I’m a twenty-something wedding photographer in Texas who photographs couples who are ready to celebrate their marriage. Building my business has been one hell of a ride, so grab a cup of coffee (or some wine - no judgement here) and join me for my life behind the lens.
ICYMI: Texas is in the middle of a COVID-19 surge and things are getting pretty scary here. Some may argue that the media is trying to scare us, or that the numbers aren’t accurate, but here’s what I DO know:
Do you know what they all had in common? They’ve all attended weddings recently. Yup. Weddings.
They are sick and miserable y’all. This virus is NO JOKE. What makes this even more terrifying though, is what we (all vendors) are seeing at these post-shutdown weddings. We are seeing PACKED reception spaces with 200+ guests. Guests are not wearing masks, and in fact, there have even been some reports of couples/parents asking guests AND VENDORS to NOT wear a mask… WHAT?! *steps off soapbox*
Y’all, I know this is no fun, but take it from someone who has had my brain poked by COVID swabs – the virus isn’t fun either. I want more than anything for you to have the day you’ve always dreamed of, and you absolutely will. It just may look a little different than you had imagined!
There are some simple ways to keep your guests and vendors safe on your wedding day. Are these options perfect? No, they aren’t, but it’s so much better than doing nothing and putting your family and friends at risk. Let’s talk about some ways to keep everyone safe!
Here’s the thing… you’re getting married during a global pandemic. Talk about one hell of a story to tell your grandkids someday! You may want everything to look and seem “normal” in your photos, but we are in a global pandemic. THIS IS NOT NORMAL!! Face masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing SHOULD be part of your photos/video because this is your story! If it was raining on your wedding day, I wouldn’t avoid any sign of rain in your photos simply because you didn’t want it to rain… Same thing here! This pandemic is part of your story, so please, don’t be afraid to include this in your photos!
This is a big one, because YOU set the tone for your wedding day. When a couple is enjoying their day and having a blast, your guests will do the same! This is especially true when it comes to social distancing and wearing face masks!
I was at an event a few weeks ago when a few guests entered the building with face masks on. They looked around and saw others not wearing their masks and said “oh! I guess I won’t be needing this then!” and then they took off their mask…. BE THE EXAMPLE COUPLES! Will you have your masks on the whole time? No. BUT if you can encourage and make your guests feel comfortable by example, then it will help tremendously.
Another example of this are hugs. Y’all, it’s awkward. That whole “are we hugging or not” shuffle. Be the leader. Hold your hands up and say “air hug!” so no one is waiting for that awkward queue if its acceptable or not…
I know, this one isn’t fun. But hey, I don’t like pants either, but I still wear them… 😉
Back to a more serious note – better safe than sorry. You really don’t know who has underlying health conditions or who may be carrying the virus. Let me tell you though, you don’t want to find out that your friends and family DID get sick and it happened at your wedding. Let’s all do our part to keep everyone safe, and that starts with all guests and vendors wearing a mask.
You can even take it a step further and provide your guests with masks! I’ve seen some super cute and clever ways that brides are incorporating these into their day. Move over customize coozies, wedding face masks are the new thing!
Have guests that don’t want to cooperate with your wishes? See ya later. It’s YOUR day, not theirs!
Provide sanitizer for all of your guests and keep sanitizer on you at all times! I’ve even seen some wedding party or family members walk around the reception and make sure everyone sanitize their hands a few times throughout the night. Again, it’s not perfect, but doing something is better than doing nothing!
One easy way to keep your guests safe is to look at your table set up! Limit how many people sit at each table and keep the tables a decent distance apart. Opt for something less than 75% per table which will allow guests to spread out and keep a safe distance. This is one of the most simple things that you can do you to protect your guests, and it will still look beautiful!
There is nothing wrong with small weddings! Remember, your day is all about you getting MARRIED, that’s what matters the most! You can have a STUNNING wedding with your closest family and A-List vendor team and still have the best day ever.
If you do decide to cut your guest list and go a more intimate route, include absent guests by going virtual! I’m happy to help you find the perfect place to put your camera so your guests can see. I also love this option because you can record it, what a fun way to hold onto some precious memories of your family’s reactions!
This is one that I don’t think a lot of us considered, but I think it’s very important! Make it a point to avoid large dances that include contact with other people. Dances like the Grand March, Conga Lines, Cotten Eyed Joe, etc.!
Use your wedding website and social media to communicate to your guests about any changes or expectations. Also, don’t be afraid to let guests know that there are no hard feelings if they decide not to come. This is about keeping everyone safe and healthy, and getting you MARRIED!!
So let's take our new relationship offline and meet face-to-face for hugs and maybe a Margarita!
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