Because we truly value our clients and our couples in the community planning their big day, we are providing some tips to help relieve some of the stress and anxiety couples may be feeling right now.
We have put together a short guide to help answer some of your questions and to hopefully, put some of your concerns to rest. Here’s what you should expect going forward while planning your wedding during this time.
I STILL WANT TO GET MARRIED AND HAVE A WEDDING, WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
1.) As of November 2020, elopements and micro weddings (UP TO 30ppl MAX) may commence IF all 30 ppl are socially distanced, wearing a mask and 6 feet apart. Depending on the Phase your venue is in you may be able to have up to 100 people, however same rules apply: all guests are socially distanced, wearing a mask and 6 feet apart.
2.) You may get married at home or a private property (still 6 feet apart) consider live streaming your union via ZOOM, Facebeook LIVE or Instagram LIVE,
1.) HAND WASHING STATIONS
Give your guests peace of mind by adding hand sanitizing stations throughout your event. Some venues will provide hand sanitizing stations, however more than just a couple is encouraged. If you need to rent these, Bridgewood Event Rentals and The Party Place both offer stand alone stations for rent (Cost: $110).
2.) EXTRA SIGNAGE TO HELP GUESTS UNDERSTAND THE RULES
If there's one thing American's can agree on and it's that the rules of COVID entertaining are a bit blurred. Make sure your guests don't have to wonder what is allowed and not allowed. Add extra signage around the event to encourage physical distancing, hand washing and mask wearing when not at their table.
3.) PHYSICAL DISTANCED LAYOUT (Reception + Ceremony)
Since your event has to stay "physically distanced", the standard layout for any event is now based off of what they call a "Quarantine Bubble" and is considered a max of 10 people who are either already living together, have decided to quarantine together or are comfortable being less than six feet from one another, and without a mask on. While a quarantine bubble can be up to 10 people, it is not a rule to have 10ppl at the table. If a group (quarantine bubble) is two or five people we will make a table that seats only that amount. Expect tables to vary in size. This goes for your ceremony as well. These same quarantine bubbles will be used to created safe seating arrangements. We still have to keep the same 6 feet apart when creating a ceremony chair layout, however it doesn't look weird and guests hardly notice.
4.) COCKTAIL RECEPTION RULES
One thing to understand is that while events are allowed, the way we used to "cocktail" together during the "cocktail hour" is no longer allowed. Activities such as appetizer buffets, or passed canapes are no longer considered safe. Similarly there is no open mingling allowed and no lines at the bar. All guests must stay at their table in their "quarantine bubble" and some of the best ways to still have a "cocktail reception" hour is to have individual small plates for each guest (at their table) to enjoy an appetizer. Or you are able to do a family style appetizer for each quarantine bubble. Caterers are really upping their game with this presentation, you'll likely get some pretty fun ideas that you may not have normally thought of.
5.) BAR SERVICE
No more lines or group congregating at the bar, no more bar top seating and the state has discouraged the use of reusable glassware -just like in a restaurant or bar your event is no different. To adjust to these new regulations the industry has suggested instead of serving beverages where many people are self-serving and touching dispenser handles, grab and go individual beverages are the best way to serve non-alcoholic drinks. Also expect to be adding acrylic plexi shields to bar fronts, just like you in grocery stores to protect the catering staff and guests alike. Plexi bar shields can be rented at Bridgewood Event Rentals and The Party Place, both run about $150.
6.) PLATED DINNER SERVICE + DESSERT
Goodbye buffets and open cocktail hours with passed canapes, hello plated dinners for everyone! Most caterers are only offering plated food service now that buffets and self served food is no longer allowed and mandated by the Governor as a "not allowed". Some counties, however, are allowing buffets with a plexi shield and a catering staff person behind the shield serving your items, much like a cafeteria lunch line.
7.) NO DANCE FLOOR
Yes, you read the right, no dance floor. It's not allowed in dance clubs and it's not allowed at your event. It's just not considered safe in an indoor facility. The way we have seen it done is that each table has it's own little sectioned off area for dancing, guest are not allowed to intermingle, rather stay at their table to dance. If you are having an outdoor event on your own private property then we suggest checking with your county on it' rules and safety regulations if it's suggested that wearing masks while dancing outside is considered "ok".
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Some counties are still in "Phase 1" of the reopening and depending on venue sq footage they may allow up to 100 indoor and 250 outdoor -the caveat is that no matter the amount of guests you will be required to stay 6' apart and all guests and vendors will need to wear a mask, the entire time. This will be on a county by county basis. Not all counties will be on the same schedule.
TRAVELING GUEST? Once the county you plan to have an event in is in "Phase 1" any travel beyond 50 miles will still NOT BE ALLOWED, so do not expect to have guests from out of town as travel will still be restricted.
HOW DO I HAVE AN EVENT IN PHASE 1 or 2, WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
1.) Keep it to 10 or under and in a backyard, home, or wide open space. This 10 ppl INCLUDES all guests, you and your partner and all vendors.
2.) NO buffets, even if you are cooking your own food.
3.) Maintain a safe 6' apart for all guests. vendors and yourself.
4.) Live stream a a Micro Wedding or Elopement for friends and family.
5.) Elope alone with an officiant and photographer -get adventurous! Then have a reception later next year.
6.) Reschedule your event all together and be done with the stress. Reschedule to a date next year and enjoy your day as originally planned.
WHAT ABOUT GATHERINGS MORE THAN 10ppl? 25 or 50, 100+? There is detailed info HERE from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, where she explicitly explains each "Phase" and gathering size.
Venues in Phase 1: Indoor social get-togethers are capped at 10 people with physical distancing. Cultural, civic, and faith gatherings are capped at 50 people with physical distancing for indoors or outdoors.
Venues in Phase 2: Limit the gathering capacity to a maximum of 100 people indoor or 250 people outdoor, not to exceed 250 indoor and outdoor; or the number of people, including staff, based on a determination of capacity (square footage/occupancy), whichever is less. If venue/event operators host a single event that occurs both indoors and outdoors, total maximum capacity cannot exceed 250 people, including staff.
Lastly, regarding any and all further questions, please feel free to reach out to us directly via our CONTACT PAGE.
As we all navigate this dynamic and ever-changing situation, we will share any new information we receive that we feel may be pertinent to you and your planning. We believe it is in challenging times like these that the power of hospitality is needed most of all. Please take good care of yourself and your loved ones.
We look forward to continuing to create magic with you!
Misty & Team