When the pandemic happened, many plans were gone to waste and many hopes were lost, this hardship situation was difficult to deal with for many people. Some people could not fulfil their life-long dreams, some could not have their dream wedding, and some saw their dream outfits being altered with the wearing of masks becoming compulsory. I remember one of my friends had to get married on the date that the government installed the lockdown. The desperation on her face was palpable and I could not do anything except hope for this situation to be over soon. As times passed, the situation worsened and the fear of her dream wedding slowly faded way, we all managed to move on until both the bride and groom wanted to have a wedding during the pandemic. It was going to be one of its kind and yes, it was going to be memorable! There were so many things that was going to be different and so many things would be still normal. The wedding had to be conducted only among closed family members and everyone should respect the social distancing. We planned all accordingly and managed to have a beautiful wedding that exceeded everyone’s expectations.
If you are planning your wedding or someone else’s wedding during this pandemic and you are in need for ideas, then here is some help from me!
Open-air venue and well-spaced out table arrangements
In the post-pandemic era, people will look forward to socializing again, however, they are still expected to be skeptical about attending mass gatherings. In such a world full of heightened cautiousness, wedding planners or couples need to take all precautionary measures while organizing mass gatherings, especially weddings. An open-air or outdoor wedding means plenty of space, which could help people maintain physical distancing as compared to an indoor wedding. Furthermore, a well-thought-out seating arrangement is essential to reduce risks. Venues should organize bigger tables with limited seating to maintain distance between people. For instance, a table for 10 should be assigned to 5 guests only.
Tweaking the buffet-style service
The highlight of any Indian wedding is its lavish buffet. In an effort to comply with physical distancing measures, this is about to change too. While some couples may still opt for buffet-style service, precautionary measures like a contactless serving of dishes will be the norm. For example, one designated server will be assigned to serve a dish each at the buffet to avoid guests touching the cutlery/spoons.
Opting for family-style entrees or sides at the table is another way to ensure the safety of guests, thereby avoiding serpentine queues at the food counters, where people tend to gather in close proximity at weddings. Needless to say, if it is a buffet-style service, line marking to maintain six feet distance between two people will be important. Besides this, caterers will also have to ensure that the raw materials or ingredients for food preparation are sourced from trustworthy suppliers, who ensure utmost cleanliness while delivering the stock from the farm to the venue.
As weddings go local, they also go virtual
In the aftermath of the pandemic, we can expect couples to opt for local weddings in their hometowns, instead of destination weddings. Additionally, overseas guests may prefer being a part of the celebration virtually, due to restrictions for non-essential travel. Furthermore, live streaming wedding ceremonies are a foreseeable trend in the near future. Therefore, wedding planners and venue operators can expect a surge in demand for such services post-COVID-19.
Impeccable hygiene standards
Right from the entry to exit, venues need to place sanitizers and hand napkins at every point. Guests should be able to sanitize their hands-on arrival, have access to cleaning and protective equipment at their tables, ample availability of handwashes and sanitizers should be made in the washrooms. To avoid overcrowding the washrooms, guests should have a designated waiting area where they can maintain physical distance from each other. All venues should diligently disinfect spaces pre and post the wedding function.
Apart from venue hygiene, even makeup artists and photographers documenting the wedding will have a certain SOP to follow in the post-pandemic phase. To ensure that the bride feels safe, makeup artists and hairstylists will wear masks and sanitize their products. With regards to photographers, the wedding party will prefer a smaller team to cover the wedding. Additionally, as weddings are set to be more intimate, a large team will not be required at the venue.
Greeting each guest is suggested etiquette for couples, but what will this look like at weddings during and after COVID? New replacements will emerge bows, waves, winks, you name it. (One of our favorite ideas was the replacement of the traditional receiving line with a contemporary “gesture” line. Just, no obscenities please.)
It is important to remind your guests of how to interact when they enter your wedding space. While people will most certainly be excited to greet each other, social distancing signs and reminders could encourage your guests to be mindful.
Adapt to a post-COVID-19 culture
Societal norms call for handshakes and hugs during milestones and celebrations like weddings. With the entire world maintaining social distancing, couples will prefer to opt-out of the gift-exchange and photo sessions that typically occur at wedding receptions.
The new normal for weddings across the world is going to be significantly different. In the meanwhile, it is time to stay educated, make more informed decisions and rethink safer ways to plan happy and safe celebrations post the pandemic.
Sand Castle is the perfect wedding venue if you are looking for uniqueness and sophistication. They guarantee that your guests will be astounded by their attention to details and their commitment to using only the freshest ingredients possible.