7 Ways to Have a Socially Distanced Wedding

A white antique table with chairs on either side at a wedding reception.

It’s no secret that many of us are trying our best to social distance these days in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, what does this look like for weddings? Historically, weddings have been a gathering that encourages closeness and togetherness, and for some, social distancing may seem like the absolute opposite of what a wedding should be. If you’re in that boat, don’t worry; there are definitely ways to have a beautiful wedding that incorporates social distancing and still feels as special and enchanting as all weddings should.

1. Create a Condensed Guest List

One way to have a more socially distanced wedding is to have a shorter guest list, which automatically creates a more intimate affair. This helps keep people safer with a more limited guest list. Brides and grooms should consider inviting only individuals who don’t have to travel to their wedding amidst the pandemic in order to keep everyone as healthy as possible.

One way to cut down the guest list is to not let guests bring plus-ones unless they’re in a serious relationship. This cuts down on some of the more “random” guests that you don’t necessarily need to include. Another way to consolidate your guest list is to make it a kids-free wedding. It’s no secret that kids may not be the best at social distancing simply because they don’t understand it, so take away that factor from your wedding while also achieving the goal of having fewer guests, if that will work for you.

2. Host an Outdoor Wedding

White chairs at a wedding ceremony.

Having an outdoor wedding is a simple way to facilitate social distancing. Being outside is believed to be safer as far as passing germs go, as there is more space for particles to dissolve into the air. An outdoor wedding can safely facilitate more guests, too.

3. Offer Single-Use Products

Although it may not be the most eco-friendly option, using single-use items at socially distanced weddings is a good way to stop the spread of germs. Items like disposable napkins, single-use plates and cutlery, and even recyclable water bottles help avoid the possibility of multiple people touching the same item. Along the same vein, avoid having a buffet meal as this could spread germs and create touchpoints that virtually every guest has their hands on.

4. Plan Safety Precautions

Wedding guests using hand sanitzer.

Safely hosting a socially distanced wedding means taking other safety measures, too. This includes temperature checks upon arrival, verifying that your guests have no symptoms consistent with COVID-19, and asking guests to wear masks when possible. Also have hand sanitizer readily available as well as signage directing guests as to when they’re expected to wear masks.

5. Consider a “Multiwedding”

The idea of a “multiwedding” is a new phenomenon that has come about to help facilitate social distancing. This is where you have multiple events with different groups of guests to promote social distancing. For instance, elderly guests could be invited to your welcome party to celebrate with you, while your close friends could all be invited to the wedding after-party as their chance to celebrate. This method allows for a lot of creativity and customization. You can have all guests come to a short ceremony or even live stream it so people can watch virtually rather than having everyone attend. This includes every group in a more safe and individualized way, which is pretty cool!

6. Have Assigned Seating

A placesetting at a wedding reception table.

Instead of just assigned tables at your wedding, have actual assigned seats for every guest. Have small tables that are spaced at least six feet apart from one another in order to promote social distancing. This way, guests are keeping their potential germs to one seat as much as possible and are primarily interacting with the same people that they’re sitting with throughout the entirety of the event.

7. Plan Virtual Options

Having virtual options for your wedding is a good way to give guests the choice of participating while taking the onus off of them to physically attend if they don’t feel safe doing so. Live stream your ceremony and take 15 minutes out of the event to do a Zoom call with guests who want to congratulate you, but aren’t physically there.

Although weddings may look different these days, there are still so many ways to make them unique and exactly what you want without putting anyone’s health and safety at risk.

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