We connected with our friends at Simply Eloped (an elopement company that has planned 5,000 weddings around the US over the last few years) to share some insights to help couples who are facing uncertainty about their wedding plans in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic. Read on to learn about the options for proceeding with your wedding on your original date, even if it doesn't look exactly as you anticipated.xoxo, The B$B Team
Pivoting your wedding plans in the face of the Coronavirus
Planning a wedding on its own can be a stressful experience, but with the addition of the Coronavirus outbreak pandemic — which is urging the postponement of gatherings of 50 people or more and restricting things like air travel — figuring out how to celebrate your big day can seem downright impossible. For the safety of themselves and their guests, many couples with big destination weddings are canceling their plans. And for those that haven't yet made that choice, there are even more couples left wondering exactly what to do.
At Simply Eloped, numerous couples planning traditional weddings have been sharing similar stories. They can’t travel to their ceremony location, their guest count exceeds 50, or they feel at-risk and don’t know where they can turn for wedding advice. They’re devastated in so many ways — not just about the financial losses, but due to the vagueness of what the future holds — not to mention the gigantic question mark that’s placed on a new wedding date. Luckily, there are options for couples all across the US to still have their wedding amidst the chaos of the coronavirus outbreak.
When facing the chaos and challenges imposed by this outbreak, an elopement is a simple and savvy solution. It also answers that big question mark by allowing couples to still say “I do” on their original date. Pivoting to an elopement allows couples to still have their wedding day, but with a small guest count (or no guests at all) in a location that’s within driving distance to your home.
How to Move Forward with Your Wedding Plans during the Coronavirus
Here are some ways you can still hold your wedding day in the age of the coronavirus:
Have an intimate, no-guest wedding within driving distance of your hometown.
There is something special about a no-guest wedding — so much so that many Simply Eloped couples have chosen no-guest celebrations prior to the coronavirus concerns. But if you still want your loved ones to witness this special moment, consider videotaping or live streaming the ceremony to your guest list. It’s a great way to still include those you love, without any of the risks associated with gathering in large crowds. Apps like Skype, Facebook Live, Google Hangouts, or even FaceTime will allow your guests to tune in virtually and witness your ceremony.
Selecting a location to hold your ceremony that doesn’t require traveling long distances or flying is key, and you might be surprised that some of the best places to elope or hold an intimate wedding can be found locally. Check in with your local parks, squares, or even private Airbnbs in your area to see what options you have to hold your ceremony.
If you must have guests, edit your guest list down to only a handful of loved ones.
If you feel that you must have guests present, keep the guest list as short as possible, and remember that keeping a safe distance (between 6 to 10 feet away) is recommended. Be thoughtful about who you choose: people with compromised immune systems and the elderly are at greater risk should they contract the coronavirus, so use the utmost consideration when selecting guests. If you do choose to invite guests to your day, be sure to have products like antibacterial hand sanitizer readily available for guests to use.
Consider a no-guest ceremony, and hold a big vow renewal ceremony or reception with friends and family once risks subside.
Many couples at Simply Eloped choose to have an intimate ceremony and celebrate solo as husband and wife before heading home to host a big reception with family and friends. What better way to keep you and those you love safe by getting married with just you and your spouse, live streaming your ceremony, then hosting a big celebration that includes your loved ones once the coronavirus dissipates? This will mitigate the risks associated with getting together in large gatherings in the short-term, but will still allow you to host another special day to remember down the road.
Has your destination wedding been canceled? Work with an elopement company to put together a celebration both quickly and affordably.
If your wedding day has been affected by the travel ban, consider using an elopement planning service to help you find a local venue and a team of vendors who would be happy to help make sure your wedding day is still everything you’d envisioned it would be. If you’re not sure how to elope or plan an intimate wedding, companies like Simply Eloped are set up in locations all across the US and can typically help couples marry on short notice.
Read this: Don't Go Into Debt for Your Wedding
For couples planning on getting married in the near future, the most important thing you can do is stay updated with the CDC recommendations and White House Guidelines. Monitoring the CDC's policies can help to keep you informed and up-to-date with the most recent COVID-19 coronavirus concerns.
Be sure to always remember that we are all in this together, and just because your wedding day plans may have altered the love you have for your partner and those around you can weather any storm that may arise.
About Simply Eloped
Simply Eloped is an elopement company that has planned 5,000 weddings around the US over the last few years, focusing on smaller guest counts, affordable packages, and simplified planning.
Whether you want to elope in Vegas or plan to elope in Hawaii, Simply Eloped helps couples with things like choosing a ceremony location, arranging a team of wedding pros, and making sure your day is as stress-free as possible — even amidst the chaos of the outbreak.
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.