What we know: Our new normal is something we don’t yet know.
What we don’t know: What our new normal will look like.
We are still waiting to be told what is and isn’t allowed, and how long these rules will apply with every part of our lives outside of our homes. Will the social distancing two meter rule stay in place for another two months, six months, a year we have no idea. It also feels like we, the ‘regular joes’, aren’t the only ones with no idea. The scientists, politicians, doctors are all figuring it out as we go. With this in mind it is apparent weddings are going to look very different from what we are used to for quite some time. Our new normal is unknown, but our now is only temporary.
Here I’m going to focus on the concept of social distancing, as this is a major area of concern for many couples planning their weddings at the moment. I recently heard ‘social distancing’ referenced as ‘physical distancing’ by Sandy Hammer at allseated. She made a very good point that we are still being social, albeit virtually. It is our physical distance which we need to keep tabs on - it is so important for our mental health to remember this, we’re not complete recluses, just look at the increased use of social media and the likes of Zoom.
Now that we need to stay further apart than we would like there is plenty of speculation around what that means for weddings, which have always been the huggy, lovey, dancey, close proximity type of environments. Some of the elements of a wedding which cause the most concern for couples, suppliers and venues when it comes to restrictions to our proximity are:
We need to accept for the time being, and foreseeable future, there is going to be more ‘space’ between us with physical distancing. With this in mind we need to be creative in thinking how to fill the space and make sure it still gives all the gorgeous feels of a wedding - safely and legally (your venue will have to adhere to the government legislation).
Gone are the days of 10 to a table, not having enough elbow room, and the waiting staff only just being able to squeeze between two guests. Now the number of guests on a table will be reduced, the number of tables increased and with this the original table plans need a lot of thought and consideration. The awesome team at allseated have adapted their software to make it possible to play with seating arrangements depending on what the physical distancing regulations are at the time of your wedding. Take a look here.
Venue: Hylands House
As we all know from the queues at supermarkets, banks, and as I write this garden centres all public spaces are being restricted in the number of customers they can have in their space at one time. In the world of weddings this will be the capacity of wedding venues. What seems to be the trend at the moment is venues being restricted to a third of their normal capacity. So what does this mean? A ballroom which would ordinarily seat 1000 will now be used for just over 300 (guests and suppliers included) or a marquee which would be for 120 would now be suitable for 40. You’ll need to consider if this will impact the venue you had originally chosen for your wedding, or your guest list if you don’t want to stick to your original venue. With all the space between your guests on large tables this is when you really need to start thinking creatively about filling the space in an effortlessly elegant and beautiful way, which still encourages conversation and being social. A perfect example would be with gorgeous floral arrangements cascading across the table and between place settings.
The trend for a lot of weddings is to have some form of family style catering. Whether it be a sharing board in the middle of the table at the wedding breakfast, a grazing table in the evening, or a donut wall. Sadly these styles won’t be able to go ahead at the moment. Caterers will be required to serve individual portions and move away from any style of shared food.
All the sweat, hugs and general closeness of dance floors will be a thing of the past for a while. There are other options, making your dance floor different levels, with a maximum. capacity per level, or having a first dance followed by a festival vibe where guests are free to roam - you could have an open dance tent making for a lot more space than a traditional dance floor where the space is confined.
Again an area which attracts mass congregation in a confined area. The likelihood is bars will be a place where only one person can go at a time, (imagine the queues!) so make it simpler and have drinks served. Long gone are the days when the bar would be three deep and a hotbed of thirsty guests clambering to get to the front of the bar in between their favourite tracks being played.
Last but certainly not least the loos will need to be cleaned a lot more frequently. You might be required to have more loos than you were anticipating. You’ll certainly need to fill them with plenty of soap, paper towels, antibac you name it, it’ll be needed. Most venues will need to increase the cleaning of the loos to every 30 minute or so, depending on the number of guests who are using them. This is a pretty boring one, but totally essential in keeping your wedding coronavirus free.
These are some of the considerations we are all going to be needing to cover off when planning a wedding from now on. If you would like some more top tips on how to be creative and embrace social distancing at your wedding then please click this link https://tinyurl.com/EmbraceSocialDistancing
Constance Taylor | Mrs T Weddings | www.mrstweddings.com
Image credits: Zehra Jagani