COVID-19 has made us all reconsider our everyday tasks and disrupted our usual schedules. Brides are all put in a difficult spot of choosing to wait to get married or rethink their whole wedding day to make sure their guests are safe & they are meeting state guidelines.
We know many brides have chosen to move forward with smaller wedding plans as restrictions have again increased. So, what can you do on your wedding day to make sure it as safe as possible for all those attending?
Here is the link to the newest executive order: Executive Order 20-96
Each venue needs to develop their own COVID-19 preparedness plan in line with state guidelines, but they may choose to remain at a lesser stage in the interest of reducing risk of spreading COVID-19 and/or keeping their staff safe.
Masks are required for employees AND wedding guests with social distancing measures. Guests are required to have one on when not eating or drinking.
Bands are allowed, but should be 12+ feet from guests (singing poses higher expulsion of droplets) and band members should also maintain social distancing.
Dancing is HIGHLY discouraged. Consider limiting to just your special dances, ie. first dance, father/daughter dance etc.
Ceremony Guidelines as of 11/13:
Current capacity guidelines for wedding venues & churches is 50% capacity for indoor settings with a max capacity of 250 guests. Outdoor settings have a maximum of 250 guests if social distancing can be properly maintained in either situation. This portion of the guidelines is targeted at the actual ceremony portion of your wedding, not the reception.
Reception Guidelines as of 11/13:
Beginning November 13th events must end at 10PM. Venues will remain closed from 10 PM-4AM.
Beginning November 27th: Guest count is capped at 50, regardless of venue size
Beginning December 11th: Guest count is capped at 25, regardless of venue size
*From what we understand staff does NOT count toward your guest total. It is unclear right now if that means only venue staff or all hired vendors for your event. Please verify with your venue, as this could vary based on their safety guidelines.
If you choose to have your wedding and reception at a private residence, new orders cap total guest count at 10 or less persons OR persons from no more than 3 households (whichever is smaller).
Signage throughout the venue encouraging hand washing and hand sanitizer use.
Signage at entrances displaying symptoms, encouraging those with these symptoms or at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 to not enter.
Ideally have as much as possible taking place outdoors, as this is your lowest risk area. Although we know this is getting difficult with the dropping temperatures.
Require mask use for your guests and have extra available in case someone forgets theirs.
Implement plans to prevent congregation of people at entrances, exits, restrooms, bar lines. For example: row release by usher at the end of the ceremony, possibly encourage a staggered arrival time to the ceremony, X's or other markers for where people should stand.
Usher-directed ceremony seating to keep one way traffic and encourage seating of households together, ensuring 6+ feet apart from other households.
Ceremony processional & recessional done in a way that allows for distancing (wider aisle or blocking off the seating closest to the aisle).
Allowing people to place chairs wherever they would like for the outdoor ceremony (with a clear line for the aisle).
No receiving line at the end of the ceremony.
Providing to-go meal options for those who are not comfortable staying after the ceremony.
Hand sanitizer available at various stations & high touch points (guest book, start of buffet line, dessert/snack stations, etc.). You could also consider renting portable hand washing stations.
Seating chart that keeps households to the same table.
If going buffet route, have catering staff serve food to avoid guests touching utensils & keep the guest side of the buffet covered. Guests should wear masks when at the buffet line & should be released one table at a time.
Consider offering a plated meal served by staff (in masks) as opposed to a buffet, as this is a lower risk option compared to a buffet line.
Avoid bar lines! Have staff limit the number able to stand in line, place 6 foot markers down, or have wait staff circulate (in masks) to collect drink orders so that guests can remain seated at their tables.
Space out tables to allow more space for passing/staff circulation.
If possible, provide separate microphones for each person giving a toast. If this is not an option, make sure the mic is sanitized properly between persons.
Consider skipping the dollar dance. Opt for something else instead, perhaps socially distanced selfies?
Desserts or snacks individually packaged for guests to take.
No hugging, hand shaking, touching.
While we've seen the Red, yellow, green wrist band idea circulating around, consider if this is something you would want to endorse. (If you haven't hear of this trend, guests choose a wrist band according to their comfort level. Green means okay with hugs, handshakes and so on. Yellow means cool with talking but no touching and red means keeping a distance.) We would encourage you to not even have a green option if you choose to go this route, no one wants their wedding to be the one that has an outbreak!
If you have further specific questions, you can email the State at Safe.Gatherings@state.mn.us
Like our signs?! We've made them downloadable below, feel free to display in a photo frame or taped to entrances/exits!