Whether you are currently eyeball deep in the wedding planning process or just started to think about where to start, you know the COVID-19 definitely has thrown a wrench into the mix.
It can be a scary time to think about trying to plan this incredibly perfect day when there is so much uncertainty out there. Well, I can say as a wedding planner, what is certain is that COVID-19 has changed how larger gatherings, like weddings, will be executed now and for the foreseeable future.
It's certain to say that even if suddenly COVID-19 is gone, these new ways of doing things when it comes to how venues handle weddings and events will not suddenly go away. Resorts, venues, and restaurants will all air on the side of caution for a long time because its our duty to give a happy and safe experience for many years to come.
But change doesn't have to be feared. It is ok to take a few moments and let out all the frustration you may feel, if you started this planning journey before it all happened - but I promise not all is lost - and you perfect day is still out there. These new items and processes, in my opinion, make it even better than before.
Here are a few of the changes our venue, Courtyard Marathon Florida Keys, have put into place to insure the safety of the guests and staff.
New Buffet Style - the Elevated Buffet - Gone is the traditional buffet where food is set on a buffet line where guests come to serve themselves. Our new take on buffet is the hybrid buffet which still allows for the easy of the guest to come up to the buffet line, however, servers are set on the other side of a glass partition serving the food to the guests. This still offers guests the opportunity to choose their own food items, but will not touch or 'hang over' any of the food. Think Chipotle meets modern elegance.
Masks to Match - It is a fact (and law) now that the mask, like it or not, has entered our lives and is not leaving anytime soon. So instead of anger or fear - let's embrace it. Encourage guests with mask favors in your wedding colors, or cute bride/groom masks when visiting tables.
Most clothing stores are now selling cute masks in different fabrics and matching to out fits (check out Old Navy) Masks do not need to be warn when eating and drinking -so an open bar usually helps with that!
Clean Hands is King - Hand sanitizer is everywhere. Think about how you can incorporate this into your centerpieces if you are concerned about it standing out. Wrapping in color paper or ribbon will usually do the trick. Our venue supplies this in bottles and stands around the wedding site for free.
App Stations To Please - The more traditional butler passed apps is no longer the safest way to offer your guests small bites to hold them over before dinner. Changing to an appetizer station(s) still offers the delicious bites, but in a more controlled setting with a server.
It's Not About The Size (really) - This may be the right time to really take a good long look at your guest list to think about who and (more importantly) why you are inviting them. Cutting down on a big guest list can help you really enjoy the moments you get to spend with each one and worry less about making sure you have enough time to speak to every person. If you are afraid of 'big' party restrictions, this can help bring you piece of mind up front. And your wallet will thank you too!
Protecting Your Investment - You may not think about your big day as an investment, but with all the time and money spent months and years in advance - it's not a bad idea to do everything you can to help protect it. You should know what will happen if there is another shut down. This means it will be impossible or illegal for you or your guests to make it to the venue. Look for a Force Majeure clause to help protect you. And also know how much of your deposits you can re cooperate if you need to reschedule.
At the Courtyard Marathon Florida Keys, we are offering 100% of the current deposits to go towards a new date if it becomes impossible or illegal to travel to the Florida Keys. Giving our couples a piece of mind knowing their investment is safe until it's safe to return.
Another way to help protect your investment is buying Event Insurance. There are many varieties of options when it comes to event insurance. Some will even cover cancellations due to personal reasons (not by law or impossibilities). This will give you the most protection for more situations that could arise. Most reputable insurance companies offer this type of insurance. Check with your current insurance company for bundling saving options or check out specialty companies like Eventsured: https://www.eventsured.com/wedding-insurance/
About This Wedding Expert
Hi! I am Kristy Harvey, founder + lead planner of Best. Day. Ever. Weddings Florida Keys. I know planning a destination wedding can be stressful (believe me -I planned one of my own) - that's why 50-60 couples each year turn to us to create their perfect day with them in mind.
Stop the stressing and overwhelm - and start truly enjoying this once in a lifetime planning journey.
Let's start your planning journey together today!