Covid-19 has changed the face of weddings for the foreseeable future and with that, large, lavish weddings have been put on pause. With social distancing being front of mind, brides are now left with the very difficult and challenging task of reducing their guest list in order to meet new government regulations. Navigating these changes is something brides have never had to deal with before, and can feel very overwhelming and stressful and advice on how to deal with your guests has been limited… until now. While the thought of having to trim your guest-list is already enough to give you a headache under normal circumstances, having to reduce it enough for a micro-wedding may seem impossible. After all, how do you choose who will be invited to celebrate with you on your special day?
Due to the impact of Covid and social distancing, virtual weddings are becoming an increasingly popular option, particularly if you have elderly guests or with those with comorbidities. Dealing with a planner like Megara, means we can assist you with recommendations of streaming platforms to use. You can still make a virtual guest feel important by asking them to request a song, read a poem, make a speech or a toast if they are a close friend or dear family member.
Postpone The Reception:
For some couples, the idea of celebrating their wedding without particular friends of family is just unimaginable, but they are dealing with the dilemma of wanting to be married. What we have found to be a popular option is an elopement or micro wedding ceremony and then hosting the wedding reception down the line. We love the idea of having an intimate ceremony and then bringing all your friends and family together for a giant party that is safe and enjoyable for all.
Pick Your A Team
While you obviously chose to invite all your guests to your wedding for a reason, who can you really not imagine your wedding day without. These are likely the first person you told you were engaged or who you share any big news with. Write these names down and pop them a quick message or call to see if they are available the day you want to get married. Micro weddings only allow for a small number of guests, so their response will help you to determine if you have capacity to invite other guests.
How to pick your A team:
If you need to reduce your list above even further, then consider asking the following questions:
- Can you imagine getting married without this person present?
- How often do you see or speak to this person?
- Do you consider this person a rock in your life?
- Do you feel comfortable sharing your most intimate and feelings and vows infront of them?
- Do you feel pressured to invite that person, or is a family member pressuring you to invite that person?
Keeping Guests Safe:
If you have elderly or vulnerable guests on your A team list, think about how you can offer them additional protection in order to keep them safe. Consider including hand santiser at every table, being outdoors as much as possible, offering face masks, these little gestures will go a long way and will certainly be appreciated by your guests. Keep in mind, vulnerable guests may be happy to attend virtually to avoid being uncomfortable on your special day. If virtual attendance doesn’t feel like it will be special enough, consider sending them their own mini bouquet, or visiting them in our wedding attire or have them read a letter or a toast as we mentioned above.
Travelling from a distance comes with a different set of risks, and while there is no need to immediately uninvite your bestie who lie abroad, it is important to consider the risks and factors like quarantine, getting stuck somewhere due to lockdown and the risk of contracting covid through travel. While all your guests would love to celebrate with you, letting international guests know you don’t expect them to attend under the current circumstances may come as a huge relief and remove the stress they were feeling whilst trying to navigate the situation.
How to Politely Un-invite Guests Once Invitations Are Already Out:
If you are wanting to reduce your numbers to be more inline with a micro wedding, but your invitations have already gone out, we have a few tips to delicately inform your guests that’s plans have changed. For the first time we are all experiencing the same circumstances at the same time, so your guests will most likely be completely understanding if you are clear and honest in your communication. As soon as you have made the decision to reduce your guest list, you need to communicate this with your guests. They will understand it is for your and their own safety, however some guests may still be disappointed. Instead of sending out a mass mail, opt rather for individual calls or emails explaining that while it is unfortunate, you are looking forward to celebrating your wedding with them at a later date.
Be sure to track guests RSVPs which will allow you to at a glance, visualize numbers of guests in attendance. You can also use this tracking to record any gifts and if a thank you card has been sent.If you are choosing to postpone rather than cancel, then be sure to send out a “change of date’ card as soon as possible. This gives your guests a chance to change any travel arrangements. This is also important if you change the venue as well as the date.
The Best Of A Bad Situation
We know cutting the guest list is extremely difficult, and while it may be sad to say goodbye to your wedding dream that once was, a smaller wedding does have many benefits. Smaller weddings can still be just as extravagant, so consider reapportioning some of budget saved on having a smaller guests count, to upgrade other areas of your wedding experience such as, booking that photographer that was previously your of your budget or include a three course plated dinner rather that single course buffet. The biggest benefit of a smaller guest list, in our opinion, is the option to actually be present and spend time with each guest in a meaningful and memorable way. While weddings of over 100 will always be special, you need 100 minutes just to spend one minute with each guest- so you can see how quickly your celebration will pass just greeting everyone. Smaller groups will also encourage your guests to feel safer socialising and so they can spend the day celebrating without the fear of coming too close to large groups.
While having to reduce your dream wedding guest list will never be an easy experience, it is a necessary part of our new normal. There is no reason why you can’t still have all the amazing details you always wanted to create your perfect day. We hope these tips will give you some comfort in how to handle these challenges a little easier. If you have any further questions, pop and email to email@example.com and we will be sure to assist as best we can.