When your sweetie proposed to you and you responded with an enthusiastic, “Heck, yes!” you both envisioned planning a large wedding with plenty of family and friends in attendance.
And while you still hope to host a big party in the future to celebrate your nuptials, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced you and your fiancé to rethink your immediate wedding plans. Instead of renting a large local venue, you have decided to scale back to a more intimate backyard wedding and reception that will allow you to still say, “I do” on schedule.
Looking to make your now-smaller outdoor wedding as beautiful and meaningful as possible? Then consider the following tips:
1. Let Your Guests Know about the Outdoor Venue
To help give your now-pared-down guest list a feel for the style of your wedding, make it clear on the wedding invitation that this will be a casual, outdoor affair. Many of the unique invitations available at Minted.com feature several lines of text that you can personalize with your own custom details. Highlight that your ceremony and reception will be held in your backyard and discuss how to dress accordingly. Invitations are also a good place to include additional details, such as if there will be a cash bar, dinner, and/or hors d’oeuvres.
2. Plan for as Much as You Can
Because rules and regulations surrounding COVID-19 are constantly in flux, experts advise soon-to-be brides and grooms to plan everything they can feasibly control for their wedding and then be willing to change other plans closer to the big day.
For instance, you should be able to book musicians, photographers, and videographers, and a makeup artist now, but might have to work with your caterer up until the last minute to see if a buffet-style dinner will work, or if it should be a plated and served affair. Or, if you want to skip the stress of reworking your catering plan, you might ask a close friend or two to barbecue burgers and/or steaks for your guests.
3. Treat Your Guests to the Finest Things You Can Afford
Since you’ll be hosting a smaller group at your outdoor wedding, you can treat them to the most beautiful reception experience possible. Rather than use disposable plates, you can instead opt for your grandmother’s beautiful china, ask a crafty friend to hand-calligraph place cards, and have actual silverware and glass champagne flutes rather than plasticware.
4. Set up the Seating with Social Distancing in Mind
To keep your guests as safe as possible, place the chairs six feet apart and adorn each seat with a goodie bag that contains a face mask, gloves, and a small bottle of hand sanitizer. If you’d like, you can order colorful face masks that match or complement the bridesmaids’ dresses. You can also print out labels with your names on them and the date of your wedding and affix them to the bottles of hand sanitizer.
Enjoy Your Special Day
Even though a small backyard wedding is not exactly what you had in mind for your big day, remember that the love between you and your fiancé is what matters most. Ultimately, you’ll still be husband and wife at the end of the day and can always redo the wedding and/or reception down the road when life returns to some normalcy. But by following these tips, you can rest assured knowing your wedding will be beautiful, meaningful, and safe.