The onset of the COVID pandemic in 2020 required couples to make drastic changes to their wedding plans.
According to a new survey by Paperless Post:
- 31% of weddings held during the pandemic included virtual guests before vaccines became available.
- 14% of couples pushed their wedding out 12 months or more.
- There is now an average of 70 or fewer in-person wedding guests versus the average of 75-150 guests prior to COVID-19.
Unfortunately, while we may be “done” with COVID-19, the virus didn’t get the memo. The U.S. is still averaging over 100,000 reported cases of COVID-19 every day. And now that we have at-home rapid testing, many more cases remain unreported. We are still losing more than 400 Americans to COVID-19 every day.
In addition, many experts are predicting a new surge of cases this fall.
It’s true that the more recent variants tend to cause less severe cases in many people, and that we now have vaccines and treatments that we didn’t have at the outset of the pandemic.
But those who are older or are immune-compromised are still at risk of serious illness, even death.
Since many of your guests could fall into these categories, you’ll want to help protect them from this still-circulating, highly contagious virus.
Ideally, masks are the best protection against virus spread, but that’s not possible at a reception where everyone’s eating.
So here are some other ideas:
1. Limit guest lists
As Paperless Post reports, many couples are having fewer in-person guests at their nuptials. Consider having at-risk individuals Zoom in instead of attending live.
2. Test liberally
For those who do attend in person, urge them to be current on vaccines and boosters, and ask that all guests and vendor staff take a rapid test right before any events. Keep plenty of rapid tests available for those who need them.
3. Mind ventilation
And while outdoor wedding events can reduce the chance of transmission, the weather is fickle and can ruin an otherwise perfectly planned ceremony.
We now know that COVID-19 is transmitted largely through airborne aerosols, so if you’re planning an indoor wedding, keep doors and windows open as much as possible and use fans to keep air moving. Also use several portable HEPA air cleaners.
Remember that the elegant, spacious rooms and high ceilings of the historic Alfred I. duPont Building allow for maximum air circulation at any indoor event.