Couples everywhere have faced disappointment in the last year, as weddings have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many couples are stuck wondering, “When can we schedule our wedding post-COVID?”
For brides and grooms who spent months planning and put thousands of dollars down in deposits, the last year has been difficult to say the least.
Large gatherings have been banned in many areas to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and weddings simply aren’t considered very safe. Read our guide and check your local public health guidelines to figure out when you can get your wedding back on track!
When Will Weddings Be Safe Again?
Both couples and experts have been wondering when they can safely gather for weddings again in light of coronavirus. The answer differs, depending on your location and other factors.
In theory, large weddings should be safe again by Fall 2021. Many couples are pushing to 2022 to be safe.
In the United States, vaccine rollout has been slow. Dr. Fauci, the White House Chief Medical Advisor, recently announced that there should be enough vaccines available by the end of July for everyone in the United States to be vaccinated.
Of course, many will choose not to be vaccinated. Once the majority of citizens are vaccinated, however, large gatherings and other activities like weddings should be safe again.
Vaccine distribution differs state by state and by locality. Depending on where you live, large gatherings may open up sooner.
Other factors like the size of your guest list, the space in your venue, and more can affect when you can be certain that your wedding can go on without a hitch.
Getting Married During COVID-19
Plenty of brides and grooms have chosen to go on with their weddings in spite of COVID. There are ways to host a COVID-safe wedding.
You can choose to get married outdoors, keep it small with an intimate guest list, host a virtual wedding, or socially distance on the big day. You can still alter your wedding plans to make them safer before the pandemic has ended.
If your wedding day comes before all of your guests are safely vaccinated, be sure to follow state and local guidelines for a safe day.
Postponing Your Wedding
For brides and grooms who have dreamed of a big wedding, postponing may be the better option. By postponing, you may have to wait longer, but you won’t have to compromise on your big day.
If you’re postponing your wedding, it can be difficult to know when you can be certain that you won’t have to postpone a second time.
To be absolutely sure, consult your local government’s estimates about vaccinations. It seems as though the vaccine should be readily available and distributed to anyone who wants it by the autumn of 2021.
If you want to get married in the summer of 2021, there’s a decent chance that you can still have a fairly normal wedding. The summer brings the warm weather, and more people will have access to the vaccine. An outdoor wedding can be closer to normal with the right precautions this summer.
Factors to Consider When Rescheduling Due to COVID
If you are rescheduling your wedding due to COVID-19, there are a few things to consider.
Keep in mind that postponing your wedding won’t happen in a snap of the fingers – it will take more planning efforts! Don’t be afraid to ask your friends, family, or members of the wedding party for help.
Wedding venues everywhere have had to reconsider their safety precautions and event restrictions in light of coronavirus. Even as federal, state, and local restrictions ease up, your venue may have certain restrictions in place for liability reasons.
Talk to your venue about restrictions like the number of guests you can have, social distancing measures, testing or vaccination requirements, food safety, and more. You should also ask about staff health to ensure that any staff at your wedding is protected. Ensure that masks and gloves are worn, especially when handling food.
High Risk Guests
Consider your high risk guests if you’re getting married before all of your wedding guests can receive a vaccine. Elderly family members, pregnant women, or those who are otherwise immunocompromised should take special precautions before attending a wedding.
If you have a high risk loved one who you must have at your wedding, consider how to make your event safe for them to attend. When you’re postponing, consider choosing a later wedding date to ensure high risk guests can attend. If your wedding day comes sooner, however, consider other precautions.
The travel industry has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic even more than the wedding industry. Travel is still restricted, and most areas recommend that anyone traveling from another country or even state quarantine until they receive a negative COVID test.
Consider your options if you are planning to travel for your wedding, or if guests are traveling from out of town. Many guests cannot afford to travel with COVID precautions.
Some locations require that you quarantine upon arrival until you get a negative test. For some people, this is simply too much time and effort to attend a wedding.
With a large portion of your guest list traveling, you may want to postpone your wedding until travel restrictions are lifted and guests are vaccinated.
Your location is also a factor, of course. Different states and even localities have different restrictions. Getting married in Texas may mean something different than getting married in New York during the coronavirus pandemic.
Account for your location when considering when to postpone and other precautions of getting married amidst the pandemic.
Availability and Ability to Reschedule
Finally, don’t forget the logistical elements of rescheduling your wedding. Many couples have had to postpone and change their wedding date, which means that many venues and vendors are already booked for the months when experts expect that large gatherings will be safe again.
That means that it may be more difficult to reschedule and rebook your wedding vendors. Prepare to put in some effort to make your wedding happen at a later date.
Destination Weddings and COVID
As we mentioned earlier, travel has been restricted to protect public health. That makes destination wedding planning even more complicated.
If you are set on a destination wedding, it’s probably best to wait until the vaccine is readily available.
International travel typically requires that you quarantine for a certain number of days, or until you test negative for COVID. Even domestic travel in the US may have similar restrictions, depending on your destination.
Another factor to consider is how comfortable your guests are with travel. If your destination requires a flight, many guests may not be comfortable getting on an airplane just yet.
There is light at the end of the tunnel for brides and grooms everywhere. If you planned your wedding for the first half of 2021, you will likely still need to follow COVID guidelines, but there is hope that by late summer to early fall, weddings can begin to get back to normal.
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