Wedding events are all about the magic that is produced after months of planning to the finest detail. From the hand-picked flowers, the scented candles, the well curated decorations, the music, the food and drinks and the beautifully adorned wedding dress, with every element leading up to the special occasion, it has always been a unique experience for the couple and their families as well as an honor to be a wedding guest.
At the end of 2019, a new coronavirus, called Covid-19, unexpectantly appeared and quickly started spreading all over the world. In light of the global pandemic, the Greek government announced lockdown measurements on March 22, 2020. A couple of months later, with a phased approach to opening, life has gradually returned to a new normality and now weddings and other social events have also started to return.
However, like things are different in everyday life- we’ve learned to live with masks, physical distancing and washing hands often- we also need to follow some basic rules to minimize risk during our celebrations. This is where creative thinking can find ways for wedding guests to socialize while maintaining the recommended distancing (1,5 to 2 meters/ 6 foot) and still have a fabulous guest experience.
Below are some tips to help stay safe and still enjoy an amazing event!
1. LIVE-STREAM YOUR WEDDING
This is a great idea for the guests who are not able to attend the wedding due to travel bans or other reasons and you still want to share your big day with them. Live streaming is an entirely new idea but it has already become a trend. The technical team makes the preparations, from a simple one-camera ceremony live-stream to a complex multi-camera coverage of the ceremony, reception and party areas. You just have to send a private electronic invite to the guests and they can join in from their mobile, tablet, desktop, laptop, and even their TV.
Encourage your remote guests to dress up and grab a drink so that they can get the feeling of being close to you and to your celebration!
2. CHOOSE OUTDOORS
If you plan a destination wedding in Greece, chances are that you will find sunny and warm weather from May to October. This fact gives the opportunity for ceremonies and receptions to take place outdoors and allows to spread out and use as much as possible of the space. Natural light and beautiful sceneries can be the perfect backdrops for amazing reception designs and ceremony structures. Use creative ways to allow traffic flow while décor elements can be repurposed in order to create paths of circulation and physical barriers between the different areas.
Photo credits: George Michalas
Wedding Planning, Styling & Design: Style Concept
3. COCKTAIL HOUR & BUFFET
The cocktail hour has always been the time to mix and mingle while enjoying a refreshing drink and the beautiful views. Make guests safe and comfortable by adding more cocktail tables, chairs and lounge furniture in order to break up the space into smaller areas and avoid crowding. Creating a bar menu or a list with the signature cocktails that will be placed before the bar is a brilliant idea that can allow guests to select their drink before getting in front of the bartender.
In regards to a buffet option, according to the regulations announced by the Greek government, the catering staff should serve the guests and it is mandatory to always wear a mask and gloves. Guests using the utensils to serve themselves is not an option so you may consider this service as an upgrade to your event.
4. MAKING SEATING PRETTY
Seating charts or escort cards, while beautiful and part of the decoration, they can often create a queue at the entrance of the reception. Design multiple seating charts and place them at different parts of the cocktail area along with flower arrangements and interesting décor elements so that guests can look at them at their own ease while they enjoy their drink. Moreover, a designated hostess at the entrance with an alphabetical guest list in hand can assist the guests and ease the traffic.
In regards to seating, since tables of six guests are recommended to keep the required distancing, you may consider small bistro tables or mix and match tables of different shapes and sizes intended to produce an interesting design that will also create an intimate feeling.
5. TIME FOR DANCING!
Weddings wouldn’t be the same without the party time! Dancing is an essential part of the event while it often represents cultural traditions related to the wedding. For outdoor spaces, take advantage of the space and use a bigger dance floor in order to fit everyone. If the venue has a patio, with the aid of lights and speakers use it as a second dance floor so to keep groups to a minimum.
6. BE CREATIVE WITH THE DESIGN
Aiming to keep social distancing, you can offer your guests beautiful and unusual elements that will enhance the beauty of the space and most important, the guest experience. Design is now repurposed to direct traffic, to keep guests in single line at the bar and the buffet and to create distancing in a beautified way. Dare to place tall trees, plant walls, entry table decors, artful dividers and elegant backdrops along with hanging florals, big mirrors and impressive large china – beauty can never be enough!
Photo credits: Wedtime Stories
Wedding Planning, Styling & Design: Style Concept
Life goes on and celebrations are part of it. Let’s make them meaningful, innovative, great-looking, fun and as personalized as possible!