Weddings Revisited

The moment many couples have been anticipating has arrived and the Covid-related wedding restrictions have finally been lifted. Guest numbers are unlimited, mask-wearing no longer obligatory, self-service buffets are an option once again, and music and dancing are allowed.

But reverting to the pre-Covid situation is going to be a gradual process, and over the course of the pandemic many couples have re-thought their wedding plans, perhaps opting for smaller wedding day celebrations, to be followed further down the line by celebratory parties. Wedding venues are at a premium and therefore some flexibility and willingness to discard more conventional expectations is required.

It is also imperative, especially if your wedding is fast approaching, to remember that the pandemic is by no means over, and to exercise a certain degree of caution. Amongst your guests you will almost certainly have to accommodate the full gamut of Covid perspectives, from the very relaxed back-to-normals, who have discarded their masks and their inhibitions, to the super cautious, who are extremely nervous about social interactions.

How do you accommodate this diversity? Firstly, you must acknowledge it. If you are proceeding with your wedding, you are probably very invested in the notion that normal life has returned. But you must be aware that not all your guests feel that way and, since weddings are usually multi-generational affairs, there will almost certainly be a number of elderly guests, who may feel more vulnerable. You will therefore have to be punctilious about ventilation, ensure that seating is not too cramped so that a reasonable amount of social distance is maintained, and provide hand sanitizer and face masks.

It might be wise to add a note about Covid to the wedding information ‘pack’ you send out with your invitations (along with information about transport, accommodation and so on). You could simply add a reassuring note along these lines:

We are taking all reasonable precautions against Covid, and can assure our guests that adequate ventilation and social distancing options will be in place. Face masks are not obligatory, but we will have masks available for any guests who require them.

If you have been bruised by the whole pandemic experience, and the resulting uncertainty about your wedding has made you re-think your plans, it is quite acceptable to do so, even if you have already sent out invitations or save-the-date cards. The situation is exceptional, and people will understand reluctance to proceed with earlier plans. The most important priority is to keep your potential guests fully informed, so send out a printed card, or letter, as follows:

Wedding of John Montgomery and Helen Mayfield, 25 September 2021

We regret to announce that, because of the ongoing consequences of the Covid pandemic, we have decided to downscale our planned wedding. We very much look forward to celebrating our marriage with you at a later date (to be announced). OR We hope we will be able to celebrate our marriage with you in the near future.

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