It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year we did Part 1: How Planners Are Managing the Marry Now, Party Later Trend and we’re circling back with an updated version! While we’re still dealing with variants, mask mandates, and social distancing, couples are still ready to say “I do” in 2022. That means wedding planners are busier than ever, with vows that were postponed finally taking place, along with the events originally planned for this year. So we asked a few Aisle Planner pros how they're handling everything now that it’s officially time to party.
Are couples still keeping it small?
It looks like couples are ready to get back to the business of large guest counts, with Simone Vega of Simone Vega Events revealing that people are just itching to get out there and celebrate with their loved ones. “There might be a sprinkle of micro weddings here and there. but I feel couples are getting back to the norm of 150+ weddings. Our biggest wedding this year is 250 guests!”
Carissa Corsi of Carissa Corsi Events agrees, noting that unless major restrictions come back into play, her couples want to carry on with their intended guest count.
What will the events look like?
While couples want a return to large weddings, there still needs to be a plan in place to keep everyone safe. Corsi explains that means revisiting an event’s floor plan and layout to make sure guests can still mix and mingle safely. She even recommends offering wrist bands to guests as a means to keep them feeling comfortable, with different color wrist bands signifying their level of comfort interacting with others. And Elana Walker of Elana Walker Events notes that seating guests by family instead of worrying about filling up tables is one way to help prevent the spread, as well as discovering unique places to host a wedding that provides more space for guests to spread out.
Will everyone be wearing masks?
Vega points out that once the food and drinks start flowing, the masks come off—and couples seem fine with that since other precautions will be in place. However, while guests can feel free to go maskless, planners are requiring their staff members to keep them on throughout the event. “Requiring your staff to wear masks sends a message that you're not only responsible but caring and careful,” notes Vega. “I feel we'll still see planners, their staff, and vendors wearing masks at weddings well into 2022.”
Corsi is taking the same precautions with her staff, as well as requiring them to be tested before the event and supplying them with all of the necessities—sanitizer, surface wipes, extra masks, etc.—to keep everyone healthy.
What about vaccine requirements?
Most couples are requiring their guests to be vaccinated and boosted or have a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to arriving at their wedding, explains Walker. To make the process easier, many couples are setting up email credentials for their guests to send in their results ahead of time to avoid having to handle it on the day of the event. In addition, they are asking their vendors about their vaccination status considering the vendors are just as present as guests.
What other things should planners keep in mind?
It is crucial to stay up to date on the latest guidelines in an event’s location, keeping your clients—as well as their guests—in the loop of any changes or new restrictions, says Corsi. Walker adds that preparing "stand by" staff in the event someone scheduled is sick helps to ensure planners will have enough people to fulfill the job.
Hero photo courtesy of Franzi Annika Photography