PLANNING A WEDDING DURING COVID-19
Planning a wedding during COVID-19 will be a new challenge for many couples hoping to get married within the next 12-24 months. Many couples have been forced to postpone and re-imagine what their weddings will, or could look like due to the coronavirus pandemic. First of all, we want you to know that you are not alone! Fusion Events is keeping a close eye on the almost daily changes and updates happening in the events and hospitality industries. As thousands of couples are forced to postpone including many of our own clients, we want to share some industry insight into what the future of weddings may look like in hopes that it helps you with planning your upcoming wedding, what to potentially expect and what the future of weddings may look like. So, here we go:
We predict that physical distancing will be a norm in weddings at least until the summer of 2021 if not later or until a vaccine or quick test can be developed. Some updates we can expect as a result of physical distancing are:
- Smaller tables with family pods. No longer will you assign seats based on relationships. Seating will be arranged by family households or established family bubbles.
- Line ups – expect hosts or venue personnel to be managing crowds for things like coat checks. washrooms, food stations, bars etc.
- Floor Signage – we will see entrances and exits become one way only and floor decals to indicate directions you can travel.
- Dancing – For those that want to have dancing as part of the celebration we can expect to see dancefloors marked with positions 6ft apart and everyone stays in their section. For this reason line dancing may see a surge in popularity as it’s a dance that can be done together but with safe distance.
AllSeated, which is a popular industry tool for creating floor plans, has released an update to their software that allows for and takes into consideration physical distancing allowing planners and venues to safely create to scale floor plans taking physical distancing into account.
- Technologies and specialized physical distancing apps might also play a part in safe social distancing. Google and Apple are working together on a contact tracing tool able notify people if they have come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with Covid19. Apps such as mContain will become available that all guests would have to download which will vibrate when they get within 6ft of another person as a friendly reminder to keep their distance. See more cool useful event tech that may come into play.
Most industry professionals agree that for the next 12-18months (until about June 2021) events and gatherings will be restricted to 25-50 people at first and may increase as a vaccine becomes available making micro-weddings the only choice. If you are holding out hope for a larger wedding in 2020 or early to mid 2021 your venue may be forced to impose guest count restrictions. This will be incredibly awkward as couples may be forced to un-invite guests and choose which 25-50 they want to invite.
Micro-weddings do have an upside though and because of this will likely remain post pandemic. Here are some of the benefits of a micro weddings:
- You only invite the most important people to you. You dont’ have to worry about inviting your aunt Bertha who is a lush and is sure to make a scene.
- Weddings will have more meaning now than ever and people will appreciate being able to be together to celebrate a wedding. This will create a more genuine experience where couples and guests can focus on what is truly important.
- High Style – with a micro wedding you can focus on a highly stylized and personalized experience for you and your guests.
Food & Beverage
The hospitality industry has been planning and strategizing on how to best move forward with food and beverage service post pandemic. Here are some changes we may see:
- Increased staff training on food and safety
- No more buffets or passed hors d’oeuvres. In lieu of passed food be prepared for bento box style appetizers or late night snacks for each guest. Buffets are gone and may never come back as we knew them. Food stations will remain however expect to see sneeze guards here and at bars as well as longer line ups which venues will try to counteract with more servers.
- Venues will leverage any outdoor space they can for safer physical distancing. Some restaurants and venues are looking at creating individual clear pods or greenhouses for small family pods to dine in.
PLANNING A MICRO WEDDING?
Planning an upcoming micro-wedding or reception for the future to celebrate your nuptials? Get help from the certified wedding planners at Fusion Events with the experience and talent to bring your vision to life – safely and creatively. Arrange a consultation appointment by calling Fusion Events at 416-825-4938 today!
Thermal Screening + Hygiene Stations
We can most certainly expect to see thermal imaging and screening technology implemented at events across the world. This may come in various shapes and sizes such as photo-booth style kiosk that you stand in front of prior to entering and it takes an instant reading of your temperature such as MyThermalGuard. Other venues may adopt more basic manual temperature reading with someone taking temperatures at the door.
As far as hygiene is concerned venues will be ramping up their cleaning efforts to make sure touch-points are frequently disinfected. Hand sanitizer stations will be everywhere and some couples may even create their own personalized hand sanitizer bottles for each table.
Personal Protective Equipment will become a norm for servers, bartenders, and hosts at events. Expect to see venue branded face masks in your future. We haven’t yet seen see-through PPE innovation however it would be nice to be able to better see people’s expressions. It would also be helpful for anyone who is hearing impaired who relies on reading lips. we arent’ sure yet if wedding guests will be required to wear PPE to attend a wedding. Some may choose to. Some couples may choose to make personalized masks for their wedding. We’ve also seen some companies who will print the lower half of your own face on a mask (which we think is a really fun idea) liek from Maskalike (you better get on the waiting list if you liek this idea!)
Entertainment will play a bigger role in weddings than ever before. With certain traditional formalities being stripped away such as receiving lines, extended family and guest photoshoots, entertaining guests and keeping a light tone will be incredibly important to couples getting married. Quality wedding MC’s will become worth their weight in gold. We expect to even see more comedy and interactive entertainment that people can sit and watch incorporated into wedding receptions. A great example of traditional wedding entertainment that can be adapted to a post pandemic wedding is uRequest Live. uRL is a live band ranging from 5-10 musicians who let the audience control what they play by making requests from the band using a short link on their smartphones. The audience can leave their names and even a message or shoutout request allowing the band interact with the audience in a very personal way. They also play the most requested songs in order of popularity ensuring that everyone is happy and get to hear their jam!
Here’s a fun idea. The Flaming Lips recently performed on The Late Show With Colbert inside inflatable bubbles. The audience was in them too!
Multiple Mini Events (The Hub and Spoke method)
We suspect couples may want to incorporate the “hub and spoke method” which allows a single venue to host two or more smaller groups in different rooms or using different venues altogether and connecting via live stream. How would this work you ask? One example is using the same venue but using two smaller rooms. Guests could dine in two groups of 50 and the bride and groom would go between the rooms. A more realistic option might be to have a more formal dinner, speeches and entertainment with immediate family than having a second room that is more designed for friends, partying and dancing.
Stream-emonies and Mini-monies
Couples will want to share their wedding ceremonies in realtime with loved ones near and far who may not be able to attend due to risk factors or travel restrictions. Live streaming ceremonies could be a thing. We could even see a screen at the ceremony location showing all guests who are watching the stream. Even uncle Bob in Zimbabwe could share a reading in real-time. Some couples will choose to have “mini-monies” with just them and a few others now then host a reception or party when they are able.
There is no doubt that wedding industry is being forced to reinvent itself taking into consideration curbing the spread of a pandemic and physical distancing while still safely operating. Weddings have always taken place. Even in the darkest times in history. The difference now is that there is a more established wedding and events industry that is working together to pave the way for the “new normal” of events. As professional wedding planners we are keeping our eyes and ears peeled to the almost daily changes and updates that are taking place in our industry and doing our part to contribute to the conversation to move our industry forward.
Planning a wedding during the Coronavirus pandemic? Not to worry! We’ve got you covered! With over twenty years of experience, Fusion Events is at the forefront of innovation and is in constant contact with the leaders in our industry to stay abreast of all the changes and innovation taking place so that we can better serve our clients and community. Have a question? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call today at 416-825-4938.
OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE
WE CARE ABOUT YOUR EVENTS
Fusion Events wants to thank all frontline workers who put themselves at risk each and every day. In an effort to rest our clients minds at ease we want to reassure everyone that your bookings are SAFE with us!