If you have neutrals as a base, you can subtly change color. Some themes are timeless and you may not need to adjust. Here's an example of adjusting: you had dark jewel tones for a November wedding, which includes very deep reds, plum, and emerald. However, the wedding got moved to spring. Lighten the tones and add magenta and gold. Talk with your florist with what's in season. It can provide good direction for your color palette as well.
CURRENT ISSUE: Can I dance at my wedding?
RESOLUTION: See how your DJs are making it work.
Dancing can get pretty dicey during these times. It may vary based on where your wedding is being held. Talk with your DJ so they can share their experiences and offer work-arounds.
CURRENT ISSUE: We cannot have guests dance at our wedding. What do we do?
RESOLUTION: Fill the gaps.
Here are few quick ideas to get you started.
Have the focus be on food. Think of adding action stations or vendors where food prep is part of the entertainment. A food truck or rented carnival food carts can be a nice touch as well.
Rethink the music. If you cannot do dance music, try a band that performs ambient music. You can also think of it as hiring performers to create a dinner theater or concert environment. Vendors similar to post modern jukebox are a great start.
Add some more activities for guests to do around the venue, like yard games or guessing games (think of individual shower activities) retrofitted for the couple.
Create activities that guests can do at their table. It would serve as great icebreakers if guests are sitting with people they just met.
Hope this helps you get a jump start on 2021. Try not to worry. We got this!